Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Astros – 07/23/11

Game One Hundred One: Cubs (40-60) vs. Astros (33-66)
Game Time – 12:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Randy Wells (1-3, 6.71/1.74) vs. Wandy Rodriguez (6-6, 3.67/1.37)

Weather permitting … ‘The Battle for Fifth Place in the NL Central’ resumes this afternoon with a pitching match-up featuring two hurlers that could be making their final start with their current club.

The Astros are rumored to be shopping Wandy Rodriguez while Randy Wells reportedly is pitching to stay in the Cubs rotation.

According to multiple reports, the Cubs are not happy with the way Randy Wells has pitched this season and he needs to show some improvement this afternoon in order to stay in the rotation. Right now, the Cubs do not have many options in which to replace Wells with in the rotation … but to say Wells has not been so good after he spent two months on the DL would be an understatement.

From the rumor millAccording to Bruce Levine, the Indians are “hot on the trail” of Kosuke Fukudome. The Cubs are looking for pitching in return for Fukudome … and any of the veterans they may be able to trade.

According to a report from David Kaplan, if the Cubs cannot trade Alfonso Soriano the chances of Soriano returning to the Cubs in 2012 are very slim. The Cubs are willing to eat a significant amount of his remaining $54 million according to Kaplan if they can find an American League team interested in the former All-Star.

In other news … After a week of working with Mark Riggins, Carlos Marmol will be used as the Cubs’ closer this afternoon, if the Cubs have the lead in the ninth inning. Marmol was very good in his 2/3 of an inning on Friday and showed both Quade and Riggins what they needed to see before putting him back in his ninth inning role.

Today it all begins with Randy Wells

After another rough start (three runs in the first inning on two home runs), Randy Wells received a no decision in a 7-5 loss to the Marlins. Wells struggled again and barely lasted six innings after allowing four runs on eight hits with three walks and four strikeouts. Wells said he’s feeling fine and that his arm is good, he’s just not pitching the way he’s capable.

Randy Wells has given up a lot of hits (66) and walked way too many batters (25) this season in just 52 1/3 innings. While pitcher’s wins and losses are not the end all be in anymore, a team’s record on the days a pitchers starts is important. The Cubs are 3-7 in Wells’ ten starts … and have dropped the last five in a row. Wells is 0-1 in his last three starts with a 7.71 ERA and a 1.96 WHIP … teams are hitting .366 against him during that stretch.

Randy Wells has not faced the Astros this season and is 2-3 in six career starts versus Houston with a 3.11 ERA and a 1.49 WHIP.

Astros Career Numbers against Randy Wells

  • Clint Barmes – 0-for-6
  • Michael Bourn – 5-for-16 with 4 walks
  • Chris Johnson – 2-for-6 with a double
  • Carlos Lee – 4-for-18 with 2 home runs
  • Jason Michaels – 0-for-2 with a walk
  • Hunter Pence – 6-for-14 with a double, a home run and 4 walks
  • Humberto Quintero – 2-for-3 with a double
  • Angel Sanchez – 0-for-3
  • Brett Wallace – 0-for-3

The Cubs could be facing Wandy Rodriguez for the last time in an Astros’ uniform. Rodriguez is rumored to be on the market with several clubs interested in trading for the southpaw.

Rodriguez has been extremely inconsistent this season and is coming off three bad starts against the Pirates (twice) and Marlins. Pittsburgh scored four runs on eight hits against Rodriguez in his last outing in 5 2/3 innings. Wandy walked three and struck out a season-high 11 batters.

After posting a 3-1 record in four June starts with a 1.80 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP, Rodriguez is 0-2 in his last three outings with a 7.41 ERA and a 1.82 WHIP.

The Cubs beat Rodriguez back on April 13 in Houston (five runs on nine hits with two walks and four strikeouts in five innings) and the very talented lefty is 5-5 in 17 career starts versus the Cubs with a 4.04 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP … at Wrigley, 2-3 in nine starts with a 5.47 ERA and a 1.53 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Wandy Rodriguez

  • Jeff Baker – 7-for-14 with 4 doubles and a walk
  • Darwin Barney – 3-for-5 with a walk
  • Marlon Byrd – 5-for-25 with 2 doubles, a home run and a walk
  • Starlin Castro – 1-for-6
  • Blake DeWitt – 2-for-6 with a triple
  • Kosuke Fukudome – 1-for-6
  • Koyie Hill – 1-for-4 with a walk
  • Reed Johnson – 5-for-20 with a walk
  • Carlos Pena – 0-for-2 with a walk
  • Aramis Ramirez – 12-for-37 with a double, a home run and a walk
  • Alfonso Soriano – 3-for-29 with a home run and 3 walks
  • Geovany Soto – 7-for-16 with a home run and 4 walks

Boys of Spring – The Movie
Friend of the CCO, Tim Sheridan, is putting the finishing touches on a Cubs documentary about his time with the Chicago Cubs. Tim is the long-time P.A. announcer at HoHoKam Park in Mesa and the film is full of behind the scenes, never-before-see footage shot by Tim as he worked next to Cubs legends like Harry Caray and Ron Santo.

