Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Pirates – 05/28/11

Game Fifty: Cubs (22-27) vs. Pirates (23-26)
Game Time – 12:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Randy Wells (1-0, 1.50/1.67) vs. Paul Maholm (1-7, 3.65/1.30)

Updated 10:15am CDTRandy Wells activated from 15-day DL – Casey Coleman Optioned to Triple-A Iowa

The Pirates took game one of the battle for fifth place in the NL Central and it will be up to Randy Wells, and the Cubs offense, to pull out a win against the ‘Mighty Pirates‘. The Cubs are just 1-3 versus the Bucs this year with all four games being played at Wrigley Field.

The Cubs talked about getting back to .500 during this homestand. To reach that goal they must win the remaining five games.

The Cubs have not officially announced the roster move but reportedly Casey Coleman was optioned to Triple-A Iowa following Friday’s game. Randy Wells will be activated and make just his second start of the season.

With Coleman now a part of Bill Dancy’s rotation, the newly acquired Rodrigo Lopez will make the start Monday against the Astros … the ninth different starter Mike Quade has used this season. Matt Garza is slated to come off the DL next weekend and that should push Lopez to the pen.

Mike Quade is hoping both Jeff Baker and Reed Johnson will be able to start this afternoon against Paul Maholm. Luis Montanez should receive his second start as well.

In other news Geovany Soto made his first rehab start Friday night with the Tennessee Smokies. Soto played five innings of the first game of a doubleheader and was 0-for-3 with a strikeout. Soto was expected to remain with the Smokies on Saturday and play six to seven innings. Soto will catch Trey McNutt on Saturday night at Smokies Park. If all goes well, the plan is for Soto to rejoin the Cubs on Sunday.

Brett Jackson will rejoin the Smokies on Monday after his rehab in Mesa is complete. Jackson and Jae-Hoon Ha, who will remain with Tennessee when Jackson is activated, figure to give Brian Harper a very fast and athletic outfield. Oneri Fleita told Bruce Levine that Jackson could be ready for the big leagues soon.

This afternoon it all starts with Randy Wells

Randy Wells has been on the DL since April 8 with a right forearm strain. Wells put together a very good start in his first, and only, outing of the season. Back on April 4 Wells beat the D’Backs 4-1 … he allowed one run on six hits with four walks and six strikeouts in six innings of work, a quality start.

Wells figures to be on a pitch count in the 80s this afternoon. The last thing the Cubs need to happen is for Wells to make a trip back to the DL. Wells made two rehab stops on his way back to the big leagues but has not built up his pitch count yet.

Randy Wells is 2-1 in five career starts versus the ‘Mighty Pirates’ with a 3.46 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP … last season, 0-1 in three starts with a 4.85 ERA and a 1.62 WHIP.

Pirates Career Numbers against Randy Wells

  • Ronny Cedeno – 0-for-8
  • Matt Diaz – 0-for-3
  • Ryan Doumit – 1-for-5 with a double and a walk
  • Garrett Jones – 4-for-13 with a double
  • Paul Maholm – 1-for-2
  • Andrew McCutchen – 6-for-11 with a double, a triple and a walk
  • Xavier Paul – 0-for-3
  • Chris Snyder – 1-for-3 with a home run
  • Jose Tabata – 0-for-2 with a walk
  • Neil Walker – 2-for-3

The Cubs will get another shot at Paul Maholm. Maholm tossed 6 2/3 innings of shutout ball against the Cubs back on April 2. The Cubs came back and won the game 5-3 but Maholm made the Cubs offense look foolish again.

Maholm is coming off a tough luck loss to the Tigers. Maholm allowed only two runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings with two walks and five strikeouts … but the Pirates did not score a single run and lost the game 2-0.

The Pirates have won only one of Maholm starts (1-9) and that was back on April 25 against the Nationals. The Pirates might be scoring a lot of runs for Kevin Correia but they struggle scoring runs on days Paul Maholm takes the ball.

Paul Maholm is without a doubt the best 1-7 pitcher in the big leagues. Maholm is 0-3 in his last four starts with a 2.92 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP.

