Cubs Blanked Again – Cubs 0 Padres 3

Game One Hundred Fifty-Eight – Cubs 0 Padres 3
WP – Chris Young (2-0) LP – Randy Wells (8-14) Save – Heath Bell (45)

Randy Wells made his 32nd and final start of the year on Wednesday night and lost for the 14th time in Twenty-Ten. Wells received no run support, in large part due to two outstanding catches by Will Venable, but Wells struggled with his command once again (109 pitches, 56 for strikes).

Wells was credited with his 18th quality start, second most on the Cubs staff, after giving up three runs on six hits in seven innings of work. Wells walked four batters, one intentional, hit a batter, struck out two and uncorked a wild pitch that cost him a run … and two of Wells’ four free passes came around to score.

Randy Wells retired the Padres in order in the seventh to end his outing and his season.

The Cubs offense was non-existent against Chris Young and the Padres’ bullpen. Young picked up his second victory of the season after tossing five innings of shutout ball.

Will Venable robbed Aramis Ramirez of a two-run homer in the third with a spectacular leaping catch in left center … and took away at least a double from Alfonso Soriano with an outstanding catch in the second.

The Cubs managed only three hits in the first eight innings and five total baserunners. The Cubs left three runners in scoring position in the first two innings and finished the game 0-for-5 with RISP and left six on base.

Aramis Ramirez managed the Cubs only hit after the third inning. The Cubs went from an infield single by Marlon Byrd in the third to one out in the ninth before recording a hit. The only other baserunner was a walk by Alfonso Soriano with one-out walk in the fourth inning.

The only highlight on the night for the Chicago Cubs was a diving catch by Kosuke Fukudome in the third inning that took a hit away from Chris Young.

Wednesday’s loss snapped the Cubs eight-game road winning streak. The Cubs slipped to 21-12 under Mike Quade (14-4 outside of Wrigley Field) and dropped to 72-86 on the season with four games left to play …

Sometimes experience does not make a difference. While Mike Quade is doing the right thing with running out a veteran lineup against a team fighting for a playoff spot, he would field a better team by mixing in a few of the younger, inexperienced players that are fighting for a job … and at the same time, he might remove some of the automatic outs that liter the Cubs’ lineup on a daily basis.

The Cubs put runners in scoring position in the first and second inning … and came away empty both times.

Kosuke Fukudome walked to start the game and advanced to second on a clean single to center by Starlin Castro. With Marlon Byrd at the plate, Fukudome and Castro pulled off a double steal.

But with runners at second and third with no outs, Byrd grounded out to third. Aramis Ramirez and Xavier Nady struck out swinging to end the inning.

Koyie Hill doubled down the right field line with two outs in the second … but was stranded when Randy Wells struck out to end the inning.

Randy Wells walked just his second batter in three starts, and it cost him a run.

Adrian Gonzalez walked to start the bottom of the second. Ryan Ludwick flied out to left then Yorvit Torrealba reached on a bunt single to third. Aaron Cunningham flied out to left for the second out.

Chase Headley hit a grounder ticketed for right field. Nady dove but could not field the ball cleanly … it rolled toward second and Castro picked up the ball and threw to the plate. Gonzalez scored but Hill threw out Torrealba at third to end the inning.

With the Padres up 1-0, Marlon Byrd reached on an infield single with two outs in the top of the third. Aramis Ramirez then launched a 1-2 pitch from Young to left center. Off the bat it looked like Ramirez got all of it, and he did … but Will Venable made a leaping catch as he crashed into the wall.

Kosuke Fukudome took away a hit from Chris Young to start the bottom of the third. Fukudome made a fine diving catch on a ball in right center. Will Venable reached on a single to right center and stole second with Miguel Tejada at the plate. Tejada channeled his inner Jeter and took first base after claiming to get hit … replays showed the ball hit the knob of the bat. With runners on first and second with two outs, Adrian Gonzalez grounded out to short to end the inning.

The Padres made it 2-0 in the bottom of the fourth. Ryan Ludwick led off the inning with a double to left. Yorvit Torrealba sacrificed him to third. With Aaron Cunningham at the plate, Wells uncorked a wild pitch … that Hill did not get in front of. Ludwick scored … 2-0 Padres. Wells walked Cunningham but got out of the inning when Headley hit into a 3-6 double play.

The Cubs went in order in the top of the fifth … Chris Young’s last inning of work.

Wells continued to struggle with his command in the bottom of the fifth. Luis Durango hit for Young and walked on four pitches. After Will Venable popped out to left, Durango stole second with David Eckstein at the plate. Eckstein then doubled down the third base line. Durango scored … 3-0 Padres.

Miguel Tejada grounded out to third for the second out. Eckstein advanced on the play and Adrian Gonzalez was intentionally walked … Wells’ fourth free pass of the game. Ludwick got ahead 3-1 before tapping back to Wells to end the inning.

Ryan Webb sat down the Cubs in order in the sixth … and Luke Gregerson did the same to Q’s offense in the seventh.

Randy Wells finished his 2010 season by retiring the Padres in order in the bottom of the seventh.

Scott Maine was impressive again on Wednesday night. Maine sat down the Padres in order on just seven pitches.

The Cubs recorded their fourth hit in the ninth. Aramis Ramirez singled to right with one out, but Heath Bell took care of Xavier Nady and Alfonso Soriano to end the game.

Year One is just about over …

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Tom Gorzelanny will face Jon Garland in the series and season finale against the Padres on Thursday afternoon.

Quote of the Day

"Build up your weaknesses until they become your strong points." – Knute Rockne