The Cubs Play Longball … and Wells Goes the Distance – Cubs 7 Giants 0

Game One Hundred Thirty-Five – Cubs 7 Giants 0
WP – Randy Wells (6-4) LP – Tim Lincecum (12-11) Save – None

wflag.jpgQ’ Cubs snapped a four-game losing streak with an impressive night against Tim Lincecum … and Randy Wells’ first career complete game shutout.

Randy Wells put together the best outing of his career on Monday night in San Francisco. Wells tossed a complete-game, two-hitter and only four baserunners reached base against Wells over nine innings (two hits, a walk and an error by Aramis Ramirez). Wells kept the Giants off balance all night with an excellent straight changeup. At one point Wells retired 11 in a row and he finished the night retiring 19 of the last 21 batters he faced.

Randy Wells became only the second Cubs’ starter to toss a complete game this season (Matt Garza, 1-0 loss to the White Sox on July 2) and Wells has posted the Cubs last two victories.

The Cubs offense broke out the bats late in the game and scored five of the seven runs in the seventh inning and chased Tim Lincecum from the game. Lincecum entered Monday’s game against the Cubs with only 10 home runs allowed this season … the Cubs hit three off Lincecum in six-plus innings. Monday marked the first time in Tim Lincecum’s career that he allowed three home runs in a single start.

Alfonso Soriano (1-for-4 with a home run) broke up the scoreless tie in the fifth with his 23rd longball of the season. Soriano smoked a 1-2 pitch from Lincecum into the stands in left center.

The scored remained 1-0 until the seventh … and three longballs later, the Cubs led 6-0.

Geovany Soto (1-for-3 with a home run and a walk) ended his 0-for-25 skid with his 14th homer of the year off Lincecum to start the scoring in the seventh. After a Randy Wells walk and an error by Orlando Cabrera that allowed Starlin Castro (2-for-5 with two doubles and a run scored) to reach, Blake DeWitt (2-for-5 with a home run, a triple, three RBI and two runs scored) chased Lincecum and gave Randy Wells a lot of breathing room with a three-run shot down the line in right.

Carlos Pena (1-for-2 with a home run and three walks) put an exclamation point on the inning with a towering homer to left off Steve Edlefsen.

Blake DeWitt completed his big night with a triple in the ninth off lefty Javier Lopez and scored the Cubs seventh run on a two-out single by Marlon Byrd (1-for-5 with a RBI). Monday was the first time DeWitt homered and tripled in the same game.

Seven of the Cubs nine hits on Monday night went for extra bases … two doubles, a triple and four home runs.

With Monday’s win, the Cubs improved to 58-77 on the season, 19 games below .500 …

The Cubs had a very good chance (how many times has that been said this season) to put runs up in the first inning against Tim Lincecum … and again, Q’s squad came away empty.

Starlin Castro led off the game with a double to right. Blake DeWitt grounded out to first on a 2-1 pitch and Castro advanced to third with one out. Aramis Ramirez ripped Lincecum’s first pitch into right field. Castro did not go back and tag right away and Beltran caught the sinking liner. Castro held at third with two down.

Carlos Pena walked on five pitches but Marlon Byrd grounded out to third (first pitch) to end the inning.

The Cubs were 0-for-3 with RISP in the first inning and left two on base. Lincecum threw 13 pitches in the first, six for strikes.

Randy Wells walked Andres Torres to start the bottom of the first. Torres stole second on the 0-1 pitch to Jeff Keppinger. The former Red and Astro grounded out to short. Carlos Beltran expanded his strike zone and struck out swinging on the third pitch of the at bat. Pablo Sandoval flied out to deep right center to end the inning. Wells threw 15 pitches (nine strikes) in the first inning.

The Cubs did nothing against Tim Lincecum in the second … and made him throw only seven pitches.

Randy Wells sat down the Giants in order in the bottom of the second (29 pitches, 16 for strikes).

Lincecum retired the Cubs in order in the third on nine pitches (29 pitches, 16 for strikes).

Andres Torres notched the Giants first hit in the third … a two-out double to left center. Marlon Byrd tried to make a diving catch running in toward the infield but came up short and Torres hustled into second. Keppinger grounded out to short on a 3-1 pitch to end the inning.

