Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Astros – 10/03/12

Game One Hundred Sixty-Two: Cubs (60-101) vs. Astros (55-106)
Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 186/914
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Travis Wood (6-13, 4.39/1.20) vs. Edgar Gonzalez (3-1, 4.15/1.02)

Weather permitting … The Cubs suit up for the final time this season and will try to end a long, hard year on a positive note. Dale Sveum is expected to give most of his regulars, with the exception of Starlin Castro, the day off. The Cubs are 7-7 in the 14 games against the Astros this season (5-3 at Wrigley) and Houston will play their final game as a National League team against the team that the franchise played their first game against in 1962.

So much has changed this season for the Chicago Cubs. Today’s starting lineup figures to have one, maybe two players in it that faced Stephen Strasburg on Opening Day. Long gone are the likes of Marlon Byrd and Ian Stewart. Ryan Dempster and Geovany Soto are heading to the post-season in a Rangers’ uniform. Paul Maholm, Reed Johnson and Jeff Baker are in Atlanta and it seems like much longer ago than July when Matt Garza last started a game. Jeff Samardzija emerged in the second half as the Cubs’ number one starter. Anthony Rizzo has replaced Bryan LaHair at first base and Welington Castillo has taken over the everyday job behind the plate.

Every off-season is full of change and there figures to be quite a bit of turnover on Cubs roster this winter.

In other news … The Cubs went 10-20 in 30 night games at Wrigley this season. Since lights were installed at the old ballyard, the Cubs are 254-254 in 508 home night games.

The Cubs have lost 29 straight games when scoring three runs or less dating back to July 28 against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Dale Sveum conducted his exit meetings with the pitching staff on Tuesday morning and is expected to meet with the position players on Wednesday morning.

For the last time this season, today all starts with Travis Wood

Travis Wood is coming off a rough outing in Arizona. Wood allowed five runs on five hits with three walks and two strikeouts in five innings. Wood served up two home runs (Cody Ransom and Justin Upton) the first longballs hit off Wood since August 28 (five starts). Wood is 2-2 in his last six starts with a 3.34 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP with just under a 3:1 strikeout to walk ratio (31 strikeouts, 11 walks) in his last 35 innings.

Travis Wood has shown improvement this season and he must work on his consistency next season … not only from start to start but from inning to inning.

Travis Wood is 2-6 in 13 starts at Wrigley this season with a 4.77 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP and has not posted a win in his home park since July 1 against the Houston Astros.

This afternoon will be Wood’s fourth start against the Astros this season. Travis Wood is 2-1 in the first three with a 1.29 ERA and a 0.57 WHIP.

Astros Career Numbers against Travis Wood

  • Jose Altuve – 2-for-11 with a home run
  • Brandon Barnes – 2-for-3 with a double
  • Brian Bogusevic – 0-for-3
  • Jason Castro – 0-for-3
  • Matt Dominguez – 0-for-3
  • Tyler Greene – 1-for-6 with a double
  • Jed Lowrie – 1-for-8 with a double and a walk
  • J.D. Martinez – 3-for-10 with a double
  • Justin Maxwell – 1-for-5 with a walk
  • Chris Snyder – 2-for-9 with a walk
  • Brett Wallace – 0-for-5 with a walk

Edgar Gonzalez has pitched rather well in his five starts for the Astros this season. Houston signed Gonzalez on August 23 after he was released by the Rockies on June 19. The 29-year old right-hander put together a 6-5 record in 23 games, 15 starts, in Triple-A this season with a 3.84 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP while pitching in the Rockies and Astros’ organizations.

Edgar Gonzalez is coming off a win against the Brewers. Gonzalez held the high-powered Brewers’ offense to three runs on four hits in 5 2/3 innings. Gonzalez struck out three and did not walk a batter. Gonzalez is a perfect 3-0 in three road starts this season with a 2.81 ERA and a 0.81 WHIP.

This afternoon will be Edgar Gonzalez’s second career start against the Cubs. Gonzalez is 1-0 in two games, one start, against the Cubs with a 2.57 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP. Gonzalez last faced the Cubs in a Diamondbacks’ uniform on May 11, 2008.

David DeJesus (0-for-4) and Luis Valbuena (0-for-1) are the only two players on the Cubs’ active roster that have faced Edgar Gonzalez in a big league ballgame.

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

"Baseball, just a game as simple as a ball and a bat. Yet, as complex as the American spirit it symbolizes." - Ernie Harwell
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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Today’s lineup:

    Campana – LF
    Cardenas – 2B
    Castro – SS
    LaHair – 1B
    Sappelt – RF
    Vitters – 3B
    Jackson – CF
    Recker – C
    Wood – P

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Hey, the Cubs scored a run. LaHair with a solo shot, #16. His first since August 22.

