Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Royals – 06/26/11

Game Seventy-Seven: Cubs (31-45) vs. Royals (32-45)
Game Time – 1:10pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City

Randy Wells (1-1, 5.70/1.57) vs. Luke Hochevar (4-8, 4.97/1.28)

The Cubs short six-game road trip comes to an end today with a chance for the Cubs to fly back to Chicago with a 3-3 record. The Cubs have won the first game in each of the last three series … Q’s squad then dropped the next two against the Yankees and White Sox.

The Cubs will try to avoid losing their seventh straight Interleague series and dropping to a season-low 15 games below .500 behind Randy Wells. Wells needs a good outing and the Cubs offense must string together hits … and not get thrown out on the bases.

In the Cubs last game in an AL park this season, which player will Mike Quade use as his DH today?

In other newsDarwin Barney, fitted with a knee brace, was 1-for-3 on Saturday night in his first rehab game with the Iowa Cubs. Barney is looking to return to the big league team prior to Wednesday night’s game against the Giants.

Kerry Wood threw his second bullpen prior to Saturday night’s game. Wood has been on the DL since June 13 (retroactive to June 9) with a blister on his right index finger. The Cubs have not announced a timetable for Wood’s return. The blister has not healed enough for Wood to go on a rehab assignment.

The Cubs are 1-10 on Sunday in 2011 … and today it all starts with Randy Wells.

Randy Wells is coming off another rough outing and is searching for his first win since returning from the DL … and only his second win of the season. Wells has been inconsistent at best and has really only put together two good starts this season. Three seasons into his big league career one inning per start seems to be Wells’ downfall more times than not. Randy Wells needs a strong final three months of the season.

Wells kept the Cubs in the game during his last start but still allowed four runs on five hits in six innings with four walks and three strikeouts. Wells has received four no decisions in his last four starts (Cubs 2-2 in those four games) with a 5.85 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP.

This afternoon will be Randy Wells’ first career start against the Kansas City Royals.

Royals Career Numbers against Randy Wells

  • Melky Cabrera – 1-for-5 with a walk
  • Alcides Escobar – 6-for-12 with a walk
  • Jeff Francoeur – 0-for-8
  • Chris Getz – 0-for-3

Luke Hochevar is coming off a rough outing against the Diamondbacks and he’s not posted a win since June 9 … and Hochevar has posted only two wins since May 1. Hochevar gave up five runs on eight hits with a walk and six strikeouts in seven innings to Arizona. Hochevar is 1-3 in his last four starts with a 5.00 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP.

The Royals right-hander is 3-4 in his 11 home starts this season with a 4.65 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP.

Look for Mike Quade to load his lineup with lefties. Right-handers are hitting just .214 against Hochevar with nine home runs and left-handers are hitting .298 with five home runs.

This afternoon will be Luke Hochevar’s first career start versus the Chicago Cubs.

Carlos Pena (5-for-9 with a double and a walk) is the only active Cub that has faced Luke Hochevar.

Follow the CCO on Twitter: @TheCCO

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Quote of the Day

"People who write about Spring Training not being necessary have never tried to throw a baseball." – Sandy Koufax
  • Matt Collins

    todays lineup 

    • Neil

      Thanks for posting the lineup

    • paulcatanese

      At least the lineup looks like it’s spaced a little better with aternating the leftys and rightys. I don’t understand DeWitt at 3b and Aram as DH. Aram has just started to show some defensive capabilitys, and DeWitt is not that sure-handed there. Again, I don’t understand the love affair with DeWitt,other than being a left handed hitter with very little power, he has really not done the job at the plate the last two games. This leaves the bench with two right handers and one lefty to pinch hit or replace anyone in the field. Baker is only good against leftys, Montanez,singles hitter, and Campana as a pinch runner. Not that much lee-way here.

      DeWitts best position in my opinion is left field, as he is terrible in the infield. Baker could replace at third,firstor rigt field. Campana and Montenaz outfield only. It’s a mistake to DH Aram, not my favorite, but a better option.

      • paulcatanese

        Meant to say Aram is a better option here when he is at 3b.