At the end of three complete … no score and just two total hits.

Carlos Pena worked his second walk of the night with one out in the fourth. Marlon Byrd struck out swinging and Tyler Colvin popped out to first to end the inning.

Randy Wells kept the Giants off balance in the bottom of the fourth. Aubrey Huff reached on an infield single to third with two outs but that was it (later changed to a throwing error by Aramis Ramirez). Wells retired Orlando Cabrera on a groundout to short to end the inning. Wells allowed only two hits and a walk on 54 pitches (32 for strikes) in the first four innings.

Alfonso Soriano led off the top of the fifth and smoked a 1-2 pitch well over the wall in left center. Soriano’s 23rd homer of the season gave the Cubs a 1-0 lead.

Geovany Soto’s struggles continued and he struck out swinging for the first out in the fifth. After Wells put together a nine-pitch at bat that resulted in a swinging strikeout, Starlin Castro doubled into the right field corner for the second time in the game (30th double of the season). DeWitt grounded out to second to end the inning.

A terrific diving catch toward the line by Aramis Ramirez that took away an extra basehit from Chris Stewart helped Randy Wells sit down the Giants in order in the fifth (66 pitches for Wells, 40 for strikes).

Aramis Ramirez led off the sixth with an infield single to the hole at short. Carlos Pena walked for the third time to put runners on first and second with no outs. Byrd squared to bunt on the first pitch but ended up striking out.

Tyler Colvin hit a 0-1 pitch off the end of his bat to short. Cabrera picked the weak grounder and threw to first to retire Colvin. Ramirez and Pena advanced but both were stranded when Soriano flied out to right center (2-2 pitch) to end the inning.

The Giants did nothing against Randy Wells in the sixth … three up, three down on 11 pitches, eight for strikes (77 pitches, 48 for strikes).

Q’s offense broke the game open in the top of the seventh. The Cubs hit three homers in the seventh, two off Lincecum, and chased the two-time Cy Young Award winner from the game.

Geovany Soto led off the top of the seventh with a solo shot off Lincecum that broke a 0-for-25 skid. Soto’s 14th homer gave the Cubs a 2-0 lead. Randy Wells walked on a questionable 3-2 pitch and advanced to third on an error by Orlando Cabrera. Starlin Castro hit a smash back up the middle that ate up the veteran shortstop and ended up in center.

With two on, no outs and the Cubs up by two, Blake DeWitt lined a 2-0 pitch down the right field line … and just into the stands beyond the right field wall. The ball stayed fair and the Cubs took a surprising 5-0 with their third home run off Tim Lincecum.

Bruce Bochy made the slow walk and went to his pen for Steve Edlefsen.

Aramis Ramirez grounded out to second on the Edlefsen’s first pitch.

Carlos Pena stepped in with three walks in three plate appearances and did not miss a 2-1 pitch from Edlefsen. Pena went oppo on a 2-1 pitch and hit a towering homer over the wall in left. The Cubs fourth homer of the game, third in the inning, gave the Cubs a 6-0 lead. Pena tied Aramis Ramirez for the team lead in homers with his 24th.

Marlon Byrd and Tyler Colvin grounded out (third base and first base respectively) to end the inning.

Randy Wells sat down the Giants in order in the bottom of the seventh … and other than a one-out walk by Geovany Soto in the eighth, the Cubs could not string anything together against Steve Edlefsen.

Randy Wells retired Brandon Belt on a grounder to second to start the eighth. Former Cub, Mike Fontenot hit for Chris Stewart and ripped Wells’ first pitch into left field … the Giants second hit of the night off Randy Wells. Cody Ross hit for Edlefsen and flied out to center for the second out. Andres Torres flied out to right (0-2 pitch) to end the inning.

Blake DeWitt led off the ninth with a triple to right over the head of Carlos Beltran. Aramis Ramirez lined out to second and Pena grounded out to first on a 3-2 pitch. Marlon Byrd singled to left off lefty Javier Lopez (first pitch) … DeWitt scored, 7-0 Cubs. Colvin lined out to right to end the inning.

