Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Randy Wells Dominates Houston

One day after Ryan Dempster made me smash my head against a wall, Randy Wells pitched like a pro. Throwing strikes, getting grounders, and shutting down a pretty good lineup. Pretty much to opposite of what we saw last night. Wells eight innings of shutout baseball also saved the tired Cubs bullpen from having to work too much. The day had a great ending with Mitch Atkins making his MLB debut and finishing off the shutout.

Pitching wasn't the biggest story of the day though. That honor would go to a suddenly white hot offense. It didn't take long to get started either, the bottom of the first saw a Derrek Lee sac fly, Aramis Ramirez RBI single, Alfonso Soriano 3-run homer, and a Koyie Hill RBI single to finish it off. 

The party could have ended there, but it didn't. Aramis hit a solo homer, so did Andres Blanco. Derrek Lee added a RBI double, Milton Bradley a RBI single, and Jake Fox got 2 RBI (one on a sac fly, one on a single). That all added up to a 12-0 win for the Cubs and a happy night for all of us.

Now back to Randy Wells. I have been a major critic of Wells because he spent his last months worth of starts at the zoo. The numbers didn't end up so bad, but he was concentrating too hard on star players and ignoring others (Ryan Ludwick, Aaron Harang). Wells didn't do that today, and he lowered his ERA to 2.84 after his best start of the season. This also put Wells back in the rookie of the year race. Wells, JA Happ of Philly, and Colby Rasmus of St. Louis will battle the rest of the season for the honor of top rookie.

Always nice to have a game like this. The series is on the line tomorrow, with Kevin Hart going against Russ Ortiz. The Astros bullpen will still be in trouble, so the Cubs will hopefully get to them early and often. 

Tonight the Dodgers take Clayton Kershaw to the mound against Joel Pinero and the Cardinals. A Cardinals loss puts the Cubs back in first place, which would be nice but isn't really important since it is July.  Go Dodgers tonight. 

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