Game #66 Preview: A's (33-34) @ Cubs (29-36)
Though it sounds like Jim Hendry truly couldn't care less, it's the first day of the Ari Kaplan Era at Wrigley Field. As for the game on the field, mlb.com reports that Randy Wells is looking at today's start against the A's as hitting the reset button on his thus far rocky season.
The irony, of course, is that Wells's employers might not be able to overlook the past quite as easily: since the beginning of May, the righty is 0-5, 6.47. His first-inning troubles have been especially ugly. In 13 Wells starts this year, opponents are hitting .357 against him in the opening inning and Wells's first-inning ERA is a Grabow-esque 11.25. (Stats from Baseball-Reference.com.)
Moreover, all of this is happening while Tom Gorzelanny collects dust in the bullpen—since his last start 22 days ago, Gorzelanny has pitched just three times (1 2/3 IP) and thrown a total of 52 pitches.
The lineups have been posted. You'll note that with the A's starting another lefty, the Cubs' "everyday" right fielder will be sitting for a second consecutive day.
A's vs. Randy Wells (3-5, 5.15; first appearance vs. A's):
Davis 8, Jackson 7, Barton 3, Suzuki 2, Kouzmanoff 5, Cust 9, Ellis 4, Pennington 6, Braden 1
Cubs lineup vs. Dallas Braden (4-6, 3.95; first appearance vs. Cubs)
Theriot 4, Baker 5, Byrd 8, Lee 3, Nady 9, Soriano 7, Soto 2, Castro 6, Wells 1
From the FWIW Department, Marlon Byrd is the only Cub to have faced Braden and has gone 6/16 against him, including 3 doubles. As for Braden, he's 0-4, 4.75 in six starts since his perfect game against Tampa Bay.