Randy Wells took the hill in the ninth after throwing 102 pitches (66 for strikes) over the first eight innings. Wells retired the Giants in order (Keppinger, groundout to third; Beltran, pop out to short) to end the game … and struck out Pablo Sandoval swinging on three pitches to end the game. Wells threw 113 pitches, 76 for strikes in his complete-game gem.

Monday was a fun game to watch …

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Matt Garza will face Ryan Vogelsong in game two on Tuesday night.

Quote of the Day

"Baseball, just a game as simple as a ball and a bat. Yet, as complex as the American spirit it symbolizes." - Ernie Harwell
Share on Fancred
  • Tony_Hall

    Nice outing by Wells…good to see.

    Cubs are leading the NL in HR’s in August.  

    • Ripsnorter1

      And let’s see: with all that HR power, there August record is 15-12. That’s a better winning percentage that they have for the entire year. And just think: that’s with the lousy RISP hitting we’ve been doing the last 9 games. 

      POWER MAKES A DIFFERENCE.

      • studio179

        Having power does wonders. Good starting pitching does not hurt, either.

        • paulcatanese

          They surely had that combination last night.

  • Ripsnorter1

    The 1st complete game of his MLB career–let alone shutout!!!

    I told ya’ll that Wells could win last night. The guy has talent, but his devotion to the game has been lacking. Glad to see it happen.

    I’ll have to consider Garza tonight, but his ERA on the road this year is 5.07, and he has a whopping two wins. Hey, he’s not an Ace just yet, is he? Inconsistent is word.

    Accuscore doesn’t think the Cubs can do it tonight: just a 41% chance of winning vs. Vogelsong. I’m not all hepped up on Vogelsong, btw. The Astros whipped him in his last two starts. LOL But that 10-4 record with a 2.54 ERA is pretty good. But I see him as fatigued and maybe the Cubs can destroy Bochy’s team’s chances for a playoff spot. I’d like to see it because he chose QQuade for the All-Star team. What a boner move!

    • paulcatanese

      Rip, youre predictions have been right on the last few games, mine,well they sXXXXd but thats okay, i enjoy being wrong if you are right.

  • Chuck

    When do they announce who will be going to the AZ fall league?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

      Normally it is towards the end of September.

      • paulcatanese

        Byrd should be on that list, maybe he can learn how to bunt.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Chuck, the announcement was made this afternoon. Brett Jackson, McNutt, Carpenter, LeMahieu, Junior Lake, Cashner

  • Brp921

    I’m really happy for Randy Wells. It would be nice if he could continue to pitch this way through the rest of the season and use it as motivation going into next season. He caught a bad break with the forearm injury after looking pretty good his first start.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

    We really needed someone to go long like this. Hopefully it something that Wells can build off of now. I still think he is on the short list to be non tendered if we can upgrade our pitching.

    • Brp921

      I would imagine he would be picked up real quick if that happens. Pitching is hard find and he has shown good stuff at times. A team that needs pitching would grab him up in hopes he would put it altogether.

      • Aaron

        The problem for him, and ANY 4th/5th starter out there, is the fact that if they are indeed non-tendered, there is no shortage whatsoever of former aces or 2’s/3’s out there looking for work as well. And since most teams insert rookies into the 4 and 5 spots anyhow….well….it might be hard to latch on with marginal stuff.

        In the postgame interview, Brenly hit the nail on the head….and Wells even admitted it—that normally in other parks, he wouldn’t get away with some of the pitches, as he thought they were hit well, only to see them die, and be caught. That’s always been the case with playing in San Francisco at night…even at the new park, and Brenly knew this from playing there.

        So while he did a great job last night, and compliments were plentiful, the reality is Wells is a marginal MLB pitcher, and a true one-year wonder.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

          Did not see that. Good analysis on the non tender spot for Wells. He is about to get more expensive probably about 3 million a year in arbitration if we keep him. So it is probably the end of the line for him and let an inexpensive guy with more upside pitch in that spot. If we go into next season with Wells written into our rotation then we are going to have bigger problems than was thought. He is not a middle of the rotation guy.

          • Peabodydg

            I agree, but given the dearth of viable starting pitchers out there he might be the best alternative for the 5th starter.  Look at how the Yankees combed the scrap heap to fill out their rotation with Colon and Garcia.  Closer to home the stopgap mess that the Cubs got into with Davis, Lopez, Ortiz, and Bush was real ugly.