        • Richard Hood

          I think that Quade see’s the DH spot as an “off day” spot. Trying to keep ARAM healthy is probably the reasoning in his mind. I would rather have ARAM’s bat in the line up than Baker.

  • Neil

    Marlon Byrd shows off his new helmet.

    • paulcatanese

      On the serious side, good idea, may become popular. One the other side hope he dosent chew, have to spit out his right ear.

  • Neil
    • paulcatanese

      Neil, looks like a delay? At game time sunny?

      • Neil

        Reports are the tarp is not on the field and the clouds are clearing out.

        • paulcatanese

          Thank you Sir.

  • Tom U

    Today’s minor league starters:

    Iowa – Marco Carrillo (0-1, 7.71)
    Tennessee – Dallas Beeler (1-2, 4.24)
    Daytona – Dae-Eun Rhee (2-3, 4.14)
    Peoria – Hayden Simpson (1-4, 5.33)
    Boise – Luis Liria (0-0, 8.31)

    In a situation I’ll continue to monitor, the Cubs organization has demoted several long-time Triple-A players over the past ten days. With Marco Carrillo getting the start today and the promotion of Marwin Gonzalez to Iowa this morning, along with the rehabs of Darwin Barney and Marlon Byrd, indications are the organization is “up to something”. Stay tuned!

    • Neil

      Thanks Tom, also Caridad and Stevens are now with the Smokies

  • Neil

    Starlin Castro extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a first inning single

    • paulcatanese

      I predict he will reach 200 hits this year.

  • Neil

    Eight minutes into the game already down 2-0

  • Neil

    Horrible start for Wells, did not fool anybody, looks sluggish.

  • BillyFinT

    To many Cubs fans, this is your first time seeing Luke Hochevar. To remind you, Hochevar was drafted first overall in 2006. That’s right FIRST among 1,502 amateur talents of the Rule IV Draft in 2006.

    He was drafted above other talents such as longoria, morrow, kershaw, stubbs, lincecum, scherzer, and among many others who are serving Major League teams as regulars.

    I want this out because that’s what the Cubs have been doing in recent years. Hochevar was drafted the first overall because the Royals management believed that he’s a “can’t miss.” If they don’t draft a can’t miss, then they are afraid of losing trust from fans that with the first overall pick, the Royals need to draft the “can’t miss” Hochevar.

    I followed the Royals as my secondary team. I started doing so since 2007, when I followed the Red Sox since spring training. The result made me feel nice that I’m seeing how a winner is born. Perhaps the Royals will become more respectable in 2008, I thought.

    That didn’t happen. The Royals management lied. They talked about OBP while kept playing veterans who can’t get on base. They played Jason Kendall daily (Koyie Hill). They hired a manager who was excellent in Japan but flopped in America. They traded for and signed veterans who came out of a career year. They played more veterans while leaving out younger talents from the farm. They pulled Hochevar early in the game in order to win (in a losing season). They were showing no intention of player development on the Major League level (until later last year). They fed fans with words of confidence, lip services, while failed on the Major League level.

    The Kansas City Royals acted like the Cubs, or was it vice versa?

    The Cubs management dug their own hole, and they tried to lure fans to jump in there with them.

    Sorry, but until I see Jim Hendry fired–and he’s an OK GM, but he suits the Orioles, Pirates, or Royals, not Chicago– I’m not believing anything the Chicago Royals are doing right now. Never, again!

    • BillyFinT

      I’m glad they did not play K.Hill (leftie) against…Soto homered. More on Hochevar.

      Scouts believed that he’s the second coming of Ben Sheets. When Hochevar’s light on, he’s showing a twinkle of acehood. But something can tick him off, and he’ll pitch worse than Zambrano. He had a bunch of 8-innings or shutouts, but he also got an equal amount of 5-runs in 3, 6-runs in 2, and so on.

      He doesn’t show his emotion like Z does, but you can tell that he’s not mentally cool. He’s not a pitcher, yet, and I doubt he’ll ever “pitch” as good as Sheets did (or even Zambrano).

      I don’t know how the Cubs can tick him off, but well, it’s the Chicago Royals after all. They kno3 each other; they are sync-ed.