From the official press release: To be a part of Boys of Spring – The Movie, fans can donate as little as $10 using an account. As a thank you, fans will receive a copy of the Boys of Spring documentary before its official release next spring. There are a range of donation levels and rewards available on, including Cubs memorabilia and your name in the movie’s credits.

Boys of Spring isn’t about a team winning or losing. It’s about something deeper. An examination of life on its winding path and how, in spite of perceived failures, there is happiness and success. Cub fans will find joy this season and for years to come with the Boys of Spring film by donating and claiming their place in Cubs history. An epic World Series drought can’t stop the faithful Cubs followers, who know better than anyone – “There’s always next spring!”

The CCO will be running reminders during game previews for the next few weeks and I encourage the Faithful to check out ‘Boys of Spring – The Movie

Follow the CCO on Twitter: @TheCCO

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Quote of the Day

"The riches of the game are in the thrills, not in the money." – Ernie Banks

Share on Fancred
  • Neil

    Today’s lineup:

    Johnson – RF
    Castro – SS
    Ramirez – 3B
    Baker – 1B
    Soto – C
    Byrd – CF
    Soriano – LF
    Barney – 2B
    Wells – P

  • Gramps

    Just wondering how many teams have their utility infielder bat clean-up when he starts a game? To me that is a sad situation.

    • paulcatanese

      Gee Gramps, how can you say that about our Eliot Ness (untouchable) player, wouldnt be surprised to see him come in at relief on the mound. The guy is just an astronomical player, he can do it all,just ask JH and Quade.(I also think its sad).

  • Neil

    According to Bruce Levine, Tyler Colvin will be back with the Cubs (not I-Cubs) on August 1

    • Richard Hood

      I actually hope that he is somewhere else on August 1st but JH will keep him just so he can tell Ricketts see we can play kids.

    • Dorasaga

      Interesting. Will they send down Campana? Or perhaps Fukudome has a buyer?

      • Neil

        I think it will be due to a trade, not Campana being sent down.

        • Cheryl

          Sounds like Fuku has been traded. But I agree with Richard, Colvin would be better off elsewhere.

    • paulcatanese

      Why am I not surprised Neil?

  • Brp921

    Well we aren’t going to be able to use Barney as a defensive replacement for a pinch hitter now since Quades wasting him by putting him in the starting lineup. What is he thinking?

    • Richard Hood

      Your going to find out next year that will probably Barney’s role and he will be really good at it. Get about 400 AB’s a year as a replacement/utility player. Then again we actually have to have someone to replace him with first.

      • Brp921

        If someone can come in and beat him out of his job then thats fine, if not I’m happy with Barney. He’s done a credible job this year. Like a lot of young guys it would help him to be more selective in what he swings at, but that should come with time.

  • Tom U

    Today’s minor league starters:
    Iowa – Alberto Cabrera (1-2, 6.53)
    Tennessee – Trey NcNutt (1-3, 4.60)
    Daytona – Jeffry Antigua (2-0, 2.36)
    Peoria – TBA; Luis Liria (0-1, 10.80) projected
    Boise – Ben Wells (2-1, 4.45)
    AZL Cubs – Brian Smith (1-2, 2.95) projected

  • Jamessegerson

    So I heard we signed wayne gretskys kid

    • Neil

      Yes, the Cubs signed Trevor Gretzky

      • Richard Hood

        Isn’t that 19 of our picks so far Neil?

        • Neil

          I have 16 and that includes Darien Martin, the Cubs 13th round pick. More should be officially announced over the next 10 days. The deadline is August 15 … as you know.

          • Richard Hood

            OK I think I was getting a head of my self counting the signees that are not allowed to be announced yet that have been made public.

          • Neil

            My count is near the 19 on the “unofficial” side

          • Richard Hood

            yeah I think we are going to end up with at least the 25 that Aaron said would make this a solid draft. You add in the international FA’s added and it is a going to be a good day for the kids.

          • cubtex

            Jim Callis had a great article on why things are moving slow as usual due to the collective bargaining agreement. I think the Cubs will sign more than 25 including Baez,Voglelbach,Zych, and Dunston Jr. It appears that Maples will go to North Carolina. All in all….The Cubs will have added some really good talent to their farm system.