          • Aaron

            I agree…somewhat, but don’t misunderstand the point I was trying to make…

            It’s NOT that he wouldn’t get a deal from, say, a team like the Pirates, or Astros, etc….but other teams that feel they are in contention likely wouldn’t touch him, unless it was for league minimum. Does that make sense?

            But it’s all a moot point if Wells continues to pitch like he has the rest of the year (about 5 more starts). If he can get his ERA down around the 4.30’s or so, I think you could see him back. But if he has a couple duds, and he’s still 5+ERA, I think the Cubs might think Coleman, at around league minimum (about $420k) would be better than going to arbitration where Wells could conceivably earn over $1 million.

            Right now, we know that only Dempster and Garza are virtually assured of returning. Wells, Lopez, and Coleman are fighting for a chance to be the 5th starter next year as I see it.

            If Cashner is healthy, he becomes the #4 starter, and the Cubs will almost surely go after a guy like Edwin Jackson (whom I think they’d be foolish not to sign with his stuff) in free agency, or try to make a trade for a true ace starter.

            So then you have…
            Garza
            Dempster
            FA
            Cashner (if healthy….otherwise it’ll likely be Samardzija)
            Wells/Lopez (just vomited at the thought)/Coleman/Jay Jackson/McNutt/Rusin/Cabrera

            So if Wells is far down on the list with the Cubs as you can see….why do you think other teams will be lining up to pay him his likely $1 million+ salary when they have cheaper options internally with higher ceilings than Wells?

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

            Depending on what happens in AFL with certain pitchers the Cubs could have as many as 4 young arms getting a look at next spring. Rusin and Struck from AAA and McNutt and don’t count out Jokisch from Dbl A. So if Wells is penciled in it would mean that he is counted on as a Number 3 behind Garza and Cashner and Dempster is not here. That is just a quick look at what could happen this winter.

            If there is no upgrade at the major league level and Wells is still here then either we have decided to hold pat till the 2012 FA class (which is a posibilty because of the depth in that class right now) or The Cubs have went all in for 2012 and upgraded all across the board and Wells is written in as the number 5 pitcher and let the kids be the depth at Triple A that we did not have this year. I just can’t see from anything Ricketts has said that it going to pan out that way.

          • Tno13

            ;Wells was outstanding in Spring Training and had that good start in April before the injury. If in fact he go a boot in his ass from Dempster and is working harder and smarter, I roll the dice with him next year. The next 5 starts will make the decisin for him, but I pencil him in as a #5. If as Aaron suggests we can add Jackson to Dempster, Garza and Cashner, I let the prospects mature another year in the minors.

        • Brp921

          I see your point, both about the ballpark and the philosphy of baseball teams. That being said however, if there are that many 2’s and 3’s out there looking for work, how come the Cubs had to sign Davis, Lopez and Ortiz this year? I think Wells is at least a better option than them.

  • studio179

    I believe Wells has won his last 4 starts. The Giants are not an offensive team, but a complete game shut out is tough to do against any team. At no surprise, his change up and other pitches along with his approach to the opposition looks so much better when he is focused. His clear lack of preparation and concentration at times is frustrating. He drifts at times. But great job by Wells for that game. 

    Great job by the offense to knock out Lincecum.  

    It is good to see a game where Quade keeps his nose in the dugout and none of his moves/lack of moves are needed in a Cub win.

    • Brp921

      I agree. Focus is Well’s problem and if he doesn’t start putting the game ahead of the night life (from what I gather he has liked to party in the past) then Aaron and Richard are probably going to be right about him not being able to, either hang on with the Cubs, or land a job elsewhere.

  • Brp921

    I have noticed several times that comments have been edited or added to after they’ve been posted. I’ve never had reason, other than wishing to be able to correct spelling or punctuation, to change anything, but I don’t see any option for doing that. Am I missing something.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

      Most of the time I add or edit as more info becomes available with links and such. Sometimes it is just the completion of a thought or I do not like how my opinion came out on the page. I guess it is the journalism major in me that can never let something just stand.

      • Brp921

        I don’t find that option. That is why I posted what I did. What do I have to do to add  or change something?

