Game One Hundred Sixty – Cubs 5 Diamondbacks 0
WP – Randy Wells (12-10) LP – Daniel Cabrera (0-6) Save – None
Randy Wells finished his rookie campaign with one of his better starts of the year on Saturday afternoon. Wells struck out a career-high 10 batters and allowed only three hits in seven shutout innings. Wells gave up a leadoff double to Stephen Drew in the first inning then sat down the next 14 batters he faced until a two-out single in the fifth by Eric Byrnes. Wells picked up his 12th win of the year in 27 starts.
Esmailin Caridad pitched a perfect eighth and Carlos Marmol struck out two of the three batters he faced in the ninth to preserve the shutout. A day after the Diamondbacks put a 12-spot on the board against Cubs’ pitching they were shutout in the last Saturday afternoon game at Wrigley Field this season.
Reed Johnson (1-for-4 with a triple, two runs scored and two RBI) broke up the scoreless game with his second triple of the season in the fourth inning. Johnson scored on a double down the left field line by Geovany Soto … the Cubs’ third consecutive extra base hit of the inning.
Geovany Soto (2-for-2 with a double, two walks and two RBI) drove in Aramis Ramirez with an infield single in the sixth. Tyler Colvin then delivered his first career RBI at Wrigley Field with a single to center off of Stephen Drew’s glove … Reed Johnson scored the Cubs fifth and final run.
The Cubs offense equaled their run total from the three consecutive losses on Saturday.
Saturday afternoon was all about Randy Wells ending his season on a high note … and the Cubs’ rookie right-hander did not disappoint. Randy Wells gave up a double to Stephen Drew to begin the game. It was the fourth game in a row the opposition began the game by putting their leadoff hitter on … and the third in a row with an extra base hit. It appeared the Cubs would be in an early hole again before they had a chance to swing the bat.
But Randy Wells retired Augie Ojeda on a comebacker to the mound … and settled down. Wells struck out the free-swinging Mark Reynolds and retired Miguel Montero on a ground out to short.
While the Cubs’ offense swung early and often against Daniel Cabrera, Randy Wells was busy retiring batter after batter. Wells struck out a pair in the second after running the count to 3-2 both times. Then in the third Wells retired the D’Backs in order with three swinging strikeouts.
The D’Backs managed only two hits after the opening frame and both came with two outs … a single in the fifth by Eric Byrnes and a double in the seventh by Gerardo Parra.
Randy Wells tossed 107 pitches, 69 for strikes, Saturday afternoon and left a very positive last impression for the Cubs’ brass to think about all winter.
When the Cubs’ offense is clicking it begins with patience … and walks. Saturday was not exception. A walk by Aramis Ramirez started the Cubs’ three-run fourth inning.
Derrek Lee flied out to right to start the fourth. Aramis Ramirez worked a one-out walk and advanced to third on a double down the right field line by Jeff Baker.
Reed Johnson, possibly playing in his last game as a Cub, tripled to right center on a 1-1 pitch from Cabrera. Chris Young tried to make a diving stop, the ball skipped past him and rolled all the way to the wall. Ramirez and Baker scored easily … 2-0 Cubs.
Geovany Soto ripped a 0-1 pitch down the left field line. Johnson scored easily on Soto’s double … the Cubs third extra base hit in a row. Tyler Colvin grounded out to second and Randy Wells fouled out to end the inning.
Aramis Ramirez started the two-run rally in the sixth with a single to left. Jeff Baker walked. Reed Johnson grounded into a 3-6 fielder’s choice. With runners on first and third with one out, Soto reached on a swinging bunt to the third base side of the mound. Ramirez broke on contact and scored when Bryan Augenstein’s could not complete his throw to the plate.
Tyler Colvin put together an impressive eight-pitch at bat that resulted in his first RBI at Wrigley Field. Colvin worked the count to 3-2 then singled to center on the eighth pitch.
For as bad as the Cubs had played since Tuesday, it was good to see them win a game.
The Cubs will suit up for the final time this season on Sunday afternoon. Ryan Dempster against Doug Davis in game number 161.