Game Eight: Cubs (3-4) vs. Brewers (3-4)
Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 183
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Randy Wells (1-0, 0.00/1.33) vs. Dave Bush (0-0, 4.76/1.06)
Updated 10:13am CDT – Jeff Gray Recalled – Esmailin Caridad Placed on 15-day DL
According to multiple reports, the Cubs placed Esmailin Caridad on the 15-day DL with a right forearm strain on Wednesday morning and recalled Jeff Gray from Triple-A Iowa.
Following their last day off until May 3, Lou Piniella’s crew will return to the field and try to build on Monday’s win against the Brewers. The first week of the season is over and the Cubs are beginning to sort a few things out.
It appears that John Grabow has slipped from the Cubs primary lefty setup man to behind both Sean Marshall and James Russell. Grabow has struggled with throwing strikes … and holding leads.
According to a report from the Tribune, Sean Marshall and James Russell have entered in the mix to pitch out of the pen late in games. With the way the three southpaws pitched in the first week of the year, Grabow should be slotted behind Marshall and Russell.
Derrek Lee is expected to miss this afternoon’s game after departing Monday’s opener in the fifth with a swollen right thumb. Reportedly, Lee will be back on Thursday or Friday. With Lee’s career numbers against Dave Bush (5-for-31 with two doubles and a walk) it would have been a good day to get Chad Tracy or Xavier Nady a few at bats. While Tracy and Nady have struggled against Bush, the Cubs are depending on both players to contribute when called upon … and that takes more than one at bat every three days.
All eyes will be on the Iowa Cubs tonight. Ted Lilly is scheduled to make his first minor league rehab start against the Memphis Redbirds.
Randy Wells was excellent in his season debut against the Braves … can he keep it up today against the potent Brewers offense? Randy Wells gave up his fare share of hits against the Braves last Thursday but he kept them off the scoreboard and picked up the first victory of the year for the Chicago Cubs. For at least one game, Wells picked up where he left off last year.
Wells made his first big league start against the Brewers on May 8 of last year and did not allow a run in five innings (five hits, two walks and five strikeouts). That start put Wells on Lou Piniella’s map. While he took him to the third week of June to pick up his first win, Wells showed veteran composure on that May night in Milwaukee.
Randy Wells ended up facing the Brewers a total of three times last season. He posted a 1-1 record with a 3.60 ERA and a 1.60 WHIP … the Brewers hit .288. Today will be Wells’ sixth career appearance against Milwaukee (1-1 with a 2.95 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP)
Brewers’ Career Numbers against Randy Wells
- Ryan Braun – 4-for-9 with a double and a walk
- Dave Bush – 1-for-4
- Craig Counsell – 0-for-5
- Alcides Escobar – 2-for-4 with a walk
- Prince Fielder – 1-for-6 with a home run and a walk
- Jody Gerut – 3-for-5 with a home run and a walk
- Corey Hart – 1-for-5
- Rickie Weeks – 1-for-3
Dave Bush appeared to be turning the corner on his career last year until an injury derailed his season. Bush posted a 5-9 record in 22 games, 21 starts, with a 6.38 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP. Bush was placed on the DL at the end of June with right arm fatigue.
Bush received a no-decision in his first start against the Cardinals last Friday night. He allowed three runs on four hits in 5 2/3 innings with two walks and six strikeouts.
The Cubs have had success in the past against Dave Bush and must be patient at the plate this afternoon. Bush is 2-8 in 16 career games, 15 starts, against the Cubs with a 5.13 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP. In 2009, Bush posted a 1-1 record in four starts versus the Cubs with a 6.20 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP.
Dave Bush is 1-3 in seven career starts at Wrigley with a 4.85 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP … last season, 1-0 in one start with a 6.35 ERA and a 1.59 WHIP.
Cubs’ Career Numbers against Dave Bush
- Jeff Baker – 2-for-4
- Marlon Byrd – 1-for-3
- Tyler Colvin – 0-for-0 with a walk
- Mike Fontenot – 2-for-10 with a double and 3 walks
- Kosuke Fukudome – 8-for-17 with 4 doubles, a home run and 4 walks
- Koyie Hill – 1-for-10 with a walk
- Derrek Lee – 5-for-31 with 2 doubles and a walk
- Xavier Nady – 2-for-11 with a home run
- Aramis Ramirez – 9-for-30 with 3 doubles, 3 home runs and 2 walks
- Alfonso Soriano – 9-for-30 with 3 doubles, a home run and 2 walks
- Geovany Soto – 1-for-7 with a walk
- Ryan Theriot – 7-for-25 with 2 doubles and 2 walks
- Chad Tracy – 2-for-13 with a double
- Randy Wells – 0-for-2
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …