Game One Hundred Twenty-Five: Cubs (51-73) vs. Braves (72-51)
Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 184
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Randy Wells (5-11, 4.44/1.41) vs. Mike Minor (1-0, 3.75/1.08)
Can the Chicago Cubs post back-to-back victories and win a series at Wrigley? The Cubs complete their seven game homestand this afternoon … Lou’s crew is a miserable 1-5 in the first six. Today is not only the series but it is also the season finale against Bobby Cox and the Braves. The Cubs are 2-3 versus Atlanta this year and a win today for the Cubs would be a good way for Bobby Cox to remember his last game at Wrigley Field.
The Cubs have shown over the last 16 games how far behind they are of the top teams in the Senior Circuit. For the last 16 games, the Cubs have played the Reds (0-3), Giants (1-3), Cardinals (2-1), Padres (0-4) and Braves (1-1). That is a 4-12 record against teams competing for the post-season.
Geovany Soto is expected to be activated from the DL prior to game time. Soto has been on the DL since August 10 (retroactive to August 7) with a sprained right shoulder. Welington Castillo will return to Iowa to make room for Soto. Castillo should return in September after rosters expand and will hopefully receive more playing time. Castillo played in only two games and was 1-for-6 with a double in his first big league action. It is too bad Lou did not give him more playing time.
Today it all starts with Randy Wells … Randy Wells bounced back in his last start against the Padres and put together a solid outing. Wells was a miserable 0-2 in his three previous starts with an 8.44 ERA and a 1.75 WHIP. Wells picked up the loss but was on the wrong end of a 1-0 final … the Cubs first 1-0 defeat in nearly three seasons. Wells found a rhythm early and allowed one run on three hits (three walks and six strikeouts) in seven innings.
Wells is 3-6 in 14 starts at Wrigley this season with a 3.93 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP.
This afternoon will be Wells’ second start of the year against the Braves. Wells picked up his first win, and the Cubs first win, of the 2010 season back on April 8 in Atlanta. Wells tossed six shutout innings and allowed just six hits with a pair of walks and a strikeout.
Wells has faced Atlanta three times in his big league career … 2-0 with a 1.42 ERA and a 0.89 WHIP.
Braves Career Numbers against Randy Wells
Rick Ankiel – 0-for-3
Melky Cabrera – 0-for-2 with a walk
Matt Diaz – 0-for-3
Alex Gonzalez – 1-for-7 with a home run
Jason Heyward – 0-for-2
Omar Infante – 1-for-1
Brian McCann – 1-for-9
Martin Prado – 2-for-9 with a double
The Cubs will get their first look at another very good southpaw out of Vanderbilt University. Mike Minor was picked by the Braves in the first round of last year’s draft and will make just his third big league start this afternoon.
Minor has been impressive and is coming off his first win in the Major Leagues. Minor beat the Nationals and allowed two runs on five hits in six innings. Minor has struck out 10 and walked just three in his first 12 innings in the Show.
Baseball America ranked the 22-year old lefty the Braves’ fourth best prospect prior to this season. Minor throws four pitches with his changeup being his best.
Mike Minor is the type of pitcher that typically gives the Cubs all kinds of problems … if Lou’s offense is not patient, it will be another frustrating afternoon.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …