Game One Hundred Thirty-One: Cubs (55-75) vs. Reds (74-55)
Game Time – 12:10pm CDT
Coverage – WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Great American Ballpark, Cincinnati
Casey Coleman (1-1, 5.68/1.53) vs. Travis Wood (4-2, 3.38/0.98)
One week ago today Lou Piniella stepped down and the keys to the lemon were handed over to Mike Quade. The Cubs have won four of his first five games … and have a chance to win a series against the Reds.
Look for Jeff Baker at third base this afternoon. Aramis Ramirez is 0-for-the-series and appeared to be out of gas Saturday night. With the lefty on the hill, it would be a good time to get Baker a few at bats. Geovany Soto is expected back in the starting lineup and Darwin Barney should be in as well.
Edison Volquez was scheduled to start this afternoon’s game. But the Reds have decided to send Volquez to the pen and have Travis Wood start today’s finale against the Cubs.
Today is the last meeting of the year between the Cubs and Reds. Cincinnati has dominated the season series winning 11 of 15 (Cubs are 3-5 at Great American Ball Park). Back on May 9, two days after Starlin Castro’s electric debut, Lou Piniella’s crew entered play with a 14-17 record while the Reds owned a 15-15 mark. Lou left Ryan Dempster in one pitch too long on Mother’s Day and the Reds haven’t looked back since. Just one of the many what ifs of the Twenty Ten season.
It all starts with Casey Coleman … Casey Coleman is coming off his first big league win and a solid outing against the Nationals. Coleman appeared a lot more prepared in his second start than in the first. Coleman was visibly nervous against the Padres early on and could not complete five innings (three runs on six hits with three walks and a strikeout in 4 1/3 innings).
Coleman struck out three, walked two and gave up just one run on three hits in 6 1/3 innings. But today he will face one of the best offenses in the National League.
Coleman is auditioning for next season and will reportedly be in the mix for a starting spot next year. If Casey can notch a win today, only the Cubs fifth of the year versus the Reds, it could go a long way.
Casey Coleman pitched two innings against the Reds back on August 8 at Wrigley … his second game with the Cubs. Coleman allowed two runs on two hits with a pair of walks in three innings of work.
Jay Bruce (walk), Miguel Cairo (0-for-2), Jonny Gomes (walk), Ryan Hanigan (sac fly), Chris Heisey (1-for-2) and Joey Votto (1-for-2 with a double) all faced Coleman three weeks ago.
The Cubs will get their third look of the year at Travis Wood. The impressive southpaw has come back down to earth a little bit after an excellent start to his big league career.
Wood is coming off the worst start of his young career. The Giants put seven runs on the board against Wood in just four innings of work. Wood allowed seven hits and walked two while striking out only three. The seven runs is the most, so far, Wood has allowed in the big leagues.
The Cubs struggled mightily against Wood on July 2 at Wrigley. Wood held the Cubs to two runs on two hits in seven innings … but the Cubs got to Wood a little the last time they faced him.
The Reds spanked the Cubs three weeks ago 11-4 but the Cubs’ offense scored four runs, three earned, on four hits with a pair of walks and three strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings. The Cubs must make the 23-year old lefty work.
Cubs Numbers against Travis Wood
- Jeff Baker – 1-for-6 with a home run
- Marlon Byrd – 0-for-6
- Starlin Castro – 0-for-4 with 2 walks
- Tyler Colvin – 0-for-4
- Blake DeWitt – 0-for-1
- Koyie Hill – 1-for-2
- Xavier Nady – 1-for-2 with a double and a walk
- Aramis Ramirez – 2-for-6 with a double
- Alfonso Soriano – 1-for-6
- Geovany Soto – 0-for-2 with a walk
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …