Game One Hundred Fifty-Nine: Cubs (70-88) vs. Cardinals (87-71)
Game Time – 1:15pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 186
Location – Busch Stadium, St. Louis
Randy Wells (7-5, 5.09/1.41) vs. Edwin Jackson (12-9, 3.85/1.45 – 5-2, 3.73/1.49)
Four games remain on the Cubs 2011 schedule …
The Cubs will suit up for the final time on Sunday this season … and try to bounce back from Saturday’s loss against the Cardinals. The Cubs gave the Cardinals life in the NL Wild Card race but a win today could make life a little more difficult for Tony LaRussa’s team.
The Cubs have already lost the season series against the Cardinals (5-9) but still have a chance to win a series against their longtime rival … plus with two more wins, the Cubs will guarantee themselves a winning record for final month of the season (11-10 in September). Since July 31, the Cubs are 28-23, five games over .500.
Prior to his last two starts, Randy Wells was in the middle of the best stretch of his big league career. Wells was pitching with confidence and command and barely resembled the pitcher that struggled last season and got off to a bad start this year. Wells needs to finish he season on a positive note with a quality start and a win this afternoon against the Cardinals.
Starlin Castro ran his streak of reaching base safely to 36 games with a 1-for-4 performance on Saturday. Castro has already set the mark for Cubs’ shortstops … Jerome Walton is next on the list. Walton reached base safely in 43 straight in 1989. If Castro runs the table this season, he would be three games short of tying Walton’s mark.
Will Mike Quade run out a lineup today with younger players, such as D.J. LeMahieu and Tony Campana that might give him a better chance to win or will he stick with the vets that have provided virtually the same results all season?
The Cubs are 7-17 on Sundays in 2011 … and today it all begins with Randy Wells. After one of the best stretches of his career, Randy Wells has come crashing back to reality in his last two starts. The Reds pounded Wells to the tune of five runs on seven hits with two walks and hit two long home runs back on September 15. Cincinnati knocked Wells out in the fifth (4 1/3 innings). Wells did not bounce back against Milwaukee in his last start and gave up five runs on six hits in five innings. Wells was off again, could not locate his changeup and when he did it was flat and extremely hittable.
Randy Wells is 1-1 in his last four starts with a 5.24 ERA and a 1.52 WHIP … but 0-1 in his last two with a 9.65 ERA and a 1.82 WHIP.
Today is an important game for Randy Wells.
Randy Wells has faced his childhood team twice this year and has two no decisions with a 5.68 ERA and a 0.87 WHIP (eight runs on seven hits with four walks, six strikeouts and three home runs allowed in 12 2/3 innings).
Cardinals Career Numbers against Randy Wells
- Lance Berkman – 3-for-13 with 5 walks
- Allen Craig – 0-for-3
- Daniel Descalso – 0-for-2
- David Freese – 1-for-3 with a home run
- Rafael Furcal – 4-for-12 with a double, a home run and 2 walks
- Matt Holliday – 3-for-10 with a double
- Edwin Jackson – 0-for-2
- Jon Jay – 1-for-8 with a walk
- Yadier Molina – 4-for-11 with 2 doubles, a home run and a walk
- Albert Pujols – 3-for-13 with a double, a home run and a walk
- Nick Punto – 1-for-1 with a walk
- Skip Schumaker – 2-for-13
- Ryan Theriot – 2-for-5 with a double and a walk
Edwin Jackson is coming off a rough outing and a no decision against the Mets. Jackson gave up five runs on nine hits with four walks and four strikeouts in five innings … it was his first bad start since August 3 in Milwaukee (10 runs, eight earned, on 14 hits in seven innings with a walk and six strikeouts). Jackson has given up only three earned runs in a single start once in his previous eight outings and that was to the Cubs back on August 20.
Jackson is 1-0 in his last four starts with a 4.01 ERA and a 1.62 WHIP.
This afternoon will be Edwin Jackson’s fourth start of the season against the Cubs. Jackson made one of the first three in a White Sox uniform. Jackson is 2-1 versus the Cubs this year with a 3.60 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP.
Cubs Career Numbers against Edwin Jackson
- Darwin Barney – 2-for-8 with a double
- Marlon Byrd – 5-for-19 with 3 doubles and a home run
- Starlin Castro – 3-for-12 with a walk
- Tyler Colvin – 1-for-5
- Blake DeWitt – 3-for-8
- Reed Johnson – 1-for-4 with a double and a walk
- Bryan LaHair – 0-for-3
- Luis Montanez – 0-for-2
- Carlos Pena – 1-for-12 with a triple and 5 walks
- Aramis Ramirez – 3-for-11 with 2 home runs
- Alfonso Soriano – 5-for-18 with a double and a home run
- Geovany Soto – 1-for-11 with a double and 3 walks
- Randy Wells – 0-for-2
Follow the CCO on Twitter: @TheCCO
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …