All Didn’t End Wells – Cubs 4 White Sox 6

Game Eighty-Three – Cubs 4 White Sox 6
WP – Edwin Jackson (5-6) LP – Randy Wells (1-3) Save – Sergio Santos (18)

The big reason the Cubs have still not won three games in a row this season was on display Friday afternoon at Wrigley Field. The Cubs starting rotation has been inconsistent at best this year and simply dreadful in games not started by Zambrano, Garza or Dempster. The Cubs have won only eight games this year in games not started by the top three pitchers in Q’s rotation. The reason a cliché is a cliché is because they are usually accurate … momentum is only as good as the next day’s starting pitcher and it was the same old Randy Wells on Friday afternoon.

Randy Wells had three games in one on Friday afternoon. Wells gave up two runs in the first inning that put his team in a hole again. Wells then threw five innings of shutout ball, at one point retiring 11 in a row. But it was the seventh that ended up being the difference in the game.

The Cubs battled back and took a 4-2 lead into the seventh but Randy Wells gave up four runs in a blink of an eye in the seventh and lost for the third time this season.

Jeff Samardzija, Kerry Wood and Sean Marshall kept the Sox from tacking on but the offense managed only two hits over the last three innings.

Aramis Ramirez stayed hot on Friday afternoon and reached a personal milestone. Ramirez hit the 300th homer of his career in the bottom of the sixth that gave the Cubs a 4-2 lead at the time. Ramirez finished the game 2-for-3 with his 11th homer of the year, a sac fly and two RBI. Ramirez became the ninth player to reach the 300 home run plateau in a Cubs’ uniform. Derrek Lee and Alfonso Soriano were the last to reach the milestone in a Cubs uniform (June 2010).

Kosuke Fukudome (2-for-4 with a run scored) and Darwin Barney (1-for-4 with a double, a run scored and a RBI) provided the Cubs other offensive highlights. The Cubs managed only seven hits and finished the game 0-for-5 with RISP, four left on base.

Starlin Castro turned in one of the best defensive plays one will see from a Major League shortstop in the third inning. Castro made an excellent diving stop on a ball hit in the hole, got up in short left field and gunned down Brent Morel at first base. Offensively Castro was 0-for-4 and continued to prove that he is not ready to hit out of the three-hole.

The BP Crosstown Cup will remain with the White Sox for at least one more year. The Sox have won three of four in the 2011 Crosstown Series. The Cubs have now dropped 14 of the last 19 to the South Side.

The Cubs failed to win their third game in a row for the ninth time this season and with Friday’s loss they dropped back to 15 games under .500 with a 34-49 record …

The White Sox jumped on Randy Wells in the first inning. Wells walked the always-aggressive Juan Pierre to start the game. Ozzie Guillen then called for a hit and run on a 1-2 pitch to Brent Morel. Morel executed the hit and run to perfection and hit the ball through Castro’s vacated spot at shortstop. Pierre easily made it to third and thought about trying to score.

With runners on first and third with no outs, Carlos Quentin popped the first pitch into right and Pierre had to hold at third. Paul Konerko drove in the first run with a sac fly to right on a 0-1 pitch. Pierre tagged and scored and Morel advanced to second.

A.J. Pierzynski gave the Sox a 2-0 lead with a single up the middle that Darwin Barney got a glove on. Instead of diving and trying to just keep the ball in the infield, Barney appeared to be looking to make a play on the ball to possibly throw out Pierzynski at first. Alexei Ramirez grounded out to short on Wells’ 19th pitch (16 for strikes) to end the inning.

Kosuke Fukudome led off the bottom of the first with a single … but the Cubs could not chip away at the Sox lead.

Randy Wells gave up a one-out double to Gordon Beckham in the second. Beckham just missed a solo homer as the ball hit high off the wall. Wells settled down and retired Edwin Jackson and Juan Pierre to end the inning.

The Cubs got on the board in the bottom of the second after Carlos Pena walked to start the inning. Soriano struck out swinging on a ball in the dirt but Reed Johnson lined a 1-1 pitch into left center. Pena motored around second and made it to third … and the always-hustling Reed Johnson slid in headfirst at second with a double.

The Sox pitched to Geovany Soto and he hit a 3-2 pitch to Brent Morel at third. Pena scored … 2-1 White Sox. Wells lined out to right to end the inning.

Randy Wells retired the Sox in order in the top of the third … after three Wells had thrown 48 pitches, 33 for strikes.

Kosuke Fukudome led off the bottom of the third with a single to left on a 3-2 pitch. Darwin Barney put together an excellent at bat (seven pitches) that resulted in a double to left center on a 3-2 pitch. Fukudome was running with the pitch and scored the tying run. Castro hit a 0-2 pitch to Alexei Ramirez up the middle, Barney advanced to third and scored the Cubs’ third run on a sac fly to deep right off the bat of Aramis Ramirez. Pena grounded out to first to end the inning.

