Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Reds – 04/20/12

Game Fourteen: Cubs (3-10) vs. Reds (5-8)
Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet, MLB Network – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 186/901
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Chris Volstad (0-1, 4.91/1.18) vs. Homer Bailey (0-2, 5.40/1.71)

Updated 11:00am CDTKerry Wood placed on 15-Day DL with Right Shoulder Fatigue – Scott Maine Recalled from Triple-A Iowa

Updated 11:05am CDTRandy Wells is with the team in Chicago. Ryan Dempster is questionable for Sunday’s start against the Reds with a right quad strain. Dempster will undergo a MRI on Friday and could be headed to the DL.

Weather permitting … The Cubs begin a very difficult six-game homestand today with the first of three against the Cincinnati Reds. The Cubs’ second homestand of the season concludes Wednesday with the last of three against the St. Louis Cardinals.

The 3-10 Cubs (2-5 at Wrigley, 1-5 on the road) are in need of a win to end the five-game losing streak. And victories will not come easily over the next six games. The Cubs were 7-11 against the Reds a year ago and are already 1-2 versus the Cardinals this season.

Dale Sveum is expected to shuffle his lineup for today’s game after his team was a miserable 2-for-18 with RISP during the three-game series in Miami (15 runners left on base in the series). Reports have suggested that Bryan LaHair could be moved to the cleanup spot with Alfonso Soriano moving down and possibly hitting in between LaHair and Ian Stewart.

The Cubs are also expected to make a decision on Kerry Wood’s status prior to first pitch. Kerry Wood had a cortisone shot in his right shoulder Wednesday and if his shoulder has not responded then Wood will be placed on the disabled list. The Cubs really do not have another late inning option in the minors without clearing a spot on the 40-man roster.

Today all begins with Chris Volstad

Chris Volstad is coming off a quality start and a loss against the Cardinals. Volstad allowed four runs but only three were earned on six hits without a walk and four strikeouts in six innings. Volstad was doing his job until he allowed an error by Starlin Castro to affect him. Volstad has given up 11 hits in 11 innings but has also struck out 10 with only two walks in his first two starts.

Volstad makes his second start at Wrigley this afternoon after he received a no decision in his first outing on April 9 against the Brewers. Volstad has shown he is more than capable of getting big league hitters out but he has yet to put together a complete start … maybe the third time will be a charm for Chris Volstad.

The Cubs need for Chris Volstad to step up this afternoon and put an end to the losing streak.

Chris Volstad is 1-2 in three career starts against the Reds with a 4.34 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP … last season, 0-1 in one start with a 4.50 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP.

Reds Career Numbers against Chris Volstad

  • Homer Bailey – 0-for-2
  • Jay Bruce – 2-for-8 with a double and a walk
  • Miguel Cairo – 0-for-3 with a walk
  • Ryan Hanigan – 0-for-2 with a walk
  • Ryan Ludwick – 1-for-2 with a double and a walk
  • Brandon Phillips – 3-for-7 with two walks
  • Scott Rolen – 0-for-3
  • Wilson Valdez – 6-for-14 with two walks
  • Joey Votto – 3-for-7 with a home run and two walks

Homer Bailey was once one of the top pitching prospects in the game. After a disappointing start to his career, he began this season as the fourth pitcher in Dusty Baker’s rotation.

Bailey is coming off his second loss of the season. The Nationals scored three runs on seven hits in six innings. Bailey did his part to help Washington. Bailey walked four batters and in 11 2/3 innings this season, Bailey has walked seven, struck out eight and surrendered 13 hits.

If the Cubs are patient enough, Bailey will beat himself.

Today marks Homer Bailey’s seventh career start against the Cubs. Bailey is 2-2 in the first six with a 6.75 ERA and a 1.88 WHIP … last season, 1-0 in two starts with a 5.25 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP. Bailey is 0-1 in one career start at Wrigley with a 5.06 ERA and a 2.06 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Homer Bailey

  • Jeff Baker – 0-for-3
  • Darwin Barney – 2-for-5 with a walk
  • Marlon Byrd – 3-for-8 with two home runs
  • Starlin Castro – 2-for-7 with a home run and a walk
  • Blake DeWitt – 2-for-3
  • Reed Johnson – 0-for-1
  • Bryan LaHair – 1-for-2 with a walk
  • Alfonso Soriano – 3-for-10 with a double, a home run and a walk
  • Geovany Soto – 1-for-3
  • Ian Stewart – 2-for-9
  • Chris Volstad – 1-for-3

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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