Monday, July 6, 2009

Cubs win with rusty Aramis

So Aramis went 0-4. In other news, the Cubs beat the Braves 4-2. As expected by many, A-Ram didn't drive the ball like he did in happier times this season such as this walkoff home run against the Cardinals. However, the Cubs were able to win the game none the less, mostly due to 6 strong innings from Randy Wells.

The more and more this season goes on, the more and more I realize how lost this team may be without Randy Wells. How have the Cubs reached this point? How have they been able to withstand awful output from Soriano, Bradley, and Soto and no A-Ram production for 50 games? How have they been able to survive no offensive output from second base and below average defense on the whole? What about a 5.35 ERA from Rich Harden and 40 walks from Carlos Marmol?

After all this, they sit only 2 games out of first place. Sit back and let that sink in for a moment. Who is there to thank? All-Star Ted Lilly and white hot Derrek Lee should come right to mind, and deservedly so. But Randy Wells should too.

Wells first start was oddly enough the game that Aramis went down. In a way, the Cubs were able to scrape by by replacing the production they would have gotten from Aramis on a daily basis with the quality innings they got out off Wells every fifth day. Granted this is a wild comparison, but it is worth considering.

In all but 2 of his starts, Wells has gone at least 6 innings. When a pitcher like Z goes on the DL (which is Wells' initial reason for being up), their replacement's usually bomb and wreck the bullpen. Wells has not only preserved the bullpen, but by being as good as he has been, has allowed Sean Marshall to fill the need for an effective lefty and long man.

Though the Cubs are 6-5 in his starts, which is not spectacular by any means, he has put the team in a position to win in all but his start against the Twins. Really that is all you can ask out of any pitcher, let alone a minor league call up. Suppose Wells comes down to earth in the coming weeks, at least he will have allowed the Cubs to bide time until Harden can figure himself out. Let's hope that he stays the way he is, and if he does the Cubs will have two straight ROY's on their ballclub.

Leadoff Dome is definitely my favorite Dome from what I've seen. Yes, first month and a half hot streak Dome is nice, but you always just have that sneaking suspicion it won't last. I can't remember whether it was Orel Herisher or Steve Phillips that said it, but the point was made that even when Dome struggles, he still walks. His .384 OBP isn't stellar at the leadoff spot, but it sure is an improvement. I hope Lou gives this lineup a couple weeks to play out.

I really wish Nate McLouth had been traded to the AL. Don't the Yankees need a center fielder? It will be so nice to not have to see him the rest of the year after this series ends. Well maybe I would like to see him again, because that would mean the Cubs and Braves were hooking up in the playoffs. Last time that happened it went pretty well, so why not again?

One last point I'd like to bring up enhances tonight's win. It is without a doubt great that the Cubs have the same number of losses as the Brewers and Cards. However the Brewers have played 2 more games than the Cubs and the Cardinals 4 more. Hypothetically the Cubs could lose all 4 games when the Cardinals are off, and having the same amount of losses right now wouldn't mean anything. Getting a win is great, but inching closer to making the loss column mean something is big as well.

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