Randy Wells retired the Sox in order in the top of the fourth on five pitches.

The Cubs did nothing in the bottom of the fourth … and Wells retired the Sox in order again in the fifth. Wells had thrown 66 pitches after five (46 for strikes) and retired 11 in a row.

After the Cubs went down in order in the bottom of the fifth, Wells faced the minimum in the top of the sixth on just three pitches. At the end of six Wells had thrown 69 pitches, 39 for strikes, and after a 19-pitch first inning it only took Wells 50 pitches to complete five innings.

Aramis Ramirez hit the 300th homer of his career in the bottom of the sixth … and gave the Cubs a short-lived 4-2 lead.

For as good as Wells had been for five innings, he was equally as bad (if not worse) in the seventh. The Sox tied and took the lead against Wells in just a third of an inning.

A.J. Pierzynski took it to the Cubs again and led off the seventh with a single to center. Wells then served up a two-run shot to Alexei Ramirez on a 1-1 pitch. Ramirez’s eighth homer of the season tied the game at four.

Mike Quade did not get anyone up in his pen and it cost him two more runs. Randy Wells was obviously done, at least mentally at that point, and with Adam Dunn looming and Juan Pierre due up, Sean Marshall should have started throwing as soon as Alexei Ramirez started rounding the bases.

Alex Rios followed the Ramirez dinger with a single to left. Gordon Beckham then grounded out to third on a hit and run. Rios ended up at second and Ozzie went to his bench for Adam Dunn. Dunn walked on five pitches to put runners on first and second with one out.

Juan Pierre ripped Wells’ first pitch down the right field line. Rios and Dunn scored on Pierre’s triple … 6-4 White Sox.

Mike Quade finally took Randy Wells out of the game.

With the infield in, one out and Pierre on third, Brent Morel popped out to Castro on a 2-1 offering from Jeff Samardzija. Quentin lined out to short to end the inning … but just like that the White Sox took a commanding 6-4 lead.

The Cubs offense managed only two hits over the final three innings against the White Sox pen.

Following the game, Mike Quade said this loss was on him for leaving Randy Wells in too long in the seventh. That is a good start, but what about the other times he’s left a starting pitcher in too long that ended up costing his team a chance to win a ballgame?

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Matt Garza will face Phil Humber in game two of round two of the Crosstown Series on Saturday afternoon.

Quote of the Day

"Show me a guy who’s afraid to look bad, and I’ll show you a guy you can beat every time." – Lou Brock

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  • Tom U

    Tonight’s minor league starters:

    Iowa – Ramon Ortiz (6-3, 4.44)
    Tennessee – Dallas Beeler (1-3, 5.32)
    Daytona – Angel Guzman (0-0, 1.59) Game 1
                   Dae-Eun Rhee (2-4, 4.34) Game 2 probable
    Peoria – Hayden Simpson (1-5, 4.98)
    Boise – Luis Liria (1-0, 4.82)

    Guzman 2.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 K so far

  • paulcatanese

    Quade says “this ones on him” Ya think?

  • Neil
    • paulcatanese

      Read it Neil, a must read for “quality” Jim.

    • Tony_Hall

      The last paragraph says it all.  TOMMY BOY are you paying attention!

      “Quade is getting outmanaged at practically every opportunity, and it’s time for him to go….The Cubs need to wipe the slate clean anyway, and when GM Jim Hendry is fired – something that needs to happen this winter whether Quade is retained or not…”

      Why does everyone see this, but the guy who needs to see this?

      • cubtex

        I have never seen a manager who has such poor game skills as Quade. My opinion is that when Hendry is let go the new GM will bring in a new guy. After this year…something will need to be done to get the fan base excited again.

    • Jim_Tinley_Park

      I read it. Spot on.

  • paulcatanese

    Good report Neil, especialy on the point about pitchers being left in too long. Not only leaving  them in but not having anyone warming up until the very last minute
    as evidenced with bringing in Carpenter the other night. I dont think he threw ten pitches before being called and it showed in his performance. and the wonder of it all, injuries ? He is going to have them the way he treats the staff.

    • roseyc

      Quade manages like he has the Phillies starting staff. He didn’t know his own pitcher enough to know when enough is enough. Wells hasn’t proven he can go that deep into games on a constent basis. The only proven pitching the Cubs have is the backed of the bullpen and with Wood and Marshall and Marmol would have given the Cubs the best chance to have won the game. But it doesn’t matter what Quade does he is Hendry’s boy and Ole Jim isn’t going to fire him because it makes him look bad.

      • Reggie

        He’s managing like a man who is getting his ego massaged by Jim Brain dead Hendry.

        “There there Quadey, have a cup of ovaltine and we’ll come back tomorrow, I believe in you”.

