Randy Wells helped the Cubs get back on track with a 7-inning gem that helped the Cubs beat the Pirates 4-1. Wells needed only 97 pitches, giving up only 1 ER on 6 hits and 1 walk. He struck out 4 and did not allow a run after giving up a 1st inning run. The rookie Wells has turned into the Cubs most dependable starter right now, lowering his ERA 2.43 to and his WHIP to 1.08. Wells had this to say about his quality 2009 start: “I like to think I’ve been consistent. When I was called up to make my first start, I said, ‘Just be who you are. Go out, throw strikes, mix speeds and keep the flow of the game going.’” Wells has certainly done that in his 10 starts – he has given up more than 2 runs in only 2 of his starts.
Carlos Marmol worked a scoreless 8th inning although he did hit the leadoff hitter with a pitch. Kevin Gregg worked a 1-2-3 9th inning to preserve the win and pick up his 14th save of the season.
Derrek Lee got the Cubs off to a good start with a 2-run HR to deep right center field in the 1st inning. Kosuke Fukodome’s solo HR in the 6th inning gave the Cubs a 3-1 lead and Geovany Soto’s RBI single in the 8th inning tacked on another insurance run for the Cubs. Sam Fuld, recently called up to take the place of the injured Aaron Miles, had 2 hits and scored a run. Ryan Theriot, Fukodome and Soto also each had 2 hits.
Manager Lou Pinella was ejected from the game in the 6th inning for arguing a call made by 1st base umpire Chad Fairchild who called Wells out. The play ended a Cubs threat that would have scored a run.
The Cubs start the month of July with a win – good news. The potential bad news – they start the most important home stand of the 2009 MLB schedule on Thursday night against the Brewers at Wrigley Field and it’s unclear if they are ready for it. At 37-38, the Cubs trail the Brewers by 3.5 games, the Cards by 2.5 games and the Reds by .5 games. The Cubs need to win at least 2 of the games against the Brewers this weekend. Anything less than that and the season could be over. Ryan Dempster (4-5. 4.09 ERA) takes the bump against Seth McClung (3-1, 3.55 ERA) in the Thursday night opener.