Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Giants – 08/29/11

Game One Hundred Thirty-Five: Cubs (57-77) vs. Giants (71-63)
Game Time – 9:15pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet Plus – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 188
Location – AT&T Park, San Francisco

Randy Wells (5-4, 5.53/1.48) vs. Tim Lincecum (12-10, 2.46/1.15)

After a rough weekend in Milwaukee, Q’s Cubs made the long flight out to the left coast and open a three-game series tonight against the defending World Series Champions. While the Cubs were busy being swept by the Brewers, the Giants hand their hands full with the Astros. The Giants split the four game series with Houston and enter play tonight four games back of the division leading Arizona Diamondbacks.

Q’s offense has really struggled of late and it will not get any easier for the Cubs over the next three games. After facing Tim Lincecum tonight, Bruce Bochy will send Ryan Vogelsong to the hill on Tuesday night and Madison Bumgarner will pitch the finale on Wednesday afternoon. The Cubs have hit the ball but not when it counts. Over the last seven games, the Cubs are 9-for-63 with runners in scoring position and have left 59 runners on base. The Cubs are 1-6 during that span and have been outscored 32-18.

Randy Wells posted the Cubs only win over the last eight games and looks to build on his last start against the Braves. Wells has shown improvement of late but must keep it up in order to open the eyes of the Cubs new administration.

Due to the MLB schedule makers, the Cubs and Giants have already played two series against each other this season. The teams split the six games played at Wrigley (two in May and four in three days in June, 3-3) earlier this year. After the brief trip to San Francisco, the Cubs still have one more trip to the West Coast this season … three in San Diego to finish the season.

In other newsAndrew Cashner is expected to make his third rehab appearance tonight for the Smokies. If all goes as planned, Cashner will be bumped up to Iowa this week, pitch in a couple of games and be activated when the Cubs return home to face the Pirates on Friday.

The Cubs have dropped seven of eight … and tonight it all begins with Randy Wells.

Randy Wells is coming off his best start of the year … and arguably his best since his rookie campaign. Wells pitched with a confidence he’s not shown in quite some time. Wells allowed only one hit through six innings and ended up allowed one run on two hits with a pair of walks and six strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings. Wells’ only mistake came with two outs in the seventh … a homer by Chipper Jones.

Wells has shown improvement of late (3-0 in last five starts with a 4.26 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP) and he needs to put together a strong final five weeks of the season. Wells’ problems have been home runs, walks and the first inning. Wells did an excellent job against the Braves and must follow up with a similar performance tonight.

Randy Wells has struggled on the road this season (2-2 in seven starts with a 6.43 ERA and a 1.60 WHIP) and will face the Giants for the first time this year.

Tonight will be Wells’ fourth career start against San Francisco. Wells is 1-1 in the first three with a 5.50 ERA and a 1.67 WHIP … at AT&T Park, 0-1 in two starts with a 9.58 ERA and a 2.23 WHIP (12 runs, 11 earned, on 18 hits with five walks, three strikeouts and three homers allowed in 10 1/3 innings).

Giants Career Numbers against Randy Wells

  • Orlando Cabrera – 0-for-1
  • Mark DeRosa – 0-for-2
  • Mike Fontenot – 0-for-1
  • Aubrey Huff – 1-for-5 with a walk
  • Jeff Keppinger – 4-for-11
  • Cody Ross – 2-for-7 with a double and a home run
  • Aaron Rowand – 0-for-3
  • Pablo Sandoval – 3-for-7 with a triple, a home run and a walk
  • Miguel Tejada – 2-for-15 with a walk
  • Eli Whiteside – 2-for-3 with 2 doubles

Tim Lincecum is coming off another excellent outing (one run on four hits with five walks and seven strikeouts in eight innings against the Padres) and is in the middle of a typical Lincecum stretch of starts.

The Freak‘ has not allowed more than two earned runs in his last nine starts and has allowed more than one earned run only once over that stretch (August 2 against Arizona). The last time Lincecum allowed more than two earned runs was a loss to the Padres back on July 4 (three runs on seven hits with a walk and four strikeouts in five innings).

Tim Lincecum is 3-2 in his last five starts with a 1.23 ERA and a 0.95 WHIP … since the break, 5-3 in eight starts with a 1.13 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP.

Tonight will be Lincecum’s second outing of the season against the Cubs. He received a no decision back on June 29 at Wrigley after tossing seven innings of one-run, five-hit ball with two walks and nine strikeouts. Lincecum is 3-3 in eight career starts against the Cubs with a 3.21 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Tim Lincecum

  • Jeff Baker – 0-for-1 with 2 walks
  • Darwin Barney – 0-for-3
  • Starlin Castro – 2-for-6
  • Tyler Colvin – 1-for-2 with a walk
  • Blake DeWitt – 8-for-18 with 2 doubles and a walk
  • Koyie Hill – 2-for-9 with a home run and a walk
  • Reed Johnson – 1-for-8 with a double
  • Carlos Pena – 1-for-3 with a double
  • Aramis Ramirez – 3-for-15
  • Alfonso Soriano – 2-for-8 with a double
  • Geovany Soto – 0-for-4

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