Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Padres – 08/17/10

Game One Hundred Twenty: Cubs (50-69) vs. Padres (70-47)
Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 186
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Randy Wells (5-10, 4.60/1.43) vs. Jon Garland (11-8, 3.41/1.31)

The Chicago Cubs will try to avoid their 70th loss of the season tonight behind Randy Wells. The Cubs’ young right-hander has struggled of late and needs a solid outing tonight.

Derrek Lee will be out until at least Thursday with a bulging disc in his back. Lee received a shot Monday and will miss two to three days. Lee said his back has been bothering him for a while, but mainly in the field … and not at the plate.

Starlin Castro is expected back tonight after receiving a day off Monday. Darwin Barney was solid at short and picked up his first big league hit, a double in the first. Koyie Hill will catch Wells tonight; the Cubs announced Monday that Welington Castillo will get the start Wednesday with Casey Coleman on the hill.

The Cubs made Jon Garland their first round pick in the 1997 draft and traded him away for nothing on July 29, 1998. One of the many bad moves the Cubs have made sent Garland to the White Sox for Matt Karchner. Garland helped the White Sox win a world championship and Karchner’s big league career ended in 2000 after a 1-1 record in 13 games.

What will the players be served as a pre-game meal tonight? The team one loss away from their 70th of the season was served caviar prior to Monday night’s game against the Padres.

It all starts with Randy Wells on Polish Heritage Night at Wrigley Field …

Randy Wells has slipped back into his bad habits again … and is in the worst stretch of his big league career.

Wells was horrible in May (0-3 in six starts with a 5.40 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP) and June (0-3 in five starts with a 6.14 ERA and a 1.74 WHIP) but put together a very good July (2-2 in five starts with a 1.83 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP).

Wells has not missed any bats, or thrown many strikes, in his last three outings. Wells is 0-2 in his last three games with an 8.44 ERA and a 1.75 WHIP. Wells has been roughed up by the Brewers, Reds and Giants.

The Giants torched Wells in his last start. Wells allowed seven runs, six earned, on eight hits with three walks and three strikeouts in five innings.

Despite his solid rookie season, Randy Wells is not a lock to be in the rotation next season. He must refocus himself and finish this lost season on a positive note.

Tonight will be Randy Wells’ second career start against San Diego … 0-1 with a 3.86 ERA and a 0.86 WHIP (three runs on five hits with a walk and seven strikeouts in seven innings on May 23 in San Diego).

Padres Career Numbers against Randy Wells

  • Adrian Gonzalez – 1-for-3
  • Tony Gwynn, Jr. – 0-for-3
  • Scott Hairston – 1-for-3
  • Jerry Hairston, Jr. – 0-for-3
  • Chase Headley – 0-for-1
  • Nick Hundley – 1-for-3
  • Ryan Ludwick – 3-for-4 with a double, 2 home runs and a walk
  • Miguel Tejada – 1-for-10
  • Yorvit Torrealba – 1-for-2 with a walk

Jon Garland signed with the Padres last winter and has put together a very good season. Garland is coming off a six-inning, one-hit shutout against the Pirates and is 2-1 in his last three starts with a 2.37 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP.

Garland has been just about unbeatable in San Diego (7-2 in 13 starts with a 2.49 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP), but has just four wins in 11 starts on the road (4-6 with a 4.52 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP).

The Cubs offense must make Garland work. He will beat himself if they give him a chance. He’s walked 13 batters in his last three starts (19 innings) with only 15 strikeouts. If the Cubs can hit the way they did on the recent trip, it could be a fun night at the Friendly Confines for the home team.

Jon Garland is 3-4 in 10 games, six starts, against his first organization with a 4.85 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP … at Wrigley, 2-2 in three starts, five games, with a 5.50 ERA and a 1.67 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Jon Garland

  • Jeff Baker – 0-for-1
  • Marlon Byrd – 5-for-13
  • Blake DeWitt – 2-for-8 with a double and a walk
  • Derrek Lee – 1-for-8 with a walk
  • Xavier Nady – 4-for-11 with a double, a home run and a walk
  • Aramis Ramirez – 2-for-10
  • Alfonso Soriano – 4-for-19 with 2 doubles

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Quote of the Day

"People who write about Spring Training not being necessary have never tried to throw a baseball." – Sandy Koufax