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Finish The Homestand Strong: Cubs vs. Brewers Preview, Thursday 9/17, 1:20 CT

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With a win today, the Cubs would complete a 5-2 homestand. Yes, 6-1 or 7-0 would have been better against teams that the Cubs should beat, but 5-2 would bring the home record for this season to 45-29 with seven games remaining against the Pirates and Diamondbacks, and a real shot at winning 50 home games for only the 18th time since 1900.

So Taguchi nearly didn't make it to Chicago last night:
The 40-year-old Taguchi, who lives in St. Louis, disregarded the Cubs' phone calls Wednesday night because he said he didn't know who would be calling him from the 312 area code.

"I don't have any friends in Chicago, so I thought it was a wrong number," he said. "So I just ignored it for maybe two hours."

Taguchi's agent called him and told him the Cubs were looking for him for the rest of the season.

"Cubs?" he replied. "Why now?"

Because Reed Johnson still is out and Kosuke Fukudome was the only other center fielder on the roster.

I think he meant Tuesday night, not Wednesday night. Wednesday night, Taguchi was in Chicago. He was called out on strikes pinch-hitting last night on what looked like a borderline call (there were several of those last night, I thought). He's still a useful addition to the roster for the last two and a half weeks. That story also says that Carlos Zambrano won't waive his full no-trade clause, even though reports indicate that the Cubs are planning on shopping him. That's standard procedure for players with NTC's. We'll see what happens. I'll have more to say about this when the season ends.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Randy Wells
Randy Wells
Cubs
vs. Dave Bush
Dave Bush
Brewers
10-8 W-L 4-7
2.96 ERA 5.85
84 SO 78
38 BB 31
12 HR 18
vs. Mil -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Randy Wells 10-8 23 23 0 0 0 0 143.0 141 56 47 12 38 84 2.96 1.25


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Dave Bush 4-7 19 18 0 0 0 0 103.0 110 69 67 18 31 78 5.85 1.37

These two pitchers faced each other on May 8 in Milwaukee. That game was notable for several reasons; first, it was Randy Wells' first major league start; second, it started a series of starts in which Wells threw well, left the game with the lead, and the team either blew the lead or someone else got the win. And finally, that was the game in which Aramis Ramirez dislocated his shoulder, resulting in two months' worth of offense-less baseball for the Cubs.

That's Wells' only career start vs. Milwaukee, though he did throw 3.1 scoreless innings in relief against them last September. Current Brewers have only five hits against him, four singles and a double by Jason Kendall.

Bush has a 3.38 ERA in two no-decision starts vs. the Cubs this year, although lifetime he's 1-7, 4.78 in 13 starts. Aramis Ramirez has three career HR off him in 29 AB, and Kosuke Fukudome is hitting .417 (5-for-12) with a HR, three doubles and four walks.

Today's game is on WGN. If you have EI, you'll get the FSN Wisconsin feed. For other games today see the MLB.com Mediacenter.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Brewers site Brew Crew Ball.

Once again, just two overflow threads today -- 2:15 pm and 3:30 pm CDT. If there's a need for another one, please post as a FanShot.

Discuss amongst yourselves.