Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Nationals – 07/06/11

Game Eighty-Eight: Cubs (35-52) vs. Nationals (44-43)
Game Time – 6:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Nationals Park, Washington D.C.

Randy Wells (1-3, 6.59/1.63) vs. Tom Gorzelanny (2-6, 3.77/1.27)

The Cubs will give the ball to Randy Wells tonight with the hopes Wells can end the Cubs two-game losing streak. For all of the holes in the rotation right now, the starters have not been the problem of late. The Cubs offense has all but stopped hitting with runners in scoring position again and the defense is giving extra outs and opportunities with regularity again.

Starlin Castro is expected back in the starting lineup after receiving Tuesday night off. Darwin Barney was scheduled to get the night off but the latest injury to Jeff Baker might not make that possible.

Jeff Baker left Tuesday night’s game with back spasms (Cubs third back injury in less than a week) and is listed as day-to-day. With Tom Gorzelanny on the hill, Mike Quade doesn’t figure to insert Blake DeWitt at second if Baker cannot start.

After a flurry of roster moves prior to Tuesday’s game, there could be more on the horizon that could include D.J. LeMahieu being recalled from Triple-A Iowa.

In other newsRyan Dempster was not placed on the DL Tuesday and the Cubs are hoping he can start Saturday night’s game in Pittsburgh. Quade said Dempster was feeling better prior to Tuesday’s game. If Dempster avoids the disabled list and can start Saturday that would put him in line to pitch the first game back from the break on July 14 against the Marlins.

Marcos Mateo underwent an MRI Tuesday and the Cubs are expected to find out the extent of the injury today. Mike Quade does not think Mateo’s injury is a related to the five innings he pitched in relief of Carlos Zambrano last Thursday.

Tonight it all starts with Randy Wells

Randy Wells has a lot of work to do over the last three months of the season. Wells is coming off another bad start one in which Mike Quade admitted he left him in too long. Wells gave up a pair of runs to the Sox in the first inning before settling down and throwing five good innings. Wells allowed four runs in the seventh in a blink of an eye … and the Cubs could not recover.

Wells is 0-2 in his last six starts with a 6.96 ERA and a 1.58 WHIP … 26 runs, 25 earned, on 37 hits with 14 walks and 14 strikeouts in 32 1/3 innings.

Randy Wells has struggled mightily outside of Wrigley and is 0-1 in three road starts this season with a 8.36 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP.

Tonight will be Wells’ third career start versus the Nationals. Wells is 1-1 in the first two with a 7.15 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP … at Nationals Park, 1-0 in one start with a 7.20 ERA and a 1.60 WHIP (four runs on seven hits with a walk and a strikeout in five innings).

Nationals Career Numbers against Randy Wells

  • Rick Ankiel – 0-for-5 with a walk
  • Alex Cora – 1-for-2
  • Laynce Nix – 2-for-11 with a double and a walk
  • Ivan Rodriguez – 0-for-4 with a walk
  • Jayson Werth – 2-for-3 with a double
  • Ryan Zimmerman – 1-for-5 with a home run

The Cubs will get their first look at a former teammate with his new team. Tom Gorzelanny has put together a good season for the Nationals and said Tuesday he’s looking forward to facing his old team.

Gorzelanny has not posted a win since May 7 (spent time on the DL in June) but it is not because of the way he’s pitched. Gorzelanny held the Pirates to one run on six hits in seven innings of work in his last outing and has allowed one earned run in his last two starts (14 innings).

Tom Gorzelanny is 0-2 in his last three starts with a 2.41 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP.

Tonight will be Gorzelanny’s eighth career start versus the Cubs … 3-4 in eight career games, seven starts, with a 6.64 ERA and a 1.60 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Tom Gorzelanny

  • Marlon Byrd – 2-for-3
  • Blake DeWitt – 1-for-3 with a walk
  • Kosuke Fukudome – 2-for-4
  • Reed Johnson – 2-for-7 with a double and 4 walks
  • Carlos Pena – 1-for-3
  • Aramis Ramirez – 2-for-17 with 2 walks
  • Alfonso Soriano – 4-for-18 with 3 home runs
  • Geovany Soto – 7-for-11 with 2 doubles, a home run and a walk

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Quote of the Day

"You can’t sit on a lead and kill the clock. You’ve got to give the other man his chance. That’s why baseball is the greatest game." - Earl Weaver