It was a tale of 2 final starts for Randy Wells and Ryan Dempster in the final 2 games for the Cubs over the weekend at Wrigley Field.
Wells picked up his 12th win of the season as he dominated the Arizona Diamondbacks over 7 innings of work. Wells threw 107 pitches and struck out a career-high 10 batters. He gave up just 3 hits and 1 walk during his outing. Top top off the excellent showing from Wells, Esmailin Cardidad and Carlos Marmol continued their hot pitching with 2 perfect innings of work to preserve the 5-0 win for Wells. We could be seeing a lot of Cardidad and Marmol in 2010 for the Cubs, as well as a lot of Wells. Wells has been the Cubs most pleasant surprise of 2009. He made 27 starts for the Cubs, an amazing number given the fact that he did not get his 1st start until May 8th. He finished with a 3.05 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP, and he gave up just 56 ER in 165 1/3 innings pitched. The 12 wins and 3.05 ERA were team highs.
Ryan Dempster did not fare so well in his final start of 2009. Dempster was also going for his 12th win of the season, but he gave up 5 ER on 6 hits and 1 walk in just 5 innings of work (he did have 10 K’s). He was on a roll of late – going 2-0 while pitching at least 7 innings in each of his last 4 starts – but he didn’t have it on Sunday. Overall, Dempster finished the season with a 3.65 ERA and 1.30 WHIP. Dempster struck out 172 batters while walking only 65 in 200 innings pitched, but he was just too inconsistent all season long. The strikeout and innings pitched numbers were team highs.
If Wells can repeat his 2009 performance in 2010, the Cubs will have a formidable starting rotation once again with Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster, Ted Lilly and Wells. The Cubs finished with the 5th best team ERA in all of baseball in 2009. GM Jim Hendry, Manager Lou Pinella, and pitching coach Larry Rothschild should feel good knowing that they will have 4 quality starters coming back in 2010 he pitched very well in 2009 despite being on an under-achieving team.