Game Seventy-One: Cubs (31-39) vs. Mariners (29-41)
Game Time – 9:10pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 177
Location – Safeco Field, Seattle
Randy Wells (3-5, 4.92/1.46) vs. Cliff Lee (5-3, 2.55/0.90)
The question has shifted from … can the Cubs win a game to can the Cubs score any runs. Lou Piniella’s group was shutout Tuesday night for the second time in three games … and it will not get any easier tonight with Cliff Lee on the mound.
The Cubs must win in order to avoid going nine under .500 for first time since June 2, 2007 (22-31) … their lowest mark under Lou Piniella. The Cubs have not fallen 10 games under the mediocre mark in the Lou Piniella era.
Aramis Ramirez was supposed to be activated from the 15-day DL today. But Lou Piniella said Ramirez will not be back until Friday and he will work with Rudy Jaramillo getting comfortable with a new grip for the next two days.
Carlos Silva will not face the Mariners in the finale Thursday. Silva’s hamstring is still bothering him and he was pushed back to Saturday against the White Sox. Ted Lilly will face Felix Hernandez Thursday afternoon.
There is a possibility that Derrek Lee will serve as the team’s DH tonight with Xavier Nady filling in at first base.
Tonight it all starts with Randy Wells … but a little help from the offense and defense would be nice. Randy Wells survived the first inning in his last start … and put together a good outing. Wells received a no-decision in a 3-2 Cubs victory over the A’s. He allowed two runs on seven hits in seven innings with a walk and six strikeouts. Wells still has not posted a win since April 30.
Wells is 2-2 in seven road starts this season with a 4.08 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP. Tonight will be his first career appearance against the Mariners.
Randy Wells is 0-2 in his last three starts with a 6.75 ERA and a 1.85 WHIP.
Only Casey Kotchman (1-for-3) and Jack Wilson (0-for-3) have faced Randy Wells.
Cliff Lee is one of the top 10 pitchers in the game right now. Lee is coming off a complete game shutout against the Reds. Lee held a good Reds’ offense to six hits and no runs in nine innings without a walk and seven strikeouts. Lee and the Mariners beat Cincinnati 1-0.
Lee has dominated in Seattle this season to the tune of a 2-1 record in five starts with a 2.82 ERA and a 0.94 WHIP. After posting a 3-2 record in five starts in May (3.82 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP), Lee is 2-1 in his last four starts with two complete games (1.64 ERA and a 0.79 WHIP).
Cliff Lee’s days in Seattle are numbered.
Tonight will be Cliff Lee’s fourth career start against the Cubs. Lee is 2-0 in the first three with a 1.99 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP … and if not for Kerry Wood, Lee would be a perfect 3-0 versus the Cubs.
Cubs Career Numbers against Cliff Lee
- Jeff Baker – 2-for-2 with a double and a walk
- Marlon Byrd – 4-for-11 with 3 doubles and a walk
- Kosuke Fukudome – 1-for-3 with a walk
- Derrek Lee – 2-for-6 with a double, a home run and a walk
- Xavier Nady – 1-for-3
- Alfonso Soriano – 4-for-14 with a home run and a walk
- Geovany Soto – 0-for-4 with 2 walks
- Ryan Theriot – 1-for-8
- Chad Tracy – 1-for-2
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …