Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Padres – 05/24/14

Game Forty-Seven – Cubs (17-29) vs. Padres (22-27)

  • Game Time – 9:10pm CDT
  • Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 185, 844
  • Location – PETCO Park, San Diego

Travis Wood (4-4, 4.61/1.34/3.59) vs. Billy Buckner (0-0, -.–/-.–/-.–)

The Cubs will look to get back on track tonight behind Travis Wood following the pounding they received on Friday night. Travis Wood has pitched a little better of late, but not on the road. Wood has really struggled outside of Wrigley Field and if he gets into trouble early, he could be stuck wearing one today in the wake of Friday night’s game.

Rick Renteria will have a short pen tonight. The Cubs skipper did not have to use Neil Ramirez, Hector Rondon, James Russell, Justin Grimm or Brian Schlitter over the last two games, but Jose Veras and Wesley Wright will not be available tonight after each reliever threw two innings on Friday night. And it is doubtful that Carlos Villanueva will be available after his three inning stint on Thursday.

The Padres decided to call-up once highly touted Royals’ prospect Billy Buckner up from Triple-A to make the start tonight. San Diego decided Thursday to use Donn Roach to fill in tonight for the injured Andrew Cashner, but changed their mind, officially, after last night’s game. Buckner has been pitching in the PCL for Triple-A El Paso and will make his 2014 debut tonight.

A lot is being made about a pitcher named Billy Buckner starting in a game against the Cubs in which the Padres are celebrating beating the Cubs 30 years ago to win the NL Pennant on the exact same day Bill Buckner played his last game in a Cubs’ uniform.

Tonight all starts with Travis Wood

Travis Wood is coming off one of his best starts of the season. Wood limited the Brewers to two runs on two hits in seven innings. Wood gave up a two-run homer to Rickie Weeks, his only mistake of the afternoon. Wood was shaky in the first inning, walked the bases loaded before he settled down following a sensational play at third by Mike Olt to end the inning. Wood struck out seven and walked three in route to his fourth win of the season.

Travis Wood began the season 1-3 in his first five starts with a 3.52 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP. Over his last four games, Wood is 3-1 with a 6.00 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP. Wood as really struggled on the road this year (1-3 in four starts with a 8.02 ERA, 1.97 WHIP) and will try to beat the Padres for the first time in his career tonight.

The Padres have had Travis Wood’s number over the years. Travis Wood is 0-2 in six games, five starts, against the Friars with a 4.05 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP. Wood lost the only game he pitched against San Diego last season (three runs, four hits with one walk and three strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings) and he’s 0-1 in three career starts at PETCO Park with a 2.75 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP.

Padres Career Numbers against Travis Wood

Billy Buckner has pitched rather well for Triple-A El Paso this season. In five starts, Buckner was 3-2 with a 2.89 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP. Buckner gave up 29 hits with 10 walks and 20 strikeouts in 28 innings. Buckner has not been able to find a home with an organization or pitch to expectations after the Royals selected him in the second round of the 2004 draft. Buckner has pitched with Arizona, Detroit, Colorado, Boston and the Angels. Buckner went 1-0 in seven games, two starts, for the Angels last year with a 4.67 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP.

Billy Buckner faced the Cubs during his time with Arizona and is 1-0 in three games, one start, versus the Cubs with a 4.32 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP.

Chris Coghlan (0-for-3), Anthony Rizzo (0-for-1) and Luis Valbuena (0-for-1) are the only three players on the Cubs active roster that has faced Billy Buckner in a regular season big league ballgame.

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Quote of the Day

"You can’t sit on a lead and kill the clock. You’ve got to give the other man his chance. That’s why baseball is the greatest game." - Earl Weaver