Game Sixty-One: Cubs (24-36) vs. Phillies (37-25)
Game Time – 6:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 185
Location – Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia
Randy Wells (1-1, 5.74/1.40) vs. Kyle Kendrick (3-4, 3.78/1.38)
The Cubs “red” road trip continues tonight with the first of four versus the best team in the National League, the Philadelphia Phillies. The Cubs finally won a game Wednesday and are 1-5 over the first six games of the 10 game trip.
Q’s offense will not catch a break over the next four games. After Kyle Kendrick, the Cubs will face Roy Halladay (Friday), Cliff Lee (Saturday) and Roy Oswalt (Sunday). The Cubs will counter with Carlos Zambrano (Friday), Matt Garza (Saturday) and Doug Davis (Sunday).
In other news … Reed Johnson and Jeff Baker begin their rehab stint with the I-Cubs tonight. Multiple reports indicated Alfonso Soriano will begin his rehab sting with the I-Cubs on Sunday but Soriano has not fully committed to the assignment yet. Each player will suit up a couple of times in Triple-A before returning to the team. Johnson can come off the DL as soon as Friday but will likely wait until Monday against the Brewers. Jeff Baker can return on Monday and Soriano cannot be activated until June 15.
The Cubs won four of six against the Phillies last season … but that was then and tonight it all begins with Randy Wells. Randy Wells is coming off a better start than his final line indicates against the Cardinals. Wells made only two mistakes in the heat last Saturday in St. Louis … and both were to Albert Pujols. Wells gave up four runs on three hits with a walk and a strikeout in 5 2/3 innings. Wells said he felt fine after his second start since returning from the DL.
With the Cubs facing three of the Phillies big four over the next three games, the Cubs need for Wells to step up tonight and put his team in position to win the game.
Randy Wells has faced the Phillies just one time in his career. Wells tossed seven innings of shut out ball last July at Wrigley. Wells picked up a no decision in a 4-1 Cubs loss, the right-hander surrendered seven hits and two walks while striking out five.
Tonight will be Randy Wells’ first start at Citizens Bank Park.
Phillies Career Numbers against Randy Wells
- Ben Francisco – 1-for-3
- Ryan Howard – 1-for-2
- Raul Ibanez – 1-for-2 with a walk
- Placido Polanco – 0-for-4
- Jimmy Rollins – 0-for-3
- Carlos Ruiz – 0-for-2 with a walk
- Shane Victorino – 2-for-4
With Joe Blanton on the DL (right elbow inflammation), the Phillies have turned to Kyle Kendrick to fill the forgotten spot in their rotation. Kendrick is coming off a short outing and a loss to Pittsburgh. The Mighty Pirates scored four runs on eight hits in five innings off Kendrick and the right-hander did not walk or strikeout a batter.
Kendrick has made just three starts this season.
The Cubs must make Kendrick work tonight. He is very beatable but not if Q’s squad walks to the plate swinging. In eight home games, two starts, this season Kendrick is 1-3 with a 4.24 ERA and a 1.53 WHIP.
Kendrick has faced the Cubs only once and it was an appearance out of the pen last July 15 at Wrigley. The Cubs managed one hit.
Tyler Colvin (1-for-1 with a double) and Aramis Ramirez (0-for-1) are the only Cubs on the active roster that has faced Kyle Kendrick.
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