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 news … Darwin 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.
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