Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Reds – 08/12/13

Game One Hundred Eighteen: Cubs (52-65) vs. Reds (65-52)

  • Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
  • Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet Plus – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 184/844
  • Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Travis Wood (7-8, 3.04/1.13) vs. Mat Latos (11-3, 3.21/1.27)

Weather permitting … The Cubs kick-off a 10-game homestand tonight with the first of three against the Cincinnati Reds. The Cubs play 19 of their next 25 games at Wrigley and will have to play better ball in their home park than they have this season. Dale Sveum’s team went 1-8 during the last homestand and is just 23-33 at Wrigley this year compared to 29-32 on the road. After Thursday’s off-day, the Cubs have three against the Cardinals over the weekend then wrap-up the homestand with four against Stephen Strasburg and the Nationals.

The Cubs have really struggled against teams in the NL Central this year, especially the Brewers and the Reds. The last time the Cubs faced the Redlegs (June 13) they ended a 12-game home losing streak to Dusty Baker’s bunch.  The Cubs are 3-10 in the 13 games versus Cincinnati this season.

The Reds will get a boost with the return of Ryan Ludwick. The Reds’ left fielder has been out since Opening Day, and like the Cardinals, the Reds are looking at the next three days at Wrigley as a way to pick-up ground in the division. Cincinnati enters play tonight five games back of the Pirates and two behind the Cardinals. The Cardinals and Pirates kick-off a three game series on Tuesday in St. Louis.

After tonight’s match-up of Travis Wood and Mat Latos, Jeff Samardzija is scheduled to face Homer Bailey on Tuesday with Chris Rusin and Bronson Arroyo scheduled for the finale on Wednesday afternoon.

The homestand all starts with Travis Wood

Travis Wood bounced back nicely from his horrible outing against the Dodgers and left last Wednesday night’s game in the seventh inning with a 2-1 lead in Philadelphia. Not only was Wood charged with an earned run after he left the game but the Cubs lost two players for the season in one of the strangest innings in recent memory. Three players left the game in the seventh inning, all three ended up going for an MRI and two were lost for the remainder of the year.

Travis Wood was charged with two runs on six hits with one walk and seven strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings. Wood’s command was very good and he issued one walk for the first time in a single outing since July 4.

Travis Wood is 4-5 in his 13 starts at Wrigley this season with a 3.16 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP … but is only 1-2 in four outings since the break with a 4.43 ERA and a 1.66 WHIP.

Tonight marks the fourth time that Travis Wood will face his former team this season. Wood has not fared too well against his former mates. Wood is 0-2 in three starts with a 4.26 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP. Wood has made 23 starts this season, 19 have been quality outings, and one of the non-quality starts came against the Reds in Cincinnati at the end of May. Wood has issued seven walks and allowed 15 hits in 19 innings against the Reds this season … and the walks have cost him and the Cubs in all three games with the Redlegs.

Reds Numbers against Travis Wood in 2013

  • Jay Bruce – 2-for-9 with a home run
  • Shin-Soo Choo – 1-for-6 with a double and two walks
  • Zack Cozart – 0-for-6
  • Todd Frazier – 2-for-7 with a home run and a walk
  • Ryan Hanigan – 2-for-3 with a double
  • Chris Heisey – 1-for-3
  • Cesar Izturis – 2-for-4
  • Devin Mesoraco – 2-for-5
  • Brandon Phillips – 2-for-8 with a walk
  • Joey Votto – 0-for-7 with two walks
  • Ryan Ludwick (career) – 3-for-11 with a home run and two walks

Mat Latos has owned the Cubs during his career and is coming off a shutout performance against the Athletics. Latos surrendered just four hits in 7 1/3 innings versus the A’s with three walks and three strikeouts. Latos has been very, very good for Dusty Baker this year and is 3-0 in his four starts since the break with a 1.73 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP. Latos has been issuing more free passes than usual (10 walks last 26 innings with 18 strikeouts) and the Cubs must work deep counts and get into the Reds’ bullpen.

Latos makes his fourth start of the season against the Cubs tonight. Mat Latos is 2-0 in the first three with a 3.50 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP. Latos uncharacteristically struggled against the Cubs when he faced them at Wrigley on June 13 (four runs on eight hits with a walk and four strikeouts in six innings).

Cubs Numbers against Mat Latos in 2013

  • Darwin Barney – 0-for-5
  • Welington Castillo – 3-for-3
  • Starlin Castro – 3-for-9
  • David DeJesus – 2-for-9 with a double and a home run
  • Dioner Navarro – 1-for-5 with a walk
  • Cody Ransom – 1-for-2
  • Anthony Rizzo – 1-for-7
  • Nate Schierholtz – 3-for-9 with two triples

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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