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

          It is right next to the reply spot. Where you can like other peoples posts.

    • studio179

      I do not edit to change my stance on something after the fact, right or wrong. I will edit after I post sometimes to enhance a thought, not to change position on a stance. I proof read before I hit the post button, but sometimes I do not like how my wordage reads once posted. A simple word change can better express my thought. Thankfully, Disqus added the edit option a couple years ago.

      • Brp921

        I didn’t mean to imply that anyone edited their posts for any reasons other than what you and Richard have mentioned. I have just noticed changes before and was unaware of how to do it. Richard noted how above, and I realized that I must have to sign up with disquis, because I can’t do it the way I’m set up.

        • studio179

          Agreed…sign up. Welcome.

  • Aaron

    Chuck,

    Richard is correct…they usually announce near the end of September when the minor league playoffs are over, etc.

    The way I see it shaping up right now, is the following guys are strong candidates to go:

    Cashner-already confirmed
    McNutt-due to injuries/ineffectiveness, he didn’t pitch near the amount the Cubs would’ve liked
    LeMahieu-Cubs want to see him against advanced competition
    Flaherty-Rule 5 eligible
    B. Jackson-like LeMahieu, they need to see him against advanced competition
    Beliveau-Rule 5 eligible
    Antigua-Rule 5 eligible
    Suarez-Rule 5 eligible
    Clevenger-Rule 5 eligible (he’s iffy, almost like Vitters…as both have been to the AZFL a few times (Vitters in 2009 and 2010 and Clevenger in 2007 and 2008-both as replacements, so he has a higher likelihood of going than Vitters does)
    M. Gonzalez-he’s an intriguing name, but will probably play in the Caribbean League again; Rule 5 eligible
    Spencer-Rule 5 eligible
    Lake-Rule 5 eligible
    Ridling-Rule 5 eligible
    Wright-Rule 5 eligible

    Historically, the Cubs have sent 3 hitters and 4 pitchers. Usually, they try to get an infielder, outfielder, and a catcher with at least one true starting pitcher and the rest relievers.

    Given those names, I think we’ll see:
    Cashner
    McNutt
    Antigua
    Suarez
    Flaherty
    Lake
    B. Jackson

    I could see Antigua and Suarez going to Latin America this winter though, so you might see Beliveau instead, plus another arm not listed that’s Rule 5 eligible such as Kyler Burke (to get him additional work as a pitcher this year) or Parker.

    I could also see Lake going the Latin American route as well, so you might see Spencer instead.

    Usually the guys that go are either being sent as a reward for their success in the regular season, to get more work in due to injury, or because they’re Rule 5 eligible.

    Sometimes, you see guys like Berg, Cales, Smit, Muyco, Caridad, etc., and you’re like, “what has _____ done to warrant consideration for the AZFL?!?” Quite simply, it’s because they’re Rule 5 eligible, and the Cubs want to see how they do against advanced competition.

    For reference, here’s the charts of the players the Cubs have sent over the years:
    http://wiklifield.thecubreporter.com/Cubs_Arizona_Fall_League_Rosters

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

      Hmm I am beginning to wonder if you and Tom know something about Sczurz that I do not. With the idea that he will have to be added to the 40 man roster this offseason or be Rule 5 eligible I figured he would be on everyones short list but he doesn’t even get mentioned by either of you. Am I missing something on him ?

      • Aaron

        Szczur is overmatched in high-A.

        In Peoria, he looked like a real prospect with this line:
        298 plate appearances, .314/.366/.431, 86 hits, 15 doubles, 1 triple, 5 hr, 27 RBI, 17 SB, 21 walks vs 28 K’s

        ….then came Daytona
        174 plate appearances, .236/.262/.376, 39 hits, 7 doubles, 2 triples, 4 hr, 15 RBI, 7 SB, 5 walks, 20 K’s

        Yes, he just turned 22 years old, so he’s about average age for high-A, but you’d like to see an OBP above .300 for a top prospect in any league, wouldn’t you?

        Best guess I have is he might be fatigued a bit from his whirlwind year, playing football throughout the fall, then baseball  all season for the first time in his life….Fatigue seems to be setting in for Easterling as well (our other football player).