Today will be Maholm’s 15th career start against the Cubs. The southpaw is 7-2 in the first 14 with a 5.89 ERA and a 1.51 WHIP … last season, 3-1 in four starts with a 5.01 ERA and a 1.54 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Paul Maholm

  • Jeff Baker – 7-for-14 with four doubles
  • Starlin Castro – 5-for-11 with 2 doubles
  • Blake DeWitt – 1-for-2 with a walk
  • Kosuke Fukudome – 0-for-4
  • Koyie Hill – 1-for-2
  • Reed Johnson – 7-for-11 with 2 doubles and a walk
  • Carlos Pena – 0-for-2 with a walk
  • Aramis Ramirez – 10-for-32 with 2 doubles, 2 home run and 2 walks
  • Alfonso Soriano – 8-for-31 with 2 doubles, 4 home runs and 4 walks
  • Randy Wells – 0-for-2

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Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Quote of the Day

"Every strike brings me closer to the next home run." - Babe Ruth
  • Neil

    Today’s lineup:

    Campana – CF
    Barney – 2B
    Castro – SS
    Ramirez – 3B
    Soriano – LF
    Montanez – RF
    Pena – 1B
    Hill – C
    Wells – P

    • Richard Hood

      Woohooo Quade convinced Hendry that Campana should get to see if he can lead off at the bigleagues.

      • The Maven

        He may be just keeping the spot warm for Brett Jackson.

        • Cheryl

          Looks like a big improvement on the lineup. Now if only Castillo was catching and someone else took Ramirez’s place.

  • Tom U

    If Brett Jackson does go back to Tennessee, it might be time to see some movement with either Rebel Ridling or Matt Spencer moving up a level.

    • Kevinwickit

      The person I see moving upis Ryan Flaherty.

  • paulcatanese

     What happened here? Campana in the leadoff spot?Pena dropped to the 7 spot?
    Never fear though Aram is still in the 4 slot. And according to Quade,”will come around” Well he’s due at least once every ten games of so. Aram will become
    successful when Quade grows hair,(not a slur on Quade as I am almost bald).
     This is really an innovative lineup,guess anything against the Pirates is worth a
    try.Little pressure here Quade? Trying to stay out of last place? Dont forget
    big Z is hot as a pinch hitter.

  • Ramon Martinez

    How many games has Castillo started since Soto went on the D.L? 3?? So frustrating . Koyie Hill must be Jim Hendry’s little bro or something.

  • Neil

    Wells is on a 85-pitch count limit … using a lot on Tabata to start the game. Tabata grounded out to third on the 11th pitch of the at bat.

  • Neil

    Nice tag from Castro

  • Neil

    24-pitch first inning for Wells, 14 for strikes.

  • studio179

    I was hoping to see Johnson (LF), Campana (CF) and Montanez (RF) to start for today’s game, but oh well. 

  • Neil

    A lot of pitches for Wells … 43 after 2 outs in the second

  • studio179

    Wells might not make it to qualify for a win today.

  • Neil

    Wells got out the jam … 49 pitches after two innings. Needs a couple of quick ones or he will be gone by the fourth.

  • GaryLeeT

    Nice job by Wells, but with him being on a pitch count, I don’t see how he makes it out of the 4th.

  • Neil

    Maholm has thrown 13 pitches after one out in the second

  • Neil

    Better inning for Wells, still with 64 pitches after 3

  • Neil
  • Neil

    Soriano misplays another one

    • studio179

      This is about a daily thing with him.

  • Neil


  • Craig Y

    The Cubs are a completely different team when they play the Pirates…. The offense was good against the Mets but they have done nothing the past two games.

  • Neil

    Maholm is perfect after a 8-pitch fourth inning. Wells threw 92 pitches in four innings. Maholm just 39. That is coaching and scouting at its finest.

  • Neil

    The Cubs with a hit! McCutchen misplayed that one.

  • BillyFinT

    Truth be told, I shouldn’t be watchn’ this cr**, but hey, it’s the lovable LOSERS, how can any Northsiders miss such a wonderful fit that shows their place?

    • BillyFinT

      … while I concur Neil above.

  • Neil

    Good job by Koyie Hill … pitcher’s spot behind him and he swings at the first pitch and pops out to end the inning.

  • BillyFinT

    When Len said: “Campana will just watch this baby go,” I was thinking a certain tune… “Baby never comes back…”

    • BillyFinT

      While we watch the “Buc Show” flaming the unfortunate longman, I just want to add what Len said earlier: “Many things can’t be taught before a player gets to the Big league, including strikezone judgement.”

      An example is when we talk about talent evaluation here, like an earlier post about Werth being “as good as the batter around him,” I think that’s is far from the truth. Jayson had one of the best strikezone judgement among Major Leaguers.

