Game Seventy-One: Cubs (29-41) vs. Yankees (40-29)
Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: ESPN Sunday Night Baseball – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 89, 176
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Randy Wells (1-1, 5.63/1.58) vs. C.C. Sabathia (8-4, 3.28/1.23)
Happy Father’s day from the CCO! The Cubs seven-game homestand comes to a conclusion tonight with the rubber game against the New York Yankees. Q’s squad has played their best ball of the season over the last six games. A win tonight would give the Cubs a very successful 5-2 record against the Brewers and Yankees … while a loss could erase the memory of the improved play over the past week.
With Carsten Charles Sabathia on the hill for Joe Girardi, look for Mike Quade to run out his right-handed lineup. Reed Johnson is expected to start in center (Quade said Saturday that Johnson would receive a breathier during the Sox series), Jeff Baker should be at first base tonight with Luis Montanez in right field. How will Quade handle second base? Will D.J. LeMahieu crack the starting lineup or will Blake DeWitt be the lone lefty in Quade’s lineup?
The Cubs Sunday struggles have been well documented … so will Mike Quade have his team ready to play tonight? The Cubs are a pathetic 1-9 on Sundays this season and have won only two games on Sunday since Mike Quade took over for Lou Piniella last August. The Cubs have another shot at winning a series at home but winning on Sunday has proven to be a huge challenge for this group of players.
Tonight it all starts with Randy Wells … Randy Wells is coming off a decent outing and statistically a quality start (three earned runs or less in six innings). However, Wells struggled with his command, ran up his pitch count and was gone after the six innings. Wells seemed to benefit more from what the Brewers didn’t do than what he did on the mound. Wells allowed three runs, two earned, on eight hits with three walks and two strikeouts in six innings.
Wells has posted only one decision in his four starts since returning from the DL … and does not have a decision in his last three outings. Wells has allowed 10 runs, nine earned, on 14 hits with six walks and five strikeouts (5.79 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP).
Wells needs a good start tonight and must keep from being star struck on National Television facing the New York Yankees. Wells has the stuff to be a successful starter at the big league level (fourth or fifth starter) it is time for him to work on his consistency … keeping the ball down, throw strikes and not fall behind in the count.
Randy Wells is 1-1 in three starts at Wrigley this season with a 4.50 ERA and a 1.81 WHIP. Tonight will be his first career start against the Bronx Bombers.
Chris Dickerson (1-for-6 with a double), Andruw Jones (1-for-3) and Russell Martin (2-for-8 with a walk) are the only Yankees on the active roster that has faced Randy Wells.
The Cubs will get their first look at C.C. Sabathia in a Yankees uniform. The Cubs had success against Sabathia during his time with the Brewers in 2008 (1-1 in three starts with a 2.78 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP) and must be patient against him tonight like they were nearly three years ago.
Sabathia is coming off a win against the Rangers in which he allowed four runs on eight hits in seven innings of work. Sabathia struck out six and did not issue a single free pass. Carsten Charles is 2-1 in his last three starts with a 4.43 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP.
C.C. Sabathia is 5-2 in seven starts outside of Yankee Stadium this season with a 2.28 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP … in his career at Wrigley, 0-1 in one start with a 5.14 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP.
Tonight will be the veteran southpaw’s fifth career start against the Cubs. Sabathia is 1-2 in the first four with a 5.76 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP.
Cubs Career Numbers against C.C. Sabathia
- Kosuke Fukudome – 1-for-2
- Koyie Hill – 0-for-2
- Reed Johnson – 9-for-30 with 2 doubles, a home run and a walk
- Luis Montanez – 0-for-11 with a walk
- Carlos Pena – 4-for-35 with a double, 2 home runs and 4 walks
- Aramis Ramirez – 7-for-16 with a double and a walk
- Alfonso Soriano – 12-for-36 with 2 doubles, 5 home runs and 6 walks
- Geovany Soto – 1-for-5 with a walk
Follow the CCO on Twitter: @TheCCO
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …