Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Cardinals – 08/19/11

Game One Hundred Twenty-Five: Cubs (54-70) vs. Cardinals (66-58)
Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Randy Wells (4-4, 5.90/1.59) vs. Jaime Garcia (10-6, 3.42/1.32)

Updated: 12:01pm CDT – Jim Hendry Fired as Cubs GM – Announcement made Friday morning. Tom Ricketts made the decision and told Jim Hendry on July 22.

After a disappointing finish to the six-game road trip, Q’s Cubs return to the field this afternoon to begin a seven-game homestand. Following the three-game weekend series against the Redbirds, the Cubs open a four-game series on Monday with the Braves.

The Cubs have played some of their worst ball of the season against the Cardinals and have a 2-7 record to prove it. This weekend is the last trip to Chicago for the Cards this season … the two long-time rivals wrap up their season series in September in St. Louis (September 23 – September 25).

Q’s offense will not face Chris Carpenter this weekend but get to deal with Jaime Garcia, Edwin Jackson and Jake Westbrook.

The Cubs starting staff had a very rough road trip and must start putting together long, quality outings. Five innings is simply not enough from a starting staff on a daily basis. While the Cubs have nothing to play for but pride and jobs this season, burning out relievers such as Sean Marshall (58 innings in 59 games), Jeff Samardzija (68 2/3 innings in 58 games) and Carlos Marmol (57 1/3 innings in 59 games) could have lasting effects past this summer.

Jeff Baker and Reed Johnson are expected to be in the starting lineup with the lefty on the mound this afternoon.

The Cubs have 38 games remaining on their schedule (19 at home, 19 on the road) and this afternoon it all begins with Randy Wells

Randy Wells is coming off a decent but short outing against the Atlanta Braves. Wells did his job, put his team in position to win the game and was able to pick up his fourth victory of the season. Wells pitched into the sixth but did not record an out … and the Cubs pulled away late. Wells allowed two runs on eight hits in five-plus inning without a walk and one strikeout.

With more questions than answers surrounding the Cubs rotation, not only for the remainder of this season but next year as well, it would be a good time for Randy Wells to step up and perform the way he did in 2009.

Walks, home runs and the first inning have all been Wells undoing this year. In 15 starts (82 1/3 innings), Wells has walked 31, served up 16 home runs (10 in his last seven starts) and allowed 17 runs (all earned) in the first innings this season.

Randy Wells is 2-0 in his last three starts with a 5.00 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP.

Wells has faced his favorite boyhood team only once this season and received a no decision back on June 4. Wells allowed four runs on three hits (with a home run) with a walk and a strikeout in 5 2/3 innings. Wells could not retire Albert Pujols and neither could Jeff Samardzija in the 12th inning (first of back-to-back walk offs in extras by Pujols). Wells is 2-2 in six career games, five starts, with a 4.40 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP.

Cardinals Career Numbers against Randy Wells

  • Lance Berkman – 3-for-10 with 4 walks
  • Daniel Descalso – 0-for-2
  • Rafael Furcal – 4-for-9 with a home run and a walk
  • Matt Holliday – 3-for-7 with a double
  • Jon Jay – 1-for-8 with a walk
  • Yadier Molina – 3-for-8 with 2 doubles and a walk
  • Albert Pujols – 3-for-11 with a double and a home run
  • Skip Schumaker – 2-for-13
  • Ryan Theriot – 1-for-2 with a walk

Jaime Garcia is in the middle of a bad stretch of starts and there was talk the Cardinals might skip his turn in the rotation in order to get him more work with Dave Duncan. Garcia is coming off a loss to the Rockies in which he gave up five runs on six hits with four walks and three strikeouts in five innings.

Garcia has not posted a win in nearly a month (July 23) and while wins and losses for a pitcher is not the best way to determine if a pitcher is being effective or not, a 1.93 WHIP in his last three starts tells the story of how bad Garcia has been.

Since the break Garcia is 1-3 with a 4.08 ERA and a 1.53 WHIP and in his last three starts, 0-1 with a 6.00 ERA and a 1.93 WHIP.

Today will be Garcia’s third start of the year against the Cubs … 2-0 with a 1.20 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP (two runs on 13 hits in 15 innings with two walks and 12 strikeouts). For his career, Garcia is 2-1 in four games, three starts, against the Cubs with a 1.64 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP … at Wrigley, 1-0 in two games, one start, with a 1.13 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP. If Jaime Garcia struggles again this afternoon, the Cardinals should be very concerned.

Cubs Career Numbers against Jaime Garcia

  • Jeff Baker – 3-for-7
  • Darwin Barney – 1-for-11
  • Marlon Byrd – 1-for-7
  • Tony Campana – 0-for-1
  • Starlin Castro – 1-for-7 with a double
  • Tyler Colvin – 0-for-5
  • Blake DeWitt – 1-for-1
  • Reed Johnson – 1-for-1 with a double
  • Carlos Pena – 0-for-4 with 2 walks
  • Aramis Ramirez – 2-for-7 with a double
  • Alfonso Soriano – 3-for-6
  • Geovany Soto – 3-for-5 with a walk

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