Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Randy Wells Dominates Houston Pt. 3

Randy Wells continued to dominate the Houston Astros this season and earned his tenth win of the season tonight at Wrigley Field. It was Wells' third outing against the Astros this season and he didn't allow a single earned run in 20 2/3 innings. 

For the first time since Kerry Wood's 1998 season the Cubs had a rookie pitcher win 10 games. Wood won 13 that season and also took the rookie of the year award, the same award that Wells hopes to take home at the end of this season. He likely won't win the award given the season JA Happ is having in Philly, but Wells is certainly making his case.

Offensively the Cubs struggled at first against Brian Moehler, but figured him out the second time through the order. Milton Bradley hit his twelve homer of the season in the fourth inning to start the scoring, and added a single in the sixth. Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez also had great games at the plate, Lee had a double in the eighth and got on base earlier on a dropped flyball by Hunter Pence.

Aramis drove in a run in the sixth inning, and Kosuke Fukudome added some insurance in the eighth with a RBI double. Koyie Hill added a fifth inning RBI single to complete the Cubs scoring for the night. It was quite the impressive effort for an offense that usually struggles on nights where they are too aggressive. Milton Bradley deserves credit for starting this with that homer that came after he worked a count.

Alfonso Soriano's return to the lineup was encouraging to me too. Soriano hit two balls very hard. One was a solid single up the middle and the other was run down in right field. He looked a bit better in the field and he was able to run the bases a bit better. Good things for Alfonso, hopefully he builds on it.

The bullpen was very good again for the Cubs too. John Grabow came on in the seventh and was able to retire Michael Bourne to end that inning. He got one out in the eighth before walking a batter. Kevin Gregg came in to face Carlos Lee (yikes) and was able to get him to fly out to center field.

Carlos Marmol impressed again in the ninth inning allowing a leadoff single to Hunter Pence before retiring the last three batters on a popout and two strikeouts. It looks to me like Marmol is settling in nicely to the closers role and might just be able to settle that position for 2010. His control is better and he is actually using his great fastball to get outs rather than always going to the slider.

Tomorrow afternoon the Cubs try to win the series with Roberto Clemente winner and all around awesome guy Ted Lilly taking the mound. The Cubs need to win that game because I can't stand to lose such a lopsided pitching matchup

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