Game Ninety-Seven: Cubs (43-53) vs. Cardinals (54-42)
Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 183
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Randy Wells (4-7, 4.33/1.39) vs. Jeff Suppan (0-5, 6.05/1.85)
Updated – 10:24am CDT – Brian Schlitter activated from 15-day DL – Jeff Stevens Optioned to Triple-A Iowa
The Cubs return to the field this afternoon, weather permitting, for the first of three against the St. Louis Cardinals. Regardless of the records and the fact the two teams are going in different directions, it is the Cubs versus the Cardinals … and beating the Redbirds is always at the top of the list.
Lou’s crew is 4-3 on their current homestand … with three left on the longest stint at Wrigley this season. After playing good ball against the Phils, the Cubs lost two of three to the Astros and slipped to 16-27 this season against the Central.
Thanks to the wonderful schedule makers, the Cubs have faced the Cardinals only three times this season (counting this weekend, 12 left with the Redbirds this year) … and will figure into St. Louis’ chances at the post-season. The Cards won the first series at the end of May at Wrigley 2-1.
One of Jim Hendry’s free agent signings during the winter of 2008-2009 will be back at Wrigley this weekend. Aaron Miles was dealt to the A’s last off-season then traded to the Reds. Cincinnati DFA’d Miles and he signed back with the Cardinals shortly after his dismissal by Walt Jocketty.
Miles signed with the Cardinals and is flourishing under Tony LaRussa once again. Miles put together one of the worst seasons in recent memory last year (.185/.224/.242/.466 in 74 games) but he is hitting .356/.388/.400/.788 in 29 games this year while the Cubs pick-up a majority of his salary.
After winning eight straight, the Cardinals finally lost a game on Thursday. The Phillies salvaged the last game of the series in extra innings.
In other news … Carlos Silva has been pushed to Monday against the Astros in order to get extra work in with Larry Rothschild … Reportedly Silva is healthy. Ryan Dempster will face Chris Carpenter in the series finale Sunday night.
From the Rumor Mill
With the non-waiver trading deadline just eight days away, the rumblings out of the corner of Clark and Addison have quieted in recent days. Most figure Ted Lilly will be dealt before his next start (scheduled for Tuesday in Houston).
According to a report from Bruce Levine, a deal with the Rangers involving Xavier Nady “is unlikely to happen.” The Padres have been connected to Nady in recent days.
Today it all begins with Randy Wells …
Wells has appeared more confident of late. He is working fast; throwing strikes and does not appear to let the little things bother him. While Wells put together three solid starts against the Reds, Dodgers and Phillies he faces the Cardinals this afternoon and that is a whole new ballgame … Wells grew up a Cardinals fan.
The last time Randy Wells faced the Cardinals … he did not record an out. Wells gave up five runs on six hits in the worst start of his big league career. Wells has never beaten the Cardinals while St. Louis has had their way with Mr. Wells … 0-2 in three games, two starts, with a 10.13 ERA and a 2.13 WHIP. The Cardinals have hit just under .400 against him in eight innings (.394).
Wells is 3-3 in 10 home starts this season with a 4.79 ERA and a 1.51 WHIP.
Cardinals Career Numbers against Randy Wells
- Matt Holliday – 1-for-1
- Felipe Lopez – 3-for-5 with 2 walks
- Yadier Molina – 1-for-3 with a walk
- Albert Pujols – 1-for-5
- Colby Rasmus – 2-for-2 with 2 walks
- Brendan Ryan – 1-for-3
- Skip Schumaker – 1-for-5
- Randy Winn – 0-for-3
The Cubs will see a familiar face in a new-old uniform this afternoon. The last time the Cubs faced Jeff Suppan he was in a Brewers uniform on the mound at Wrigley. The Cubs beat Suppan and the Brewers 8-1 and the former Cardinal gave up six runs, five earned, on six hits in 4 1/3 innings with two walks and two strikeouts.
The Brewers DFA’d Suppan and of course he went back to Dave Duncan … and the Cardinals. Suppan has done a solid job in his return to St. Louis while posting a 0-2 record in his last two starts with a 4.22 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP.
Jeff Suppan has not won a game this season … and it would be a shame for his first to come at the Cubs’ expense.
Today will be Suppan’s 26th career start against the Cubs … 6-10 with a 3.95 ERA and a 1.49 WHIP in the first 25. Suppan is 0-1 in two starts versus the Cubs this season with a 8.68 ERA and a 2.04 WHIP.
The Cubs must make Suppan work and not swing at his junk.
Cubs Career Numbers against Jeff Suppan
- Jeff Baker – 0-for-2 with a walk
- Marlon Byrd – 7-for-19 with a double, a home run and a walk
- Tyler Colvin – 3-for-5 with a double
- Mike Fontenot – 6-for-16 with a double and a walk
- Kosuke Fukudome – 5-for-16 with 2 doubles, a triple, a home run and 8 walks
- Koyie Hill – 2-for-8 with a double and 2 walks
- Derrek Lee – 24-for-56 with 7 doubles, 6 home runs and 11 walks
- Xavier Nady – 4-for-16 with a double, a home run and a walk
- Aramis Ramirez – 11-for-47 with 4 doubles, a home run and 4 walks
- Alfonso Soriano – 9-for-46 with 2 doubles, 2 home runs and 3 walks
- Geovany Soto – 3-for-12 with 2 home runs and 3 walks
- Ryan Theriot – 10-for-30 with 2 doubles, a triple and a walk
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 …