With Matt Garza taking on Kyle Kendrick today, this is a game the Cubs have to win if they’re going to leave this series feeling good about themselves.

  • It’s kind of sad to read this pre-game write-up on Randy Wells from early yesterday (in which he talks about how much he wants to stay up with the big club, and how he feels some folks have the wrong impression of him), and then to watch what unfolded in his start last night. Of walking the pitcher in a crucial spot in the fourth inning, Randy Wells said, “it makes me want to throw up.” It’s uncertain what will happen to Wells on Thursday when Ryan Dempster returns, as Dale Sveum has said Wells is in the mix to take the long-relief role in the pen, though I doubt Cubs’ management would rather have Wells in the pen than starting at AAA. The question I have: doesn’t Wells have to clear revocable waivers again if the Cubs try to send him to AAA again (Update: See this comment below. The gist is, by my calculation, so long as he’s optioned by Friday, May 4, he doesn’t have to clear waivers again.)? Would he? Given that it’s revocable, and teams know the Cubs aren’t going to let Wells go for nothing, it’s possible he’d go unclaimed. We’ll just have to see what happens, I suppose.
  • Welington Castillo will probably see more starts than Steve Clevenger did (more on Clevenger’s injury in a bit), thanks in part to Geovany Soto’s upper back issue, and in part because of his past catching experience. “I might play Castillo a little more just because he’s a catcher that’s caught all the time every day and a guy that can swing the bat as well and a guy that has been playing well and can stop a running game,” manager Dale Sveum said. “He might play a little bit more than Clevenger. Soto is still the everyday guy.” Sounds good to me, though I’d be failing if I didn’t point out that the biggest criticism of Castillo is that he doesn’t handle the pitching staff well, and, in his last five starts in the bigs going back to last year, the team is 0-5. In all five starts, the starting pitcher got slapped around (the best start was a Matt Garza six inning, three earned runs on five hits and four walks.
  • Here’s a super hilarious, totally original, never-been-joked-about-before cartoon depiction from Boston about the Cubs’ chances of winning the World Series this year. Ha. Ha. Ha. Nice job, Will O’Toole.
  • On this day in 1983, Chicago Cubs manager Lee Elia unleashed the fury on Cubs fans. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, or if you just want to hear it again, here you go. Be warned, the language is … coarse.
  • Why the hell would anyone want to hear Joe Buck offer how he would call the Cubs winning the World Series? Seriously, who asked him to do this? Do you know how much twisted pleasure it gives Buck in being able to call it, knowing that it’s entirely fake (as he offers barbs throughout)? Gross:

  • http://www.obstructedview.net berselius

    I don’t think he’ll have to clear waivers again. The Cubs already used his option for the year when they sent him down in ST, once you use in a season it you can be moved between rosters as many times as the team needs. I’d guess that the optional waivers would only apply when the option was burned.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      What has been throwing me for a loop on Wells was the fact that he had to pass through revocable waivers in the first place. He had an option year left, so the weird rule (based on service time, as I understand it) that forced the Cubs to put him on waivers messes me up. It doesn’t seem to come up very often (which makes sense, because maybe it’s rare that you’d have a guy with 4ish years of big league service time, who still had an option left, and whom the team wants to send down).

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Ok, here we go: “Optional Assignment Waivers secured during the waiver period that commences on February 16th and during the waiver period that starts on the 31st day of the MLB regular season are in effect for the entire waiver period.” http://www.thecubreporter.com/cubs-40-man-roster

        So, the waiver the Cubs secured on Wells will remain good until the 30th day of the regular season, which is Friday, May 4th. How about that luck? By my count, then, the Cubs can option Wells back to Iowa without subjecting him to waivers on Thursday. If it were just two days later, it could be an issue.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          I’m guessing the reason they have these different waiver periods, and the reason you can’t waive a guy in early April and then have that waiver be good for the entire season is because teams could place a ton of guys on waivers at the beginning of the year when rosters are set (so it’s harder for teams to make claims), and then they’d have free reign to option a guy like Wells up and down all year. Three-year vets (apparently) aren’t supposed to get shuffled up and down so easily (union made sure of that).

          • Ivy Walls

            you don’t think Hoyer and Epstein, as well as, Wells (there is a tongue twister) knew this and why both he and the Cubs allowed Wells to sink or swim in the 4th inning.

            My father in law was moaning about the Sveum & Co decision and I replied that all decisions (tactical as in who plays when and where) are tied to the big plan, which is one of the major reasons why the Cubs hired Sveum & Co., they know this is about building a foundation and creating value to acquisition.

            Wells is ticketed to Iowa and will have one more opportunity with the club when and if the situation dictates, what I am hopeful is that Malholm pitched well, and if Dempster returns as he was that gives the Cubs seemingly four good starters, Volstad is still work in progress but he has shown flashes.

            Here is hoping the Cubs make a big trade with desirous SF regarding Marmol and LaHair sooner than later. LaHair is a fine journeyman 1B, when he hits the ball (and that is an if) it usually goes deep somewhere, and Marmol well we know so much about him.

  • Canadian Cubs Fan

    Joe Buck is a doooooooooooosh. Hard to say who I hate more, him or McCarver. Pompous. Arrogant. Overrated. Cardinal-lovers. That’s all I have.

    • Njriv

      He’s also an Aaron Rodgers kiss-ass.

    • Diesel

      I also read that Joe Buck had to get divorced because he was in a gay relationship with Fernando Tatis.

  • Fishin Phil

    Well Randy, if it makes you feel any better, you made me throw up in my mouth a lttle.

    Of course the thought of Joe Buck makes me throw up a lot!

  • dabynsky

    As if I had to have a reason to hate Joe Buck evenmore…

  • Dougy D

    Joe Buck is a puke. He is a no talent as clown that is riding on his pappy’s coat tails. He and Tim McCarver never have an unbiased thing to say (which is fine if you are the commentator for a team, not the national prime time games). Joe Buck is a stupid fucker and I want to smash him. I look forward to the day that I never have to hear those two morons call a game.

    Oh, now that I have watched the video clip, that is about what I would have expected from that moron.

  • Cubs Dude

    Joe Buck is an ass clown. I have never met anyone who liked that guy. Turd… Wells, just needs to get his groove back, he will be ok eventually.

  • Andrewmoore4isu

    “playground for the cocksuckers”

  • rcleven

    Randy had it working last night for the first three innings. He had his slider working down and kept the hitters off balance with a good change. Then he started to leave his pitches up in the fourth. His problem’s seem more to be between the ears than mechanical. Maybe waving him might be best to advance his career. A change of scenery may be best for Randy and the Cubs.

  • CubFan Paul

    Randy Wells is excellent (Mr. Burns impersonation)