Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Padres – 08/06/12

Game One Hundred Seven: Cubs (43-63) vs. Padres (46-64)
Game Time – 9:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 183/914
Location – PETCO Park, San Diego

Travis Wood (4-7, 4.90/1.28) vs. Eric Stults (1-2, 3.19/1.27)

The Cubs open a three-game series tonight in San Diego in search of their first win in a week. The Cubs came up short in Sunday’s finale in Los Angeles and have not posted a win since beating the Pirates last Monday 14-4. The offense has been just as bad as the pitching staff during the five-game losing streak. Even with Sunday’s six-run output, the Cubs have been outscored 29-12 over the last five games.

The Cubs swept the three-game series with the Padres at Wrigley in May (May 28-May 30) but will face a much-improved team over the next three days. After tonight’s matchup of southpaws (Travis Wood and Eric Stults), the Cubs will face Ross Ohlendorf on Tuesday with Jeff Samardzija and lefty Clayton Richard scheduled to start Wednesday’s finale. The Cubs have not announced a starter for Tuesday with Matt Garza likely headed to the DL. Reports Sunday night suggested that Casey Coleman or Chris Rusin could be called up to take Garza’s place in the rotation but both Coleman (Sunday) and Rusin (Saturday) pitched over the weekend. The Cubs will likely turn to lefty Brooks Raley for Tuesday, Raley last pitched on Thursday for the I-Cubs.

The Cubs will face two lefties over the next three games. While the Cubs showed improvement in games started by southpaws prior to the deadline, the Cubs are 12-19 on the season in games started by lefties and no longer have the services of Reed Johnson or Jeff Baker.

Josh Vitters is expected to make his first big league start tonight.

Anthony Rizzo, Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod make their return to San Diego for the first time as Chicago Cubs. Rizzo has to be looking forward to the next three games after the Padres’ new regime gave up on him in the off-season.

In other newsMatt Garza is expected to be placed on the 15-day DL. Garza said Saturday he was ready to return on Tuesday after a successful bullpen. Garza’s elbow stiffened up on him and he was sent back to Chicago for a precautionary exam. Garza’s DL stint is expected to be backdated 16 days and Sveum said the move to put Garza on the DL was more about a roster spot needed for Tuesday than anything else.

Tonight it all starts with Travis Wood

Travis Wood is coming off another rough outing and his fourth straight loss. Wood did not pitch as well as his final line might look (two runs on three hits with three walks and six strikeouts in five innings) against the Pirates. Wood did make adjustments and retired the last six batters he faced. Wood needs to put together a good outing tonight.

After posting a 4-3 record in his first 10 starts of the season with a 3.05 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP, Wood is 0-4 in his last four with a 10.45 ERA and a 1.74 WHIP. Teams have hit .314 against him and have launched 10 home runs in 20 2/3 innings.

Travis Wood faced the Padres at Wrigley on May 28. On a hitter’s day at the old ballyard, Wood allowed six runs on seven hits with three walks and four strikeouts in five innings. Wood served up four home runs that afternoon. For his career, Wood has no record in four appearances, three starts, against the Padres with a 4.58 and a 1.32 WHIP … at PETCO Park, two no decisions with a 2.63 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP.

Padres Career Numbers against Travis Wood

  • Yonder Alonso – 0-for-3
  • Everth Cabrera – 1-for-3 with a home run
  • Chris Denorfia – 3-for-6 with a double and a walk
  • Chase Headley – 5-for-9 with two home runs
  • Cameron Maybin – 0-for-2
  • Carlos Quentin – 1-for-2 with a double and a walk
  • Will Venable – 2-for-7 with two home runs

Eric Stults will make his first start since coming off the DL tonight. Stults was placed on the shelf on June 7 with a strained left latissimus dorsi muscle and was activated on July 22. Stults has made four relief appearances, three straight against the Reds, and has allowed three runs, two earned, on seven hits with two walks and three strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings.

Before his stint on the DL, Stults was 1-2 in six games, five starts, with a 3.19 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP. The veteran southpaw is 0-1 in three games, two starts, at PETCO Park this season with a 3.29 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP.

Eric Stults is 0-3 in three career starts against the Cubs with a 7.24 ERA and a 1.90 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Eric Stults

  • Darwin Barney – 2-for-3 with two doubles
  • Starlin Castro – 1-for-3
  • David DeJesus – 0-for-3
  • Joe Mather – 1-for-2 with a double and a walk
  • Alfonso Soriano – 2-for-8 with a home run

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