Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Phillies – 08/07/13

Game One Hundred Thirteen: Cubs (49-63) vs. Phillies (51-61)

  • Game Time – 6:05pm CDT
  • Coverage – TV: WCIU – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 185/844
  • Location – Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia

Travis Wood (7-8, 3.05/1.13) vs. Cole Hamels (4-13, 3.87/1.23)

Weather permitting … The Cubs will try to snap their five-game losing streak tonight behind Travis Wood. After one of their best road trips in three years, the Cubs have lost eight of nine and it will not get any easier for the offense tonight with Cole Hamels on the hill. Hamels might not have the traditional numbers that many would like to see, but he has been very good of late and has the ability to shut down the best lineups.

Dale Sveum is expected to run out his right-handed lineup tonight with Hamels on the hill. That means Thomas Neal will start in left with Junior Lake in center. Sveum should leave Nate Schierholtz in right due to his career numbers against Hamels. Righties are hitting (.260/.316/.388) better against Hamels this season than lefties (.239/.295/.380).

The Cubs are in need of a clean, complete game and it all starts with Travis Wood

Travis Wood is not only coming off his worst start of the season but arguably his worst start as a Cub. Wood lasted just 3 1/3 innings and gave up five runs on seven hits to the Dodgers with five walks and two strikeouts. Wood had little to no command, ran up his pitch count and ended up with his shortest start of the year.

The five walks that Wood issued is very concerning. Wood has walked 11 batters in his last three starts after walking 12 in his previous seven outings combined. Wood has to pitch from ahead in the count and hit his spots. Wood started nibbling before his start against the Dodgers, and he simply cannot be successful pitching that way.

Travis Wood is 1-2 in his last three starts with a 5.06 ERA and a 1.88 WHIP … and is in need of a good outing tonight.

Tonight will be Wood’s third career start against the Phillies. Wood has two no decisions with a 1.80 ERA and a 0.67 WHIP (three runs on seven hits with three walks and 10 strikeouts in 15 innings).

Phillies Career Numbers against Travis Wood

  • John Mayberry Jr. – 1-for-2 with a walk
  • John McDonald – 0-for-2
  • Jimmy Rollins – 1-for-7
  • Carlos Ruiz – 2-for-5 with two doubles and a walk
  • Delmon Young – 1-for-3

Cole Hamels is having a better season than the media is letting on. Hamels is coming off an excellent start against the Giants. Hamels tossed eight innings of shutout ball while allowing seven hits, one walk and five strikeouts. Hamels has allowed more than three runs only three times in his last ten starts.

Cole Hamels was 2-2 in five starts in July with a 2.57 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP and is 0-2 in three starts with a 2.70 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP.

Cole Hamels is 2-6 in 11 starts at Citizens Bank this season with a 4.04 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP.

The Cubs have had very little success against Hamels over the years. Hamels owns a 3-1 record in six starts with a 2.37 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP against the Cubs. Tonight is his first start against the Cubs since July 17, 2010.

Cubs Career Numbers against Cole Hamels

  • Starlin Castro – 2-for-3 with a double
  • Cole Gillespie – 0-for-3
  • Cody Ransom – 0-for-5 with a walk
  • Nate Schierholtz – 5-for-10 with two doubles and a walk

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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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