Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Pirates – 09/04/11

Game One Hundred Forty: Cubs (59-80) vs. Pirates (64-75)
Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Randy Wells (6-4, 5.06/1.38) vs. Charlie Morton (9-8, 3.74/1.51)

The Cubs and Pirates square off for the last time this season with the Cubs looking to salvage the finale behind Randy Wells. The Cubs have had a ton of trouble with Pittsburgh dating back to the final series in 2009 … and simply do not match up well against the Pirates. The Cubs are 12-20 over the past two-plus years versus the Battlin’ Bucs and must win this afternoon to finish the season series with a .500 mark (Cubs 7-8 versus Pirates this season, 2-6 at Wrigley).

Q’s veteran lineup has refused all year, and for the majority of the last three seasons, to change their approach with runners in scoring position. The Cubs become very predictable and incredibly impatient at the plate with runners on base. Over the last 12 games, the Cubs are 15-for-103 with runners in scoring position and have left 97 runners on base. The Cubs are 3-9 during that span and have been outscored 48-36.

Today would be a good time for Mike Quade to give Tony Campana a start in center … and Bryan LaHair his first start in a Cubs’ uniform. Alfonso Soriano has been hot of late but has a less than stellar line against Charlie Morton (1-for-9). Marlon Byrd has been struggling of late, especially with runners on base, and is 1-for-8 with a walk against Morton.

There are 23 games remaining on the Cubs 2011 schedule and Q’s squad is 5-16 on Sundays this year. Today it all begins with Randy Wells

Randy Wells is coming off, by far, the best start of his big league career. Wells took advantage of the Giants’ offense and tossed the first complete game shutout of his career. Wells allowed just two hits and four baserunners (a walk, two hits and an error) over nine innings and struck out seven.

Wells is coming off back-to-back wins and has posted a victory in each of his last four decisions (Cubs have won his last four starts).

Randy Wells is 4-0 in his last six starts with a 3.32 ERA and a 0.91 WHIP … 2-0 in his last two starts with a 0.57 ERA and a 0.45 WHIP.

This afternoon will be Wells’ third start of the season against the Bucs … 1-1 in two starts with a 6.30 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP.

Pirates Career Numbers against Randy Wells

  • Ronny Cedeno – 2-for-12 with a home run
  • Ryan Doumit – 1-for-5 with a double and a walk
  • Jason Jaramillo – 3-for-5 with a double
  • Derrek Lee – 0-for-5 with a walk
  • Andrew McCutchen – 8-for-16 with a double, a triple and a walk
  • Michael McKenry – 0-for-2
  • Xavier Paul – 0-for-4
  • Steve Pearce – 1-for-2
  • Jose Tabata – 0-for-5 with a walk
  • Neil Walker – 5-for-8 with a double

The last time the Cubs faced Charlie Morton, the former Atlanta Brave shut them out for seven innings. The Cubs won the game thanks to a solo homer by Starlin Castro. Morton made the Cubs look very bad all night long (five hits, two walks and seven strikeouts).

Charlie Morton has really turned his career around after spending time in the off-season with Roy Halladay. Morton is coming off back-to-back losses and may be running out of gas like the rest of his rotation mates. Morton has already doubled his innings total from a year ago and has thrown 50 more innings (149 1/3) this season than his previous career high (97 in 2009).

Morton is 1-2 in his last six starts with a 2.84 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP.

This afternoon will be Morton’s sixth career start against the Cubs and second of this season. Morton is 2-2 in five career outings versus Chicago with a 5.68 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Charlie Morton

  • Jeff Baker – 0-for-5
  • Darwin Barney – 1-for-3
  • Marlon Byrd – 1-for-8 with a walk
  • Starlin Castro – 2-for-3
  • Tyler Colvin – 0-for-2
  • Blake DeWitt – 1-for-3
  • Koyie Hill – 1-for-3 with a triple
  • Reed Johnson – 0-for-1
  • Carlos Pena – 2-for-2 with 2 doubles and a walk
  • Aramis Ramirez – 2-for-7
  • Alfonso Soriano – 1-for-9
  • Geovany Soto – 1-for-6 with a double

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