        Szczur will be protected, there’s no doubt about it, but I doubt the Cubs want to push him too much this fall…he clearly could use a break.

      • Tom U

        Aaron’s analysis is spot on. Szczur did well enough to be promoted, but has struggled a little at Daytona. 

        Remember, teams like to put their best pitching prospects in the Florida State League and the California League, mainly due to the good weather conditions. Szczur is seeing a much higher quality of pitching than he has ever seen consistently. 

        Incidentally, because of the FSL’s reputation for pitching, Daytona’s offensive numbers are even more impressive.

  • cubtex

    It’s encouraging to see the 2nd half of what Josh Vitters has been doing! That being said….maybe the best option is to start the year with DeWitt at 3rd with the hope Vitters will take over midseason or following year. I would let ARam walk. DeWitt will be a cheap one year….and he is not an awful player and 3rd is where he is most comfortable. Use the money that you saved by letting ARam go on pitching.

    • Aaron

      “maybe the best option is to start the year with DeWitt at 3rd with the hope Vitters will take over midseason or following year.”

      Is there a ‘strongly dislike’ tab available on this site?

      But all kidding aside…do you really want that Cubtex, or are you just trying to save money to use it elsewhere?!?

      211 plate appearances, .265/.303/.430, 53 hits, 10 doubles, 4 triples, 5 hr, 24 RBI, 10 walks vs 27 K’s…..

      or…

      535 plate appearances, .308/.353/.520, 151 hits, 32 doubles, 24 hr, 83 RBI, 30 walks vs 63 K’s (what ARAM has)

      If the Cubs can find a way to get rid of Soriano, Byrd, and get rid of this ludicrous idea of re-signing Pena, and going after Fielder on a 5 year deal if possible….then having a run producer like ARAM in your lineup is critical.

      Virtual locks to return are Soto, Barney, and Castro. If they resign ARAM then it gets more enticing for someone like Fielder to sign, knowing the Cubs will be bringing up Brett Jackson as well. You don’t attract ANY free agents with DeWitt as your 3B, especially pitchers (which incidentally, the Cubs need big time this offseason).

      What if the Cubs fielded a lineup like this next year:
      Campana-CF
      Castro-SS
      Fielder-1B
      ARAM-3B
      Jackson-RF
      Soto-C (I don’t want him…just stating likelihood he remains)
      Colvin-LF
      Barney/LeMahieu-2B

      You get rid of free-swinging, base cloggers like Soriano, Byrd, and Pena, and replace with Jackson, Campana, and Fielder (who runs far better than Pena, despite his weight), and you all of a sudden have an exciting lineup, and the Cubs can still sell it, by retaining ARAM, Soto, and obviously with Barney, Campana, and Castro, they can sell they opportunity to drive in a lot of runs.

      One important thing I should mention, however, is that Pujols hits about equally as well during the day as he does at night, while Fielder hits 34 points lower during the day than at night (.259 vs .293).

      • cubtex

        You probably know by my posts on how I believe every resource should be used as priority #1 to improve starting rotation. 2nd…I am tired of seeing ARam struggle for half the year the last 2 seasons only to pick it up after they are out of it. If they sign Fielder..this team still has no starting pitching and bad defense. DeWitt will be an upgrade over ARam defensively if nothing else. I also want to critique your outfield. Colvin, Campana and BJax? I am sorry…..but that would be the absolute WORST outfield in all of baseball. Campana and Colvin are not everyday players and BJax is a rookie. All lefthanded and if they sign Fielder they will be vulnerable against lh pitching.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

          I still see an upgrade at LF and Jax holding on to center field until one of the other prospects are ready. We might see a RF brought in and Byrd moved for pitching. I think that these are all good questions to look at over the next winter. My question is is now the time to look at Eithier for RF now that he has pretty much burned his bridge in LA and is FA in 2013?

          • paulcatanese

            Agree Richard, now is the time for Eithier to be looked at, he is pretty much a solid player and young enough that he could be one of the better pickups the
            Cubs could try for.

