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

"Don’t ever permit the pressure to exceed the pleasure." - Joe Maddon