    • paulcatanese

      Check out Baseball,Army,Frankfurt Ger. 1956

      • BillyFinT

        I googled, Paul, and this came up first:

        Around 3:31 into the video, a bunch of guys are playing ball. Can you recognize any of them?

  • Neil

    Soto with a solo shot, number 7

  • Neil

    Darwin Barney hits 3-run HR for I-Cubs

    • JW

      Not sure if anyone’s noticed but Castro has 904 OPS out of the 2 hole and Ramirez has a 973 OPS. I’m guessing however that Quade in his infinite baseball wisdom will put Barney back at 2 (705), Castro at 3 (610 OPS) and Ramirez at 4 (707) just because it makes more “baseball sense”

      • Neil

        I have and I don’t think you would be able to find anyone to lay that bet on.

    • paulcatanese

      He probably heard that Castro had hit one and dosen’t want to be left behind.

  • Neil

    DJ with a good play … looks like the Cubs caught a break though

  • Neil

    Wells is still struggling … two of the Royals first nine outs made on the bases.

  • studio179

    Nice form by Geo staying right with that pitch for a double and driving in a run.

  • Neil

    Wells walks Matt Treanor to start the inning … the .210 hitting Matt Treanor.

  • Brp921

    I’d like to see a replay on that last strikeout. It looked like he might have held up.

    • Neil

      I thought he checked as well.

  • Baron_S

    Aside from being the worst pitching staff ERA-wise,

    The Cubs also lead all of baseball in walks issued

    This Riggins guy is doing a wonderful job with the staff!

  • Neil

    Darwin Barney 1-for-4 with a 3-run HR in his second rehab game with the I-Cubs.
    Barney 2-for-7 with HR in two games at Triple-A

  • Neil

    Welington Castillo hit his 11th homer of the season for Triple-A Iowa on Sunday afternoon

    • Bryan

      Too bad he’s blocked by the irreplacable Koyie Hill.  Just unreal! 

    • JimBo_C

      Castillo/Clevenger probably would perform as well as Soto/Hill.

      Hoping Soto keeps hitting like he has for the past few days and attracts another team to want him. He isn’t going to be worth the raise he will want.

      • Neil

        Sadly I cannot argue … would not take much though to do that

      • John_CC

        But you know Hendry will give it to him…and 3 years…

  • Neil

    Russell with another good inning out of the pen.

  • John_CC

    About to fall a game behind the Royals. Who holds the worst record at the moment?

    • John_CC

      Houston is 28-50. The Cubs are in sole possession of the second to worst record in baseball. It is very possible that the Cubs will hold on to that and earn the second pick next year (it’s something…)

      • John_CC

        Put it in the books.

        • paulcatanese

          OK,Hawk fan.

          • John_CC


          • paulcatanese

            Couldn’t resist it John, I know how much you like him from theSox series.

  • Neil

    Cubs lost 6-3 to Royals on Sunday afternoon. Starlin Castro extended hit streak to 10; Geovany Soto 3-for-3, HR, 2B, BB, 2RBI;

    Randy Wells: 6R,10H,2BB,2K,6+IP

    Cubs 1-11 on Sundays in 2011

  • Jim_Tinley_Park

    Why do we even watch this crap? 

  • Brp921

    Jim Hendry and Mike Quade blame the bad record on injuries. They both have said they want to wait and see how the team plays when they get back to being closer to the team that came out of spring training. We all know the Cubs have had bad luck injury wise. But the truth is that this team, with one of the highest payrolls in the major leagues, was not very good before the injuries. They are not managed well. They are to agressive at the plate. They do not run the bases well and play poor defenseand don’t seem to care enouph to hustle. In fact the players coming up from the minor leagues are the players who play the best fundamentally. The baseball analysists around the league and media people are starting to talk about it more and more. The Rickets have to know this. I just can’t see this team getting much better soon when the ownership is willing to put up with poor baseball just to save a few dollars in replacing the upper management. It is going to take fans disappearing out of the seats on a major level to change the mind set of Tom Rickets father and I don’t know if that will happen.

    • Cheryl

      I agree. But will the fans ever catch on that they are being given a bad payoff for the money they spend. And will Ricketts catch on that he’ll lose money in the long run if this continues.