      A positive this season, the Cubs were not no-hit. The longest streak of being no-hit in baseball rolls into next season.

      • Denver Mike

        It’s been tough to watch at times this season, but overall I am encouraged for the future. I look forward to seeing some of our top prospects grow over the next few years, seeing what kind of talent is available at the top of next years draft, and what (if any) moves get made in the off season to continue added pieces. I’ve decided to tune in to today’s game as it’s slow at the office, let’ hope we can at least close out the year with a W flag flying over the scoreboard!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Nice sliding catch by Sappelt

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Campana with his 30th stolen base

  • ldsteam

    I can hear the Hot Stove heating up.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Recker with a nice at bat to force in a run … and Travis Wood with a two-run single.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Len and Bob are going to the radio side … Pat and Keith to the TV side.

    • Cloycub13

      That is pretty cool.

  • cubtex

    Appropriate last game. Blow a 3 run lead in the 8th to the Astros.Wow! Too bad this season isn’t 1 week longer or the Cubs would get the 1st pick in the draft.

    • EqDoc

      This is in no way meant to be mean but even on the last day fo the season, I still can’t figure out why you are a Cubs fan. I have spent the last 162 games trying to answer that question but I can’t come to a conclusion as to why you keep coming back to this website…

      • Tony_Hall

        Neil – Great job, all the way to the end this season. It doesn’t get much tougher than this past year, from the high of all high’s last fall and early off-season, to the low of all lows the last 2 months. Yet you were here everyday, reporting, referreeing and keeping the best Cubs site and all it’s fans informed on what was going on.

        I hope you take a break and get ready for another exciting hot stove season. You have definitely earned it!

        • Brp921

          Ditto! Thanks Neil.

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            Thank you.

        • calicub

          Here here!

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          Tony, thank you very much for your kind words.

      • Brp921

        I can’t figure out why I’m a Cub fan…..Lol

      • Cubtex

        I don’t like losing and throwing a season away like they did this year. Good for you if you enjoyed this year! Obviously it is not hard to figure out……. I didnt

        • paulcatanese

          Cubtex, agree, I hate to lose, and certainly did not enjoy the season.

  • Cubray

    Does anyone see anything they like about Bret Jackson . He loafed on that fly ball and cost them the game. He can’t hit at all-strikes out about half the time. What a wasted first round pick!

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Wait to see what kind of adjustments he makes this winter, he’s a hard worker and has the right attitude.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs beat the Astros 5-4 in the season finale – Bryan LaHair Game Winning Walk-off single in the ninth – Travis Wood:
    1R,3H,5BB,4K,6.1IP,1-for-3,2RBI; Bryan LaHair: 2-for-5,HR, 2RBI; Anthony Recker: 0-for-2,2 BB,RBI

    • Dorasaga

      That closed the book. 61W-101 losses. Boy, what’s next?

  • jw

    I never like to say I am relieved a season is over but it was hard to find much to like after the trade deadline. Those who assured me they would not lose 100 games may order the crow tonight.

    • Dorasaga

      They shouldn’t. Even with all the pitching problems and other blunders, the Cubs were expected to win 65 (97 L), at least according to the Pythagorean formula, courtesy of MLB.com. This team underperformed big “times,” with too many mental errors and traded to clean house, leaving subpar players behind. We shouldn’t expect them to play another 101 season.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        From ESPN Chicago: Decision on Listach was made by Cubs. Sveum says it wasn’t anything Listach did. Would recommend him for any other coaching job.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From ESPN Chicago: Listach says he won’t be back as a Cubs coach.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From the Sun-Times: No other changes to staff, tho interim hitting coach Rowson status remains tba.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    WGN’s Jordan Bernfield caught up with Brett Jackson after the game. Here’s what Jackson had to say:

    “Very motivated moving into the off season. Know what I need to work on. I’m excited to get to work in a couple weeks. What’s great is, we know my potential, I know my potential. I believe in what what I can become and what I want to become. I won’t stop until I become the player that I think I’m capable of becoming. Hard work starts soon. There’s a lot to take from this season. But I know what I need to work on, offensively and defensively. I think you’ll see a different player in spring training. Like I said I’m very motivated for the off season moving to 2013. There’s some muscle memory things, some bad habits I need to take care
    of. That’s a matter of work ethic.” (Confident it can be fixed)

    When asked Jackson what he needs to change: “Some mechanical, physical adjustments with my swing. There’s nothing wrong with my approach.”