In very unexpected news, Randy Wells is headed to the disabled list today along with Andrew Cashner. Wells has a strained forearm, Cashner a strained rotator cuff (gulp). All the Cubs can do, as Jim Hendry said earlier this morning, is "find a way to get through it". Casey Coleman will be recalled for one of the spots. The other one will be filled later -- the Cubs could actually get along with four starters for a while with all the off days coming up.
Obviously, this is terrible news. But it's early and the Cubs do have options.
The Cubs and Diamondbacks have an interesting history, even though it goes back only to 1998. With the two wins by the Cubs so far in this series, the all-time Cubs/D'backs record is now 44-53.
That splits this way: 26-24 at Wrigley Field, 18-29 at the house of horrors variously known as Bank One Ballpark and Chase Field. And that doesn't include the 2007 division series, either.
Nevertheless, the Cubs have now won eight consecutive games against Arizona -- the last three of a series at Wrigley last April and early May (and after a 10-5 win on May 2, they were at .500 for the last time in 2010 at 13-13), a three-game sweep in Phoenix last July, and the first two games of this series. The Cubs will also have a four-game set in Phoenix at the end of this month. With Ryan Dempster, this year's Opening Day starter, going for his first win of the year today, it would appear to me that the Cubs have a good shot at making that nine straight and ending this homestand on an up note.
Carlos Pena, who suffered a minor thumb injury on Monday, may start today and is likely available to pinch-hit. Tyler Colvin did a good job in his absence yesterday.
|Today's Starting Pitchers|
Ryan Dempster got left in the game too long last Friday on Opening Day; the HR he then allowed to Andrew McCutchen left his ERA at an unsightly 8.10, when he actually pitched fairly well. He last faced the D'backs in an 8-3 Cubs win in Phoenix on July 7, 2010, where he allowed three runs in five innings. The D'back who has hit him best is, oddly enough, his former teammate Xavier Nady, who is 5-for-13 against him (.385) with a pair of HR. Nady, though, has not yet played the field this year.
Armando Galarraga started against the Cubs while with the Tigers on June 25, 2009. The lineup in that game is recommended for amusement value only. Current Cubs are 9-for-25 vs. Galarraga. He is making his season, and Diamondbacks, debut after having a poor spring (0-3, 8.44 ERA, 3 HR allowed in 16 IP).
Today's game is on WGN and FSN Arizona. Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.
Today's first pitch thread will be up at 1:15 p.m. CDT and the overflow threads will post at 2:15 pm, 3:15 pm and 4 pm CDT. If you need more overflows due to rain delays or extra innings, post them in the fanshot section.
Discuss amongst yourselves.