Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Brewers – 09/21/11

Game One Hundred Fifty-Six: Cubs (68-87) vs. Brewers (91-64)
Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Matt Garza (8-10, 3.51/1.29) vs. Randy Wolf (13-9, 3.45/1.28)

The last game of the season at Wrigley Field

The Cubs will suit up for the final time this season in the clubhouse at Wrigley Field … and many of the players will be playing their last game as a Cub at the Friendly Confines. John Grabow, Rodrigo Lopez and Ramon Ortiz do not figure to be in the Cubs plans moving forward and all three are free agents at the end of the season. Alfonso Soriano could also be playing his last home game at Wrigley. The Cubs will reportedly try to move him this winter … and are willing to eat a majority of his remaining contract. Marlon Byrd said he knows he could be traded.Reed Johnson will be a free agent and his future with the team is unknown.

Then there is the Cubs’ manager … most feel today will be Mike Quade’s final home game as the skipper of the Chicago Cubs.

Aramis Ramirez left Tuesday’s game after the sixth inning with a mild strain in his right quad. Ramirez is doubtful for today. Following Tuesday’s game, Ramirez admitted he’s probably played his final game as a Cub at Wrigley Field.

Prior to the beginning of the homestand (3-2), Starlin Castro said he would like to reach the 200-hit mark in front of the home crowd. Castro collected no. 197 on Tuesday and will have at least four at bats to reach his goal this afternoon. Castro also enters play having reached base safely in 33 straight games.

Mike Quade mentioned Monday that Bryan LaHair would likely get the start today at first base. Quade said he wanted Carlos Pena to face Chris Narveson in the opener and would give LaHair the start against the Brewers’ other southpaw, Randy Wolf, this afternoon.

Steve Clevenger will get at least one start before the end of the season, likely against the Padres in the final series of the season. Clevenger is expected to compete for the backup catcher’s job in the spring … which puts Koyie Hill’s future with the Cubs in question as well.

The Cubs are 38-42 at Wrigley this season … and the Cubs last home game of the year begins with Matt Garza.

Matt Garza is coming off his second nine-inning start of the season … too bad his manager left him in one batter too long. Garza allowed one run to Houston in the first eight innings of last Friday’s start. Garza had made only one mistake and his pitch count was extremely manageable. Garza struggled with his command in the ninth and ended up serving up a two-run homer to Carlos Lee (1-2 pitch with two outs) after he shook off Geovany Soto twice. Garza received a no decision in a 4-3 Cubs victory that took 12 innings to complete.

Garza has been very good this season for a bad team and has shown steady improvement in nearly every start. Garza is 1-0 in his last three starts with a 2.66 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP (16 strikeouts and six walks) and is 4-3 in 13 starts since the break with a 2.69 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP (80 strikeouts in 87 innings with 27 walks).

Today will be Garza’s 17th and final home start of the season. Garza is 5-5 in the first 16 with a 2.67 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP.

Matt Garza has faced the Brewers twice this season … he’s won one and lost the other but did not fare well in either. The Brewers have scored five runs in each of the games against Garza this season (10 runs on 14 hits in 11 2/3 innings with 11 strikeouts and six walks, 7.71 ERA and a 1.71 WHIP).

Brewers Career Numbers against Matt Garza

  • Yuniesky Betancourt – 5-for-21 with a double
  • Ryan Braun – 3-for-5 with a double, a home run and a walk
  • Prince Fielder – 3-for-6 with 3 doubles
  • Jerry Hairston, Jr. – 2-for-3
  • Corey Hart – three walks
  • Mark Kotsay – 1-for-5
  • George Kottaras – 1-for-4 with a home run
  • Casey McGehee – 1-for-6 with a double
  • Nyjer Morgan – 3-for-5 with a triple
  • Rickie Weeks – 2-for-6 with a walk

The Cubs will see a very familiar foe in the final game of the season at Wrigley. Randy Wolf will make his 23rd career start against the Cubs today and is coming off a solid start against the Reds.

Randy Wolf is in the middle of his best stretch of the season. Not only are the Brewers 8-2 in his last 10 starts but Wolf has not allowed more than three earned runs in his last three starts. Wolf held the Reds to three runs on seven hits in seven innings last Friday. The free-swinging Reds struck out seven times and did not manage a single walk.

Randy Wolf is 2-0 in his last three starts with a 2.45 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP.

Wolf will face the Cubs for the fourth time this season … and the veteran southpaw has held the Cubs’ offense in check. Wolf is 1-1 in the first three with a 1.37 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Randy Wolf

  • Jeff Baker – 9-for-21 with 2 doubles, a home run and a walk
  • Darwin Barney – 0-for-6
  • Marlon Byrd – 4-for-13 with a double, 2 home runs and a walk
  • Tony Campana – 0-for-3
  • Starlin Castro – 5-for-15 with a double and a home run
  • Tyler Colvin – 0-for-5
  • Blake DeWitt – 0-for-7
  • Reed Johnson – 2-for-12
  • D.J. LeMahieu – 1-for-3
  • Luis Montanez – 1-for-3
  • Carlos Pena – 0-for-6
  • Aramis Ramirez – 6-for-33 with 2 doubles, a home run and 2 walks
  • Alfonso Soriano – 7-for-32 with 2 home runs and 4 walks
  • Geovany Soto – 8-for-27 with a double, 3 home runs and 2 walks

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