  • Neil

    Good to see Randy Wells brought his A-game today … first two batters reach on a single and a walk.

  • Neil

    Good job by Wells in the first

    • Brp921

      He got out of that jam well, now hopefully he can settle down.

  • Neil

    Byrd with a shot to left center … #5

    Keep hittin’ Marlon

  • Ryan7_21_05

    the Rickettes are in a spot to where they can’t do anything. I mean as far as the team itself goes. The Rickettes can’t do anything until the large contacts fall off the books. People are gettingng mad because he’s not getting ride of guys that are not playing well, but the ones that are not playing well are the large contact guys. The cubs can’t trade them as of yet because NO OTHER TEAM WANTS THEM. So they are stuck here. Next year if there are any problems with the team after the contracts are off the books will fall on the Rickettes . The problem they are having is the mess the tribune left the Rickettes. I think he is stuck and can’t do a damn thing until he has cleaned up the tribunes mess. After that mess is cleaned up and something goes wrong by all means point the finger at the Rickettes. I’m telling u look at the big picture and not just at the cubs are losing but why hasn’t anything happend in a changing way. No its not that they don’t care its because of the tribune. Just wait till the Rickettes can do what he wants. I se great things happening.

    • Dorasaga

      I respect your opinion, but I don’t want to hear an excuse from any member of the Ricketts family. Before the Ricketts fire Quade and Hendry, I don’t care what the owners “think” they should do.

      Come back and tell me what they actually DID–to elevate the Cubs from Miserable to a World Series contender.

  • Brp921

    Did I hear Len Casper and Bob Brenly correctly? I can’t believe Greg Maddux is not a first year of eligibility Hall of Famer. It will be a travesty if that happens. He is eighth all time in career victories. I don’t think anyone would think he was a steroid user. If any modern day player deserves it it is Greg Maddux.

    • Richard Hood

      This goes back to guilt by association. Sorry Maddux but there is probably a 1 year wait just because of his era.

      I am not saying he doesn’t deserve it. I just think that players are going to have to sweat for a bit right now.

      • Brp921

        At one time I was willing to give Sammy Sosa the benefit of the doubt. His brothers were really big guys and it was reasonable that Sosa could have just grown bigger as he matured. It wasn’t till some reporter in Chicago told Sosa that he could get him tested the next day and put all the talk to rest and Sosa went into a steroid rage on him that I was convinced about him. But I have got to say that if it ever turned out that Maddux used steroids, I would give up on the game, and my judgement of peoples character. I just can’t believe that the guys that vote for the Hall of Fame could feel any differently. Greg Maddux is a first year Hall of Famer if there ever was one. If he is not voted in the first year of eligibility then it is as much of an injustice as Ron Santo not making it in while he was still living.

  • Neil

    Solid throw by Soto to cut down Bourn … and an excellent pick by Barney

    • paulcatanese

      Agree Neil, but no tag, Bourn was safe.

  • Neil

    Soto with #9

  • Nathan

    The astros must really suck if wells pitched well haha

  • Jdarby

    I really hope that Wells isn’t back in the Cubs’ “plans” for 2012 just because he shut down the worst team in the league today.  The guy has been consistently bad all season long.

    • Neil

      I would label today’s start for Wells as “serviceable”.

  • Neil

    From Jon Heyman: Cubs continue to tell all interested parties
    that Sean Marshall isnt going anywhere

    • cubtex

      It seems like the Cubs are continuing to tell all parties that no one is available! You would think they were 20 games over .500 instead of 20 games under!

    • Jim_Tinley_Park


      Would you tell Cincy No if they offered up Yader Alonso for Marshall?

      • Neil

        Nope …

  • Neil

    Pat Gillick unequivocally denies #Cubs rumors:

    • Richard Hood

      If he has had conversations he can’t say so. The Cubs would have to ask permission to talk to him first. That has not happened yet.

  • Neil

    Castro with a very good at bat … single to left.

  • Neil

    #Cubs beat the Astros 5-1 Saturday afternoon. Randy Wells: 1R, 5H, 2BB, 4K in 6IP; Marlon Byrd: 2-for-3, HR, BB; Geovany Soto: 2-for-4, HR, 2 RBI; Starlin Castro: 1-for-4, RBI, R

  • paulcatanese

    Well two in a row, the Cubs have turned it around. I have no doubt the will win again tommorow to complete the longest winning streak of the year , and on a Sunday no less. Yes they are on their way, and the veterans have led them with stellar play. I expect that will be part of Quades post agame interview. Ah, but they have next week against the Brewers and Cardinals, and of course with a sweep of those two, they are on the way to the playoffs, wnd we dont need trades our whole team is untouchable.

  • Patrick_Schaefer