        See Jim is clueless about everything except how to keep his job.  He knew through his absolute mismanagement he’d put together an absolute dog of a side doomed to fail and needed a cheap yes man (just happy to be there) who he could blame when it inevitably went wrong.  Mike Quade is doggy doo but the real problem is still hiding behind his yes man. Time to get the light on the cockroach.

  • Beefyborn20

    Are the Cubs linked to any international free agents? I think it starts tomorrow.

  • Brp921

    I keep hoping every morning to hear that JH and staff are fired, but its not going to happen I’m afraid.

  • paulcatanese

    Neil,I agree with you on the comment that Barney should have kept that ball from the outfield. I watched him the whole game and I think he’s having trouble with the brace. You could see it when he was chasing that pop up in short right, his stride sideways is just not right. When he reached second on his double he had to straighten the brace. I just think it gives him a different stride and throws him off.

  • Tom U

    DJ LeMahieu got his first hit and first RBI in Triple-A as Iowa beat New Orleans 5-2

    It seems that questionable managing decisions run in the organization. However, it is surprising to see one from a respected manager, such as Bill Dancy is. Dancy sat Marwin Gonzalez, who’s hitting .500 since being called up, and started the .208 hitting Augie Ojeda. 

    • paulcatanese

      Tom, was that a message? Very strange, is he on his way to the Cubs?

      • Tom U

        Doubtful. Just poor decision making.

  • Ryan7_21_05

    i haven’t heard any rambling lately so I thought I would ask a few questions and see everyone replys and see what u have to say. 1. Why are people wanting to trade Barney off. He’s has been what I think the second best player on the team next to S.C. 2. Why wouldn’t J.H fire Quade. I think fireing him and getting someone who can at least finish the season at 500 rather then losing 100 game would look better on J.H. 3. I understand why people want to build a new stadium but where would we put it in the north side. We can’t tear wrigley down because its mostly a landmark. 4. Why would anyone want to trade Wood off. Isn’t her in the group with Ryno, Grace, and Santo and others we love. And my last one 5. Why in hell are people blaming Rickettes they are just letting the contracts run out so they can do something in 2012. Cut them a brake. They walked in to a landmind we they bought the team. They new what why were doing or else they wouldn’t have bought the cubs. It only two years. I do think at least J.H and Kennedy are gone acer tis year.

    • Romberg Rabbit

      !. Who wants to trade Barney?
      2.I don’t know why Hendry woudn’t fire Quade…other than he has a proven track record as a moron and a prick.
      3. I don’t want a new stadium, I just want THE CUBS back.  This organization is NOT The Chicago Cubs!  If that isn’t going to happen then build a new stadium and get the hell out of, our shrine, Wrigley
      4. I love Kerry Wood.  He has heart, but that is all he has left.  All things end…and then they coach…
      5. We are blaming Ricketts because there ARE things that can be done now , but instead he is calling us stupid…when it’s obvious who is stupid.
      6.Are you serious? 

      • Richard Hood

        Just for some clarity it has been since Oct 2009 so that is 20 months not 2 years. The Ricketts have brought in some of there own people and have been evaluating the organization as a whole. I am not saying that I love the pace that Tom is moving just I see the direction. I really figured by now the writing would be on the wall for the upper management. It may have to do with the language of the sales agreement that they are not.

         Remember that Zell/Tribune is still owed half of the price of the club and stadium and even after that is paid off sometime in 2012 will still have a 5% stake and a seat on the board. So there may be language to keep his people in place till all the loans are finally paid in full.

        • Romberg Rabbit

          Just for some more clarity…You can be in “Fanboy’s”, fan-club, if you want, but The Chicago I grew-up in still knows BS when it reads it.

    • Tony_Hall

      1.  I haven’t seen a lot of “Trade Barney” talk.  But it will make sense at some point, as he may already be at his ceiling, whereas Castro is just getting started.  I would keep Barney while you can pay him the league minimum.

      2.  JH never, never admits his mistakes.  He didn’t want Ryno, and sold Q to the Ricketts.  They will both be fired at the same time.

      3. I just don’t see building a new stadium on the north side.  It would have to go to the NW suburbs and even that is unlikely, that is why, they should have a long term plan to re-build Wrigley, section by section (even if it means having a season played at Miller Park and/or US Cellular.

      4. It really doesn’t matter if anyone wants to trade Woody, he’s not going anywhere. He will pitch for the Cubs, until he retires.  See info on his foundations work.

      5. It has been well documented on here, the mis-steps, the Ricketts have taken, but the biggest one by far, was retaining JH and Kenney.  They should have been better prepared, with an elder statesmen who could of had the title  of President or VP Baseball Operations, who actually knew how to clean up a mess, and start over.  Unfortunately, they think JH is capable, and I am not sure how they can possibly think that, after all of the negative press the Cubs have received this year.