Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Astros – 09/08/10

Game One Hundred Forty: Cubs (60-79) vs. Astros (65-73)
Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
Coverage – Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 185
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Randy Wells (6-12, 4.56/1.44) vs. Brett Myers (10-7, 3.02/1.24)

The Cubs wrap up their nine-game homestand tonight with the final game of the season against Houston at Wrigley. Q’s crew is 5-3 over the first eight and have a chance to win their third series in a row … but in order to finish the homestand with a win, they will have to beat Brett Myers.

Myers has become the Astros’ number one pitcher and has completed at least six innings in each of his 28 starts this season … plus he’s owned the Cubs throughout his career.

Mike Quade said he would decide Wednesday on whether Starlin Castro would be back in the lineup tonight or not. Reports Monday indicated Castro would return to the lineup Wednesday but Quade sounded unsure in his post game remarks Tuesday. Q talked up the job Darwin Barney has done in Castro’s place.

With Aramis Ramirez on the shelf, the best bet would be Darwin Barney and Blake DeWitt at second and third with Jeff Baker on the bench against the right hander.

The Cubs must figure out how to beat the Central next season if they do not want a repeat of this dreadful summer. Jim Hendry’s team enters play tonight 5-9 versus Houston and just 3-5 at Wrigley Field.

Tonight is a rematch of the game back on June 6 that the Cubs lost 6-3 … and it all begins with Randy Wells.

With Brett Myers on the mound, Randy Wells has little room for error in the finale tonight. Wells struggled again in his last outing and allowed three runs in the first inning. Wells kinda settled down but left after 5 2/3 innings and received a no decision.

Wells has struggled with command, consistency and focus all season. Wells walked four in his last start and has issued four free passes in two of his last three starts.

Following his last start, Wells admitted he’s struggled this year despite vowing he would not suffer a sophomore slump. Wells is pitching for a job in 2011 and needs to finish his season on a positive note … with as many wins as possible.

Wells is 1-4 in his last seven starts with a 5.98 ERA and a 1.60 WHIP. While the Cubs defense has been horrible behind him over his last 40 2/3 innings, Wells needs to begin limiting hitter after hitter reaching base.

Tonight will be Wells’ third start of the season versus Houston. He is 0-2 with a 7.36 ERA and a 1.91 WHIP in the first two games … 2-2 in five career starts with a 2.56 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP.

Astros’ Career Numbers against Randy Wells

  • Geoff Blum – 3-for-9 with 2 walks
  • Michael Bourn – 5-for-13 with 3 walks
  • Jason Castro – 1-for-3
  • Anderson Hernandez – 1-for-6
  • Chris Johnson – 0-for-3
  • Jeff Keppinger – 2-for-7
  • Carlos Lee – 4-for-15 with 2 home runs
  • Jason Michaels – 0-for-2 with a walk
  • Brett Myers – 0-for-2
  • Hunter Pence – 5-for-11 with a double and 3 walks

Brett Myers has owned the Cubs this season … and throughout his career. Myers is 2-0 in three starts against the Cubs (Astros 3-0 in his starts) this year with a 1.59 ERA and a 0.93 WHIP. Tonight will be his 13th career start against the Cubs, he is 9-3 in 16 games, 12 starts, with a 2.38 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP.

With Roy Oswalt now with the Phillies, Myers is the Astros’ number one pitcher. He just signed an extension (two years for $23 million with a $10 million club option for 2013) and will continue to dominate the Cubs until they change their approach.

Myers is coming off a no decision against the Diamondbacks in a 4-3 Astros loss. Myers pitched his six innings (Myers has completed at least six innings in each of his 28 starts this year) and surrendered just three runs on seven hits.

Myers has gotten better as the season has progressed. He is 4-1 in his last 10 games with a 2.33 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP … 2-1 in his last seven with a 2.74 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Brett Myers

  • Jeff Baker – 2-for-3
  • Marlon Byrd – 6-for-17 with a double, a home run and 2 walks
  • Starlin Castro – 2-for-9 with a double
  • Tyler Colvin – 3-for-11 with a double and a home run
  • Kosuke Fukudome – 2-for-14 with a walk
  • Koyie Hill – 1-for-10 with a double
  • Xavier Nady – 3-for-11 with a home run and a walk
  • Aramis Ramirez – 8-for-37 with 2 doubles, 2 home runs and a walk
  • Alfonso Soriano – 5-for-27 with 3 home runs and a walk
  • Geovany Soto – 2-for-6
  • Randy Wells – 1-for-2
  • Carlos Zambrano – 1-for-7

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Quote of the Day

"When you play, play hard; when you work, don’t play at all." – Theodore Roosevelt