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

"When you play, play hard; when you work, don’t play at all." – Theodore Roosevelt