          • cubtex

            Ok…Bay BJax and Eithier. I’ll take that fir next year.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

            I think it will probably be one or the other. I could see a Zambrano for Bay trade though. Especially if we throw in the difference in the contracts for next year about 2 million. That way we are paying 18 million for next year and 16 million for 2013 for Bay. I think we could swing a Soriano to SF trade if they get desperate for offense (I really can not believe that hasn’t happened yet) for Zito and they throw in the difference in that contract (about 5 million to 2013). We take on a couple huge salaries that are serviceable pieces. Not All Star quality by a long shot but we had already spent the money any how.

          • cubtex

            Agreed. I think Soriano will be moved this offseason. Here is a thought on taking a flyer on a player….the Mets want to get rid of Jason Bay as much as the Cubs want to get rid of Sori. The Mets will probably pay a huge chunk of his contract and he would be a low risk option to have a bounce back year. Bay in left with BJax in cf and? in rf.

        • paulcatanese

          As you know the kids are my favorites, Campana among them. You are right Campana is not an everyday player unless he proves differently, and that would mean some continued playing time( something that does not look as attainable) so he is a spot player and a good one for pinch running, leading off an inning, hitting for the pitcher, etc. unfortunatly that has not played out well for a number of players with here and there appearance’s.  But he does have value and used properly will help the Cubs.

          • paulcatanese

            One other thing, since Campana is not starting I would hope he is spending every waking moment in the batting cage bunting at least a100 pitches a day.

          • cubtex

            Agreed. Campana is a huge asset late in a game with his speed!

      • paulcatanese

        Aaron, while I agree that is a tempting lineup for next year, and like Fielder, I dont see him coming to the Cubs as well as Pujols, just something about their makeup that I dont see in blue pinstripes as well as Ricketts almost going bankrupt to sign either one. A good analogy was the signing of M Vick with the Eagles, the point was brought up about people coming out to watch the one or two plays that Vick may produce, but the real object is for Phillie to win. Its the same with these two, will they produce a winner or will fans want to just watch the individual effort each day? The imporant point you make, and a good one is they would have to bring back Aram as either Fielder or Pujols must have protection in the lineup. So I guess what is the most important part here,is winning the division or putting people in the stands to watch home runs, something that has not produced winners over the years. Tough choice for me.

    • J Daniel

      Just read DeWitt as an option for third and about gagged!

  • paulcatanese

    Before I lose my thought process (a very short trip) I want to go on record saying that the win last night was nothing short of incredible and enjoyable, I didnt even recognize the team that was playing the Giants, everything played out the way it was supposed to, and that was rare for the year.

  • John G

    Neil, I couldn’t stay up and listen to the whole game, so I got a question. My match isn’t all that good, but if Wells pitched a complete game, on the road, doesn’t that mean he had to retire 27 batters. He gave up only 2 hits, a walk and an error. That means he must have retired 27 out of 31. Yet your summary says he retired 19 of the 21 batters he faced. Am I missing something? Or misinterpreting what you said?

    In any case, this had to be Wells best outing as a professional, let alone in the ML. We can only hope that whatever Dempster said to him a week or so ago sticks and this is the Wells we are going to see from now on. Maybe we can give him a nickname. Like Cy. Or maybe Justin. Oh! I forgot. He already is Wellsie.

    • John G

      I meant to say my “math” isn’t all that good. My match (wife) couldn’t be better.

      Also I forgot about double plays. If he gave up 2 hits, a walk and an error, and they ALL were doubled off, then he would have retired 23 out of 27 he faced. Still doesn’t add up.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        John, sorry that line should have read, “At one point Wells retired 11 in a row and he finished the night retiring 19 of the last 21 batters he faced”

        Thanks for catching, corrected.

        • John G

          Okay, Now I understand. I don’t feel so stupid anymore.

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            John, it is never my goal to make anyone feel that way. Sorry …

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        John, he retired 27 of the 31 batters he faced.

    • paulcatanese

      John I thought I knew what happened last night, but after reading youre post I’m confused as well. What I got out of it was Wells did retire 27 outs as he spent the whole nine innings out there. If he pitched 10 innings then he would have retired 30 outs. Dont know the more I type, the more confused I get, but thats what I got out of it. But he did face 31 batters and 27 were outs???

      • Brp921

        I think Neil meant he retired the last 19 out of 21 batters he faced and 27 out of 31 batters total.

