Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Reds – 08/11/12

Game One Hundred Twelve: Cubs (44-67) vs. Reds (67-46)
Game Time – 3:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet- Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 183/914
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Travis Wood (4-8, 4.77/1.29) vs. Bronson Arroyo (7-7, 4.05/1.26)

Updated 12:13pm CDTLendy Castillo activated from 15-day DLScott Maine optioned to Triple-A Iowa

Dale Sveum was not happy with his team following Friday’s sloppy loss to the Reds. Sveum voiced his displeasure publically and it will be interesting to see how a very young team responds today. Sveum’s statements suggested that more than one player could receive a day off this afternoon.

The Cubs have lost nine of ten and it does not get any easier for them today.

Today’s game figures to be challenging for Travis Wood and the young Cubs’ roster. Travis Wood has the tough task of facing the organization that selected him in the second round of the 2005 draft for the first time while the offense has to deal with Bronson Arroyo. Arroyo is due for a good outing and he usually saves his best effort for the Chicago Cubs.

In other newsLendy Castillo has rejoined the Cubs. Castillo has been on the “disabled list” since May 16 with a groin injury. The Rule 5 draft pick completed a rehab assignment and is expected to be activated from the 15-day DL at some point this weekend.

Brett Jackson’s struggles have apparently cost him playing time. When Jackson was called up last weekend, the Cubs said he would play 90 percent of the time. Dale Sveum amended that statement on Friday. Jackson “will probably sit against left-handers” now.

This afternoon all starts with Travis Wood …

It will be interesting to watch how Travis Wood handles himself this afternoon. Wood needs a good outing today after dropping his last five starts. But it will likely be difficult for him to control his emotions facing his old team for the first time. If Wood struggles early, the Cubs could be looking at another ugly loss.

After just a miserable stretch coming out of the break, Wood has shown improvement in his last two starts. Wood is still having trouble locating his breaking stuff and he must pitch from ahead in the count in order to be successful. Travis Wood limited the Pirates to two runs on three hits with three walks and six strikeouts in five short innings back on August 1. In his last outing, Wood put together his first quality start in a month. Wood allowed two runs on five hits with three walks and three strikeouts in six innings. The Padres beat the Cubs 2-0 in the first of three in San Diego.

Travis Wood is 0-2 in his last two starts with a 3.27 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP … since the break, 0-5 in five starts with an 8.78 ERA and a 1.65 WHIP. Wood owns a 2-4 mark in eight starts at Wrigley this season with a 5.74 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP.

Ryan Ludwick (2-for-6 with two walks) and Wilson Valdez (0-for-3 with a walk) are the only two players on the Reds’ roster that have faced Travis Wood during their career.

The Cubs will face an old nemesis this afternoon. Bronson Arroyo has owned the Chicago Cubs since Theo Epstein traded him to the Reds prior to the 2006 season. The Cubs finally beat Arroyo back on May 2 at Great American Ball Park and he has been struggling of late. But this is a much different Cubs’ team and Arroyo should be at the top of his game this afternoon.

Arroyo is coming off a loss to the Brewers. Arroyo allowed five runs on 10 hits with no walks and five strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings. The longball did Arroyo in like it has so often throughout his career. After posting a 3-1 record in five starts last month with a 2.64 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP, Arroyo is 1-1 in his last two starts with a 7.15 ERA and a 1.68 WHIP.

Bronson Arroyo is 9-9 in 26 career appearances, 24 starts, against the Cubs with a 2.97 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP … at Wrigley, 6-3 in 13 games, 12 starts, with a 3.14 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Bronson Arroyo

  • Darwin Barney – 1-for-7
  • Starlin Castro – 2-for-14 with a home run
  • David DeJesus – 2-for-11 with two walks
  • Bryan LaHair – 1-for-3 with a home run
  • Alfonso Soriano – 10-for-45 with five doubles, a home run and two walks
  • Luis Valbuena – 0-for-2 with a walk

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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