Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Pirates – 08/02/11

Game One Hundred Ten: Cubs (44-65) vs. Pirates (54-53)
Game Time – 6:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – PNC Park, Pittsburgh

Randy Wells (2-4, 6.16/1.68) vs. Kevin Correia (12-8, 4.24/1.32)

It took the Cubs 102 games to put together their first three game winning streak of the season, could Q’s squad repeat the feat tonight in Pittsburgh? The Cubs have played two of their better games of the season in back-to-back days and will give the ball to Randy Wells tonight.

The Cubs could be without Aramis Ramirez for the second game in a row. Ramirez is 1-for-21 on the trip and is dealing with quad issues again. Ramirez is listed as day-to-day and Blake DeWitt could get the start at third tonight. If DeWitt is not at the hot corner, look for him to give Darwin Barney a much-needed night off.

Will Tyler Colvin find his way back in Mike Quade’s starting lineup? Colvin sat Sunday against a right-handed pitcher in order to get Reed Johnson at bats before he faced the lefty Paul Maholm on Monday night. Jim Hendry said the biggest reason they traded Kosuke Fukudome was to create playing time for Tyler Colvin. If the Cubs truly want to see what he could bring to the table, they must give him regular playing time. Colvin will reportedly be in the starting lineup for the final three games of the road trip.

In other news Andrew Cashner threw off a mound again Monday and felt no pain. Cashner is hoping to be back in three weeks, the Cubs are shooting for a September return.

Tonight it all starts with Randy Wells

Randy Wells is pitching for his future, either with the Cubs or somewhere else. Wells has struggled mightily this season and is coming off another poor performance. Wins and losses and ERA are not the best way to judge a pitcher’s performance, but WHIP is a good way to see how effective a pitcher may or may not be. Wells enters play tonight with a 1.68 WHIP … that is 79 hits and 29 walks in 64 1/3 innings, 108 baserunners in 64 1/3 innings is beyond horrible.

Wells is coming off another bad outing against the Brewers in which he allowed four runs on eight hits with two walks and two strikeouts in six innings. Wells gave up more first inning runs and continues to put his team in a hole early in each of his starts … 15 runs, 21 hits and seven walks in 12 first innings this season.

After a 0-1 record in five June starts with a 6.58 ERA and a 1.58 WHIP (teams hit .282), Randy Wells regressed in July to the tune of a 1-2 record in five starts with a 6.04 ERA and a 1.73 WHIP (teams hit .336).

The Pirates hit Wells pretty good in his only start against them this season. Wells lasted only four innings and gave up five runs on five hits with three walks and seven strikeouts. Wells is 2-2 in six career starts versus Pittsburgh with a 4.50 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP … at PNC Park, 1-1 in three starts with a 4.50 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP.

Pirates Career Numbers against Randy Wells

  • Pedro Alvarez – 1-for-2 with a walk
  • Ronny Cedeno – 1-for-10 with a home run
  • Matt Diaz – 0-for-3
  • Garrett Jones – 4-for-14 with a double and a walk
  • Derrek Lee – 0-for-2 with a walk
  • Ryan Ludwick – 4-for-9 with 2 doubles, 2 home runs and a walk
  • Andrew McCutchen – 7-for-13 with a double, a triple and a walk
  • Lyle Overbay – 0-for-1 with a walk
  • Xavier Paul – 0-for-3
  • Neil Walker – 4-for-5 with a double

Kevin Correia is one of the reasons the Pirates enter play tonight in the middle of the race in the NL Central. After a rough stretch against the Cubs and Cardinals, Correia rebounded with a very good start against the Braves. Correia allowed two runs, one earned, on nine hits with a walk and three strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings. In order for the Pirates to continue to compete, they will need the Kevin Correia from the first three months of the season.

Correia is 2-2 in his last five starts with a 6.08 ERA and a 1.65 WHIP.

The Pirates’ Opening Day starter has been unbelievable on the road this season (10-2 in 13 starts with a 2.74 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP) and less than serviceable at PNC this year (2-6 in 10 games, nine starts, with a 6.62 ERA and a 1.63 WHIP).

Correia owned the Cubs in his two starts at Wrigley (2-0 with a 1.35 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP) but lasted only 3 2/3 innings against Q’s squad at PNC (five runs on nine hits with a walk and two strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings).

Cubs Career Numbers against Kevin Correia

  • Jeff Baker – 2-for-6 with a home run
  • Darwin Barney – 5-for-11 with a double
  • Marlon Byrd – 2-for-15
  • Tony Campana – 0-for-3
  • Starlin Castro – 4-for-9 with a double
  • Blake DeWitt – 1-for-8 with a double and 2 walks
  • Koyie Hill – 1-for-7
  • Reed Johnson – 0-for-1
  • Carlos Pena – 4-for-9 with 2 walks
  • Aramis Ramirez – 4-for-16 with 2 walks
  • Alfonso Soriano – 3-for-14
  • Geovany Soto – 2-for-9 with a double and 2 walks

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Quote of the Day

"Don’t ever permit the pressure to exceed the pleasure." - Joe Maddon