      He’s been a good zone hitter, some power, but his talent comes handy when your lineup needs a patient hitter who can wear out the opponent pitching. Werth had that talent for a few years, and he led baseball with most pitches seen per plate.

      I’m not saying the Cubs should be the club signing him, nor Adam Dunn. They reached age 32, and in their decline phase. But I’m starting to feel concerned, concerned that since the Cubs haven’t had a patient hitter who has some pop for a long while already.

      Someone like Jayson Werth. The point is not to sign another 32-years old veteran like him, but realize what’s missing in the Cubs talent pool, and change that.

      THEN, without fully realizing it until it happens, the Cubs can become more respectable.

      Are you listening, Tom Ricketts? Fire Hendry. That’s where you should start.

  • GaryLeeT

    “Rami will figure this out. We need him to figure it out and he will.”

    Now I understand what Quade was really saying. “The team as a whole, is so pathetic, that It does not matter if one player figures it out, or not.”

  • Neil

    Maholm with 66 pitches after 6 innings … easy math, pathetic game plan

    • BillyFinT

      Like mentioned above in my long comment, the Cubs never developed a patient hitter. And this is a bigger concern than, say, Mat Garza.

      If this Cubs Think continues, maybe we won’t even remember what “patience” means in baseball.

      • Calicub

        I’m just happy Ricketts is sitting in the stands right now watching this disgusting pathetic collapse of a team destined to be forgotten.  

        End this.

        • BillyFinT

          Seriously. But somehow, I saw Tom and his ever smiling face… I don’t know what he’s thinking. I really don’t know…

  • Neil

    72 pitches for Maholm after 7 innings

    • BillyFinT

      Quick question, who’s the old man in the booth? He sang the 7th inning stretch.

      • Neil

        Digger Phelps

        • BillyFinT

          Thanks. You’re the best, Neil.

  • Mike

    This team is a complete joke…what a worthless organization on all levels, ownership, GM and skipper…not one move we make in the off-season makes a damn bit of sense ever, accompany that with the fact we have one of the highest payrolls w one of the worst teams, we suck and it seems it will only get worse before it gets better…god I hope management pulls their heads out of their asses in the off-season

  • Neil

    Seven of the Pirates 10 hits off Cubs pitching have gone for extra bases (four
    home runs, three doubles).

  • Neil

    Cubs shutout 10-0 by Pirates Sat afternoon. Cubs just 3
    hits. Wells line: 5R,5H,3BB,7Ks in 4 IP. Pirates 10 hits off Cubs pitching, 4
    HRs, 3 2Bs

    One of the worst efforts I’ve seen. Like most of you, I heard what Bob Brenly said about the Cubs looking flat. But when an offense performs consistently like it has the opposing pitcher can only be given so much credit

    Paul Maholm threw 91 pitches … 91.

    • studio179

      “Paul Maholm threw 91 pitches … 91. ”

      In contrast, Wells threw 92 pitches in 4 IP. Granted, it was his first start off the DL, but 92 pitches in 4 innings. Geez.

  • EqDoc


  • studio179

    This was an offensive day, yet the Cubs scratch out 3 lousy hits and get shut out. If it was not for a ninth inning homer yesterday, they would have been looking at two days of goose eggs. Today was the 50th game. We know where this team is going and what the team is all about. It is a team that will ‘produce’ a few bad and sloppy games followed by a good game, then a few more bad. This season was lost before it started, but this is a joke.

  • paulcatanese

    It would have made no difference if the Cubs had Pujols in the lineup today,
    he would have to hit two grand slams and a three run homer for the win. But then the Cubs would have to load the bases twice and then two on , can you possibly imagine the Cubs getting that many men on?

    Ricketts save youre money. only a miracle would save this franchise. The Cubs
    could not have won today even it the Pirates took everyone off the field the last two innings except the pitcher and the catcher.

    Last place is assured, and definatly finish behind the Pirates, who look like a
    World Series team every time they play the Cubs.

    It’s completely senseless to believe Cub management will ever ever try to right this doomed team, If they have not seen anything by now they never will,they are the
    most stubborn,uniformed,slow minded group of individuals ever to have this kind
    of control over a major league team.

    You might say I was disappointed with the outcome of todays game. the jets
    were a nice touch before the game though. Onward and downward tommorow.