Game One Hundred Eleven: Cubs (47-63) vs. Reds (63-48)
Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 188
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Thomas Diamond (0-1, 4.50/1.67) vs. Travis Wood (2-1, 2.42/0.87)
Updated 1:01pm CDT – First Pitch Delayed until 1:30pm CDT – Morning Rain at Wrigley Field
Can the Cubs avoid a second sweep in the last seven days? The Cubs season has gone from bad to horrible since July 27. The Cubs have lost nine of 10 and dating back to July 27 (10 games), the Cubs have been outscored 77-38 … and that includes the 15-run outburst against the Brewers.
Today is the Cubs final game of the year against the Reds at Wrigley. Dusty Baker’s bunch has dominated the Cubs this season to the tune of a 3-9 record in the first 12. The Cubs are 1-4 over the first five of the homestand versus the Brewers and Reds.
Following another one-run loss Saturday (13-26 in 39 one-run games), Lou Piniella said Geovany Soto and Tyler Colvin will not be in today’s starting lineup. Soto is out with a mild ligament sprain in his right shoulder and Colvin is struggling at the plate. Both players are expected back Monday.
Xavier Nady will get the start in right field this afternoon.
The Cubs have shown how far they have fallen over the last five games and it could get worse on the upcoming road trip. Lou’s underachieving overpaid crew could face the likes of Tim Lincecum, Barry Zito, Matt Cain, Chris Carpenter and Jamie Garcia … then the Padres and Braves make their way to Chicago for the next homestand.
The Cubs will get their second look at Travis Wood this afternoon … Wood made his big league debut against the Cubs back on July 1. Wood has been very successful so far in the big leagues; the Cubs will be the first team to face Wood for a second time.
Cubs Managerial Search
Jim Hendry’s search for the next Cubs’ manager is underway … and the Cubs’ GM is compiling a list. Ryne Sandberg and Joe Girardi, if available, appear to be the leading candidates but Hendry could interview as many as 15 candidates to replace Lou Piniella.
Eric Wedge, Chris Speier, Pat Listach, Fredi Gonzalez, Larry Rothschild, Bobby Valentine, Bob Brenly, Ted Simmons and Alan Trammell have all been linked to the Cubs’ managerial position … as well as Joe Torre.
Today it all begins with Thomas Diamond … Today should be a good test for Thomas Diamond. The 27-year old rookie made his big league debut five days ago against the Brewers with mixed results. Diamond struggled with his command. He walked three and two of his free passes scored. Diamond found himself in seven three-ball counts but struck out 10 … and became only the second Cubs rookie since 1920 to strikeout 10 in a Major League debut (Mark Prior, 2002).
Diamond showed good mound presence and did not appear to get rattled. He gave up three runs on seven hits and notched a quality start. But it is usually the second game that gives a better indication … and this afternoon will be no field day for Mr. Diamond.
The Cubs will get their second look at a very impressive southpaw. Travis Wood is the left-handed version of Mike Leake, and he has owned the big leagues in his first seven starts.
Wood has walked 11 while striking out 37 in 44 2/3 innings. Teams have managed only 28 hits and he’s faced the likes of Milwaukee, Colorado, Philadelphia and the Mets.
The Cubs managed only two runs on two hits in seven innings against Wood back on July 1. Wood walked three and struck out four … both runs came after Wood left the mound.
Travis Wood is 2-0 in his last two outings with a 1.50 ERA and a 0.75 WHIP.
Aramis Ramirez (1-for-3) and Alfonso Soriano (1-for-3) were the only Cubs to manage a hit against Wood on July 1 … while Starlin Castro (0-for-1 with two walks) and Geovany Soto (0-for-2 with a walk) were the only other Cubs to reach base.
It could be another long, frustrating afternoon for the Cubs’ offense.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …