Game Twenty-Four: Cubs (10-13) vs. Diamondbacks (11-11)
Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet, MLB Network – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 183
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Randy Wells (2-0, 2.49/1.34) vs. Rodrigo Lopez (1-0, 4.88/1.67)
It is the final day of April. The Cubs are 10-13 and according to Lou Piniella, his team needs to play with a little urgency. To say the first month of the Twenty-Ten campaign has not gone the way Jim Hendry, Lou Piniella and the Ricketts family envisioned would be an understatement.
The Cubs will turn to Randy Wells to provide a little calm … and hopefully innings this afternoon. The Diamondbacks brought out the worst, again, in the Cubs on Thursday and it is time for the Cubs to put together a good game against a team other than the Brewers.
Dave Keller, the Cubs roving Minor League hitting instructor, is with the big league team for the series against the Diamondbacks. Keller is in town helping Rudy Jaramillo.
Esmailin Caridad is scheduled to throw an inning in Mesa on Saturday. Reportedly Caridad is around 10 days away from returning to the Cubs.
How will the Cubs respond to the beating they received on Thursday? The Cubs have lost three in a row … and today it all starts with Randy Wells. Randy Wells is coming off another excellent outing. Wells held the high-powered Brewers offense to two runs on seven hits with no walks and six strikeouts. Wells tossed a season-high seven innings … and met the goal he set for himself.
Wells has been very good in his first four starts of the year. He allowed four runs against the Brewers on April 14 but the offense bailed him out. Outside of the outing versus Milwaukee, Wells has allowed zero, one and two earned runs in his other three starts.
Teams continue to get their fare share of hits off Randy Wells to the tune of a .290 batting average. For all of the runners (29 hits and five walks in 25 1/3 innings) he has allowed only seven runs in four starts.
Today will be Wells’ second start of the season at Wrigley … and the Cubs are 3-1 in Wells’ four starts this year.
Randy Wells posted one of the Cubs two wins against Arizona a year ago. Wells tossed seven innings of shutout ball in his only career appearance against the Diamondbacks … with a walk and a career-high 10 strikeouts (0.00 ERA and a 0.57 WHIP).
Diamondbacks’ Career Numbers against Randy Wells
- Stephen Drew – 1-for-3 with a double
- Kelly Johnson – 0-for-3
- Adam LaRoche – 0-for-2 with a walk
- Augie Ojeda – 0-for-2 with a walk
- Gerardo Parra – 1-for-3 with a double
- Mark Reynolds – 0-for-3
- Chris Young – 0-for-3
The Cubs will face yet another pitcher they struggle against this afternoon. Rodrigo Lopez shutdown the Cubs’ offense as a member of the Phillies staff a year ago … then soft-tossed them to sleep at the end of Spring Training.
Rodrigo Lopez is coming off a bad start against the Phillies but his team still won the game. Lopez surrendered six runs on 10 hits in six innings but the D’Backs posted a 8-6 win. The D’Backs are 3-1 in his four starts this year.
Today will be Lopez’s third career start against the Cubs. He is 1-1 with a 7.59 ERA and a 1.97 WHIP … but in 2009, Lopez held the Cubs to one run on five hits in six inning with a walk and two strikeouts. The Phillies beat Ted Lilly 10-1 on July 20.
In his only road start this season Lopez gave up five runs, four earned, on 11 hits in five innings to the Dodgers.
Cubs’ Career Numbers against Rodrigo Lopez
- Mike Fontenot – 1-for-5 with a double and a walk
- Kosuke Fukudome – 1-for-3
- Koyie Hill – 1-for-6 with a double
- Derrek Lee – 0-for-6
- Aramis Ramirez – 1-for-5 with a double and a walk
- Alfonso Soriano – 14-for-38 with 3 doubles, 3 home runs and 2 walks
- Ryan Theriot – 1-for-1 with 2 walks
- Chad Tracy – 1-for-3
Lou Piniella must figure out a way to stop making below average to mediocre pitchers from looking like Cy Young winners. At some point the Cubs have to take responsibility for not producing and quit using the excuse that the opposing pitcher had a great game.
Will the Cubs improve on their 30-47 all-time record against Arizona this afternoon?
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …