Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Reds – 07/03/10

Game Eighty-One: Cubs (34-46) vs. Reds (46-35)
Game Time – 12:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 175
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Randy Wells (3-6, 4.96/1.48) vs. Johnny Cueto (8-2, 3.74/1.26)

The pre-game questions have gone from, will the Cubs win a game? To, will the Cubs score a run? To, will the Cubs get a hit? The Cubs offense has been worse than horrible since May 30 and it will not get any easier this afternoon.

The Cubs are 10-20 since May 30 and have lost 10 of 14 … while being shutout in five of the 10 losses. The Cubs have scored just six runs in the last five games. And Lou’s crew enters play this afternoon 12 games under .50011 1/2 behind the first place Cincinnati Reds. When will changes to this underachieving and old roster be made?

Following Friday’s miserable loss, Lou Piniella said he does not see a lack of effort. Piniella used his 66th different lineup Friday … and today figures to be the Cubs’ 67th in the first 81 games.

This afternoon marks the halfway mark of the 2010 season and a win today would put the Cubs on pace for a 70-win season. Not exactly what the Ricketts family had in mind for Year One.

It all begins with Randy Wells this afternoon …

Randy Wells has been a disappointment for the Cubs so far this season. After a excellent start to the year (3-0 in five starts with a 3.45 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP), Wells said he did not prepare properly for his start against the Pirates, and Wells has been not-so-good since … and that is being kind.

Wells has not posted a win since April 30. While Ryan Dempster, Carlos Silva and Ted Lilly can point to the abysmal offense as a reason for their record, Wells has no one to blame.

The line looked decent in his last outing (one run on three hits in six innings with four walks and six strikeouts) but against a better team the four walks would have been his undoing. Wells struggled with his command and pitched from behind in the count. If he pitches the same way this afternoon, the Reds will light him up.

Randy Wells is 0-3 in his last five starts with a 6.14 ERA and a 1.74 WHIP. Wells walked 12 and has given up 39 hits in his last 29 1/3 innings … too many baserunners.

Wells is 2-0 in four career starts versus Cincinnati with a 2.66 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP … today will be his first appearance of the year against Dusty’s bunch.

Reds Career Numbers against Randy Wells

  • Jay Bruce – 1-for-1 with a double
  • Jonny Gomes – 2-for-10 with a walk
  • Ramon Hernandez – 1-for-3
  • Corky Miller – 1-for-2
  • Laynce Nix – 1-for-6
  • Brandon Phillips – 4-for-10 with 2 walks
  • Scott Rolen – 0-for-2 with a walk
  • Drew Stubbs – 1-for-3
  • Joey Votto – 1-for-8 with a walk

Johnny Cueto has put together a good season and is in the middle of an excellent stretch. Cueto has allowed two earned runs in his last three starts and is coming off a win against the Phillies.

Cueto allowed just one run on six hits in eight innings to Ryan Howard and company. Cueto walked two and did not strikeout a batter for the second time this season. Cueto is 3-1 in his last six starts with a 4.54 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP.

Johnny Cueto has been very tough on the road this season. In eight starts, Cueto is 4-1 with a 3.78 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. Teams have hit just .249 against him.

The Cubs have had success against Cueto in the past. The 24-year old right-hander is 2-5 in eight career starts versus the Cubs with a 4.59 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP … last season, Cueto was 1-2 in four games with a 4.50 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP.

Today will be Cueto’s sixth career start at Wrigley … he is 1-3 in the first five with a 3.38 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Johnny Cueto

  • Mike Fontenot – 1-for-9 with a double and a walk
  • Kosuke Fukudome – 5-for-21 with a double, a home run and a walk
  • Koyie Hill – 2-for-5 with 2 doubles and a walk
  • Derrek Lee – 9-for-25 with 2 doubles, a triple and a walk
  • Xavier Nady – 3-for-5 with a home run and a walk
  • Aramis Ramirez – 5-for-16 with a double, 2 home runs and 4 walks
  • Alfonso Soriano – 8-for-18 with 3 home runs
  • Geovany Soto – 6-for-16 with 3 doubles, a triple, a home run and 2 walks
  • Ryan Theriot – 9-for-23 with 2 doubles and a walk
  • Randy Wells – 0-for-1

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