Game One Hundred Two: Cubs (46-55) vs. Astros (41-59)
Game Time – 1:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 183
Location – Minute Maid Park, Houston
Randy Wells (5-7, 4.07/1.37) vs. Bud Norris (2-7, 6.08/1.61)
Can the Chicago Cubs win a series against the Houston Astros? After a good performance behind Carlos Silva Monday night, the Cubs were all but shut out on Tuesday … can they beat the young Bud Norris in his first career start against them this afternoon?
If the Astros pull out the win today it will mark Houston’s fourth straight series win against the Cubs this season (4-7 on the year) … the first time Astros have accomplished the feat since 1981. Yes, that is how bad the Cubs have played against Houston this season.
Following Tuesday’s loss, Lou indicated a couple of his regulars would receive the day off. Couple that with Geovany Soto likely out again today and his under performing lineup could be even worse this afternoon.
Today it all starts with Randy Wells … Randy Wells is coming off a gem against the Cardinals (no runs on five hits in seven innings with three walks and seven strikeouts) and has not allowed an earned run in his last two starts (14 innings).
After a bad six weeks, Wells has been very good this month. In his last four starts Wells has posted a 2-1 record with a 1.26 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP. Wells has looked much more comfortable on the mound and is throwing like the rookie that burst on the scene a year ago.
The Astros shelled Randy Wells back on June 6 in Houston … six runs on nine hits in 5 1/3 innings with two walks and two strikeouts. Today will be Wells’ fifth career start against Houston. He is 2-1 in the first four with a 2.08 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP.
Astros Career Numbers against Randy Wells
- Lance Berkman – 3-for-8 with a walk
- Geoff Blum – 3-for-9 with 2 walks
- Michael Bourn – 5-for-12 with a walk
- Pedro Feliz – 1-for-3
- Jeff Keppinger – 2-for-7
- Carlos Lee – 3-for-12 with a home run
- Jason Michaels – 0-for-1 with a walk
- Hunter Pence – 3-for-8 with 3 walks
Bud Norris will make his first career start against the Cubs this afternoon. Norris has faced the Cubs just once, a three-inning relief stint. Norris is in search of his first win of the year at Minute Maid Park … 0-4 in seven starts with a 7.13 ERA and a 1.61 WHIP.
After a solid rookie season in 2009 (6-3 in 11 games, 10 starts, with a 4.53 ERA and a 1.51 WHIP), especially against the Cardinals, the Astros were expecting more than they’ve gotten this year from the 25-year old right-hander.
Norris is coming off a no decision against the Reds. He allowed four runs on four hits in six innings with three walks and five strikeouts. Norris has not posted a win since beating the Redbirds in St. Louis on May 13.
Bud Norris is 0-2 in his last four starts with a 4.62 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP.
Norris’ only outing versus the Cubs came in his big league debut last season. Norris allowed a run on three hits in three innings with a walk and four strikeouts on July 29, 2009.
Cubs Career Numbers against Bud Norris
- Jeff Baker – 1-for-2 with a double
- Kosuke Fukudome – 0-for-2
- Koyie Hill – 1-for-2
- Derrek Lee – 0-for-1
- Aramis Ramirez – 0-for-1
- Ryan Theriot – 0-for-1
- Randy Wells – 0-for-1
Ryan Theriot and Randy Wells are hosting a benefit for the Children’s Memorial Hospital on Wednesday, August 4 at Joe’s Bar. The CCO was asked to pass along the info on the event. For those interested, click on this link to Ticketmaster.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …