Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Pirates – 05/31/10

Game Fifty-Two: Cubs (24-27) vs. Pirates (20-31)
Game Time – 12:35pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 185
Location – PNC Park, Pittsburgh

Randy Wells (3-3, 4.79/1.37) vs. Ross Ohlendorf (0-3, 5.11/1.78)

Happy Memorial Day from everyone at the CCO! Thank you to all of the men and women that have given the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.

Updated – 10:45am CDTJohn Grabow placed on 15-day DL (sprained left knee) and Andrew Cashner Called-up from Triple-A Iowa. 40-man Roster move not announced

Updated – 11:29am CDTAngel Guzman transferred to 60-day DL to open spot on 40-man Roster. Andrew Cashner’s contract purchased from Triple-A Iowa and added to Cubs 40-man Roster

Can the Chicago Cubs get back on track today? The Cubs begin a three-city, nine-game trip today with the first of three in the Steel City. This is a big road trip for the Cubs. Lou Piniella’s crew enters play today three games under .500 and six games back of the division leading Cincinnati Reds. After Pittsburgh, the Cubs will travel to Houston and Milwaukee before beginning Interleague play against the White Sox on June 11. If the Cubs want to stay in the thick of the central, at the very least they must win each series.

The Cubs are 13-14 this month. Not only would a win today start the trip on a positive note but a .500 month is not bad considering the way it started.

Ryan Theriot’s only one walk this month came on May 1. Could he end the month with a second, or third, free pass? Lou Piniella promised changes to the lineup, maybe Theriot is one of the regulars that will take a seat today.

The Pirates are no longer intimated by the Chicago Cubs. While they have lost nine of 11 and five in a row, the Battlin’ Bucs seem to get back on track when they face Lou’s crew.

After throwing only 16 pitches Friday, Randy Wells will pitch on only two days rest. As Lou Piniella put it, Wells allowed the Cardinals to use the entire field in the horrible first inning. If Wells struggles at all early on look for Piniella to go to Tom Gorzelanny. This was his spot in the rotation and the Cubs cannot afford to lose another game to the Pirates. In the six games against Pittsburgh, the Cubs have fallen behind in the first inning in five of the six games … in the sixth, the Pirates scored in the second inning.

The Cubs were swept the last time they were in Pittsburgh and Lou’s crew is only 1-5 against the Pirates this season. Ted Lilly is scheduled to start Tuesday night with Carlos Zambrano returning to the rotation Wednesday against Zach Duke.

After this afternoon the phrase, “It’s still early in the season” can no longer be used.

Today it all starts with Randy Wells … and just winning a ballgame.

Randy Wells is coming off the worst start of his career … and could be pitching for a spot on the big league club today. Wells has been rocked in two of his last five starts. Wells gave up seven runs on five hits in two innings when he faced the Pirates on May 6. Then surrendered five runs on six hits on just 16 pitches in his last outing.

Randy Wells is 0-3 in his last five starts with a 6.48 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP.

Wells has pitched much better on the road this year than at Wrigley. He is 2-1 in five starts outside of the Friendly Confines with a 3.68 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP.

Today will be Randy Wells’ fourth career start against Pittsburgh. He is 2-1 in the first three with a 5.40 ERA and a 1.60 WHIP.

Pirates’ Career Numbers against Randy Wells

  • Ronny Cedeno – 0-for-4
  • Ryan Church – 0-for-2
  • Ryan Doumit – 1-for-2 with a double
  • Aki Iwamura – 0-for-1 with a walk
  • Jason Jaramillo – 3-for-5 with a double
  • Garrett Jones – 4-for-8 with a double
  • Andy LaRoche – 1-for-2 with 3 walks
  • Andrew McCutchen – 4-for-6 with a double
  • Lastings Milledge – 1-for-4 with a double
  • Delwyn Young – 1-for-3

Ross Ohlendorf has pitched poorly against every team he has faced this season … except for the Chicago Cubs. Ohlendorf has not posted a win this season and is coming off a five-walk outing against the Reds. Ohlendorf has uncharacteristically walked 18 batters in 24 2/3 innings this season. The Cubs must be patient this afternoon, something they have not done this year.

The Cubs managed only two runs on four hits in six innings against Ohlendorf on May 16. Lou’s crew lost the game 4-3.

Ohlendorf is 0-2 at PNC Park in three starts with a 6.39 ERA and a 1.89 WHIP.

Today will be Ohlendorf’s third career start versus the Cubs … 1-0 in two starts with a 1.38 ERA and a 0.85 WHIP.

Cubs’ Career Numbers against Ross Ohlendorf

  • Marlon Byrd – 2-for-3 with a double
  • Starlin Castro – 0-for-3
  • Mike Fontenot – 1-for-5 with a walk
  • Kosuke Fukudome – 0-for-6
  • Derrek Lee – 2-for-6
  • Aramis Ramirez – 0-for-2 with a walk
  • Alfonso Soriano – 1-for-4 with a double and a walk
  • Geovany Soto – 2-for-5 with a double
  • Ryan Theriot – 0-for-2

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Quote of the Day

"Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere." - Albert Einstein