Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Mets – 09/03/10

Game One Hundred Thirty-Five: Cubs (57-77) vs. Mets (66-68)
Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
Coverage – Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 183
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Randy Wells (6-12, 4.50/1.42) vs. R.A. Dickey (9-5, 2.57/1.17)

Updated – 9:26am CDT – Welington Castillo Recalled from Triple-A Iowa

The Chicago Cubs return to the field this afternoon for the first of three versus the New York Mets. Ron Santo’s favorite team took three of four from the Cubs at Citi Field in April. The two teams with the highest payroll in the National League had hopes for the post-season in April … but reality set in back in May and both organizations will be searching for ways to improve starting on October 4.

The Cubs are 6-3 under Mike Quade. They have shown some improvement, especially the younger players. But the daily errors, both physical and mental, continue to cost this group of players.

Marlon Byrd is expected back in the starting lineup this afternoon. The Cubs are also expected to active Welington Castillo prior to game time. Castillo has been in Chicago since Wednesday but could not be activated until Thursday. Castillo will be the first September call-up for the Cubs.

The Cubs will miss Johan Santana this weekend but not Jenrry Mejia, who will make his first big league start on Saturday. Santana left Thursday’s game against the Braves with a strained pectoral muscle.

Will Kosuke Fukudome be in Mike Quade’s starting nine this afternoon? Fukudome has been hitting the cover off the ball of late. He put up a .365/.467/.651/1.117 line in August with six doubles and four home runs … then started September with a 3-for-3 effort that included a pair of doubles, a RBI and a walk.

In Other News
Tom Gorzelanny has a “small incomplete fracture under the pinkie of his pitching hand.” The Cubs announced Thursday that Gorzelanny will miss his next start due to swelling his hand. After the swelling subsides, the Cubs will have a better idea when Gorzelanny can pitch again.

Carlos Silva could take Gorzelanny’s spot in the rotation … which comes back around Tuesday against the Astros.

The Cubs offense will have their hands full with the knuckleballer R.A. Dickey … but it all starts with Randy Wells.

Randy Wells finished August with a disappointing 1-4 record in six starts. Wells allowed 27 runs, 23 earned, on 39 hits in 35 innings with 14 walks and 25 strikeouts (5.91 ERA and a 1.51 WHIP) … but he’s coming off a solid start against the Reds. Wells gave up just two runs on six hits in six innings and earned his sixth win of the year.

Wells needs to finish the season on a positive note after an up and down year.

Randy Wells faced the Mets back on April 19 at Citi Field … and received a no decision. Wells held the Mets to one run on six hits in six innings with seven strikeouts and a walk. Wells is 0-1 in two career outings against New York with a 1.50 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP.

Mets Career Numbers against Randy Wells

  • Luis Castillo – 2-for-5
  • Ike Davis – 1-for-3
  • Jon Niese – 1-for-2
  • Angel Pagan – 1-for-5 with a walk
  • David Wright – 1-for-6

The Cubs will get their first look at R.A. Dickey this afternoon. The hard-throwing knuckleballer has been one of the feel-good stories of the 2010 baseball season. Dickey came out of no where after spending a majority of his professional career shuffling back and forth between the majors and minors in countless organizations.

Dickey has not lost a game since August 8 and is coming off a win against the Astros. Dickey held the ‘Stros to one run on six hits in seven innings with two walks and two strikeouts.

While Dickey’s record in July was less than impressive (1-3 in six starts) he allowed just 10 runs, seven earned, on 33 hits in 41 2/3 innings (1.51 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP). Dickey was 2-1 last month with a 3.12 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP.

Marlon Byrd (0-for-2), Blake DeWitt (0-for-2) and Alfonso Soriano (1-for-2) are the only active Cubs that have faced R.A. Dickey.

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Quote of the Day

"Build up your weaknesses until they become your strong points." – Knute Rockne