        • paulcatanese

          Now that makes sense.

    • Brp921

      I must have missed the story about Dempster talking to Wells.Can you let me know where to find it.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Let’s talk Wells’ forearm injury that tossed him onto the DL for two months….

    The forearm strain comes from throwing the curveball and slider. He strained the arm because HE SPENT INSUFFICIENT TIME EXERCISING HIS FOREARM. Pitchers who want to succeed work on strengthening those parts of their bodies necessary to pitch. Wells did not strengthen his forearm, and his first start of the year strained his forearm, and off he went to the DL. This offseason, should he decide he wants to get serious about remaining a starter in the majors, he should spend the winter working on strengthening his body to handle the rigors of throwing 120 pitches per start without landing on the DL.

    • Ripsnorter1

      And I, for one, HAVE NO INTENTION OF NON-TENDERING WELLS. 

      Are we nuts? I mean, we just went threw a season without him, and used Douglas Eugene Davis and ChiChi Lopez and Russ Ortiz and Casey Coleman and Jeff Russell to fill in for him, and had a horrendous season. Wells–if he decides he wants to pitch–can win 15 games per year. And this year, even having missed 2 months, he could still win 10 games. 

      NO. Don’t throw a possible successful pitcher in the trash. We might need him. After all, it takes 8 starters (at least) to get through a ML season.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

    Wow talk about Bruce Levine playing catch up.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/id/6283/ricketts-hires-walters-to-help-with-spending

    This was reported on in ST. At the time it was said he was hired to figure out some creative revenue stuff and to do some general book keeping type of budget work like he did for the Red Sox.

  • cc002600

    Here’s what I would do this winter, that would realistically fit their budget.

    1.) Bring back ARAM for 1 more year. Putting Dewitt at 3B for a full year would be a COMPLETE disaster. He’s a utility guy, nothing more. His glove is terrible.

    2.) Bring back Woody, Shark, Wells – should be no-brainers.

    3.) Sign CJ Wilson – cubs HAVE to upgrade the rotation  (Cashner should be in bullpen)

    4.) Give LaHair a shot at 1B. Why not ?  I don’t see them going after Fielder. The asking price will START at $25M / year with the kind of year he’s having. I just don’t see it. Wish I was wrong, but no way Ricketts is going to shell that kind of dough out..

    5.) Trade Soto and some prospects for a starting pitcher. (I would trade DJ, I don’t see the upside with this guy)  I like Soto, but he’s getting expensive and you have Castillo and Clevenger who should be ready.

    6.) Sign Michael Cuddyer for RF – or LF if you can get rid of Sori by some miracle. BJax in CF, mix and match the rest – Byrd, Colvin, etc

    I think the bullpen has a chance to be really good next year. Marmol, Wood,, Marshall, Shark, Russell, Carpenter, Cashner.- It’s a nice mix with real potential.

    • J Daniel

      Wilson is NOT signing with the Cubs, why would he?

      • diehardcubfan

        There could be a possibility he might come to the Cubs but I think it would depend on who the new GM and manager will be.

        In the end I believe the Rangers will do everything they can to sign him to a long term deal. 

        CJ is the heart and soul of the Ranger staff.  I watch the Rangers regularly here in Texas.

    • diehardcubfan

      I agree with 1-4 to a point but I think DJ will actually win the 2B job next year over Barney. 

      At this point trading Soto and Barney together might be a better idea given Barney’s performance this year.

      As for signing Cuddyer or anyone else I would prefer to have Flaherty be given a shot if we are going with LaHair at 1B. 

      I agree about platooning Colvin but think it should be Johnson instead.  Colvin though needs the majority of the playing time.

  • paulcatanese

    Ricketts hires a consultant to oversee spending? Why? My mom did that for me and only cost me 10% of my earnings.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

      Like I said earlier this is an old story. He was hired in Spring Training to the same role he use to have with the Red Sox. I think that Levine is so put off with being out of the loop right now he is recycling old type.

      • paulcatanese

        Good, thats just too bad, if enough of them were out of the loop, maybe the stories would be accurate.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs sending six to Arizona Fall League: Cashner, B. Jackson, McNutt, Carpenter, LeMahieu and Lake.