Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Braves – 08/24/11

Game One Hundred Thirty: Cubs (56-73) vs. Braves (78-52)
Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet, MLB Network – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Randy Wells (4-4, 5.84/1.54) vs. Derek Lowe (8-11, 4.73/1.48)

Updated 5:02pm CDT According to multiple reports, the Yankees claimed Carlos Pena on Waivers

The Cubs will try to get back in the win column tonight behind Randy Wells. Q’s Cubs are 13-8 over the last 24 games despite struggling with runners in scoring position. The Cubs are a pathetic 3-for-27 in the first two games of this season and have left 24 runners on base.

For as much as the Cubs could use a long, successful outing from Randy Wells, the Cubs also need for the offense to step up and start doing their job.

In other newsAndrew Cashner made his first minor league rehab appearance on Tuesday night. Cashner threw 2/3 of an inning and allowed two runs on three hits without a walk and two strikeouts. Cashner struck out the first two batters he faced and threw 23 pitches, 15 for strikes. The plan for Cashner is to get a few more appearances under his belt in Double-A then move up to Iowa before a possible return to the big leagues.

With August coming to an end, September call-ups are just around the corner. The Cubs have not decided which players will join the big league team and they have three spots open on the 40-man roster (Carlos Zambrano is on the disqualified list and does not count against the 40-man roster). There has been talk that Bryan LaHair could be one of the call-ups. LaHair would have to be added to the 40-man roster.

Tonight is a rematch of the game in Atlanta back on August 13. The Cubs won the game 8-4. The Cubs have dropped three in a row … and tonight it all begins with Randy Wells.

Randy Wells is coming off another shaky outing. Wells received a no decision in a Cubs win over the Cardinals (5-4) after allowing four runs on four hits with three walks and five strikeouts in seven innings. Wells served up two more home runs (Yadier Molina and David Freese) but settled down after the fourth and kept his team in the game.

Wells has shown improvement but continues to struggle in the early innings, especially with walks and home runs. In 16 starts (89 1/3 innings) this season, Wells has walked 34 batters and served up 18 home runs (Wells allowed 19 longballs in 32 starts, 194 1/3 innings, in 2010). Wells must quit giving the opposition free baserunners … and keep the ball in the park.

Randy Wells is 2-0 in his last four starts with a 5.04 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP.

Wells beat the Braves in Atlanta last week after putting together a serviceable five-plus inning start (two runs on eight hits without a walk and a strikeout). For his career, Wells is 3-1 in five starts versus Atlanta with a 3.00 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP.

Braves Career Numbers against Randy Wells

  • Michael Bourn – 7-for-21 with 5 walks
  • Freddie Freeman – 1-for-3
  • Alex Gonzalez – 2-for-13 with a home run
  • Jason Heyward – 2-for-4 with a home run and 2 walks
  • Chipper Jones – 4-for-10 with a double and a walk
  • Derek Lowe – 0-for-2
  • Julio Lugo – 0-for-1
  • Brian McCann – 1-for-12
  • Martin Prado – 3-for-15 with a double
  • Dan Uggla – 3-for-4 with a home run and a walk

Derek Lowe is in the middle of a difficult season but is coming off a win against Arizona. Lowe held the D’Backs scoreless for five innings and gave up just four hits. Lowe came within one strikeout of tying his season high. Lowe struck out seven D’Backs and issued just two walks. Lowe is 2-2 in his last four starts with a 6.00 ERA and a 1.76 WHIP.

Lowe has pitched better outside of Turner Field (5-8 in 16 starts with a 4.62 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP) than his has at his home park (3-3 in 11 starts with a 4.90 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP) this season.

The Cubs hung a rare loss on Derek Lowe when they faced him on August 13. Q’s offense scored five runs on 10 hits against Lowe in six innings. The Cubs did not work a walk and struck out six times.

Derek Lowe has pretty much owned the Cubs throughout his career … 3-2 in 11 starts with a 3.89 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP, 1-0 in four starts (complete game shutout) at Wrigley Field with a 2.67 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Derek Lowe

  • Jeff Baker – 1-for-1 with 2 walks
  • Darwin Barney – 3-for-4
  • Marlon Byrd – 1-for-6 with a home run
  • Starlin Castro – 3-for-4
  • Tyler Colvin – 2-for-3 with a double and a triple
  • Koyie Hill – 1-for-8
  • Reed Johnson – 4-for-14 with a double
  • Carlos Pena – 7-for-20 with 2 doubles, a triple and a walk
  • Aramis Ramirez – 5-for-18 with a double, a home run and 2 walks
  • Alfonso Soriano – 14-for-62 with 2 doubles and 3 home runs
  • Geovany Soto – 2-for-10 with a walk
  • Randy Wells – 0-for-2

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Quote of the Day

"People who write about Spring Training not being necessary have never tried to throw a baseball." – Sandy Koufax