Cardinals Ding Up Randy Wells – Cubs 2 Cardinals 3

Game One Hundred Fifty-Nine – Cubs 2 Cardinals 3
WP – Octavio Dotel (5-3) LP – Randy Wells (7-6) Save – Jason Motte (9)

Randy Wells rebounded nicely from his last two starts and put together a quality start on Sunday afternoon. Wells pitched his second complete game of the season and became the second starter on Quade’s staff to take a loss with a complete game effort. The Cubs defense turned two double plays in the first two innings that bailed Wells out of early trouble.

Randy Wells made only two mistakes on Sunday and both left the park. Yadier Molina tied the game in the seventh with a solo homer and Rafael Furcal hit the game winner against Wells leading off the bottom of the eighth.

As has been the case all season, the gopher ball was Wells’ undoing on Sunday. Wells surrendered just six hits but two left the yard. In 23 starts this season (135 1/3 innings), Randy Wells served up 23 home runs.

In his final start of the year, Randy Wells allowed three runs on six hits with three walks and two strikeouts in eight innings.

The Cubs managed only five hits and three walks in the season finale against the Cardinals but still had plenty of opportunities again in a one-run loss. Quade’s offense finished the game a miserable 1-for-6 with RISP and left seven on base.

Starlin Castro (1-for-4 with a RBI) reached base for the 37th game in a row. Castro singled in Marlon Byrd (1-for-3 with a double and a run scored) in the seventh (65 RBI on the season). Geovany Soto (0-for-3 with a RBI) drove in the Cubs first run with a sacrifice fly in the fourth.

With Sunday’s loss (7-18 on Sundays in 2011), the Cubs finished with a 5-10 record against the Cardinals in 2011 and dropped back to 19 games under .500 with a 70-89 record …

After Starlin Castro flied out to right to start the game, Darwin Barney singled and advanced to second on a two-out walk by Carlos Pena. Alfonso Soriano flied out to left to end the inning.

Rafael Furcal reached on an infield single to Castro to start the bottom of the first. Jay sacrificed him to second. After Albert Pujols received a standing ovation in what could have been his last game as a Cardinal at Busch Stadium, Pujols hit a liner to Barney … Furcal was doubled off second to end the inning.

Blake DeWitt led off the second with a single to right … but that was it for the Cubs. Byrd (line out to right), Soto (line out to left) and Wells (groundout to short) went down in order.

Lance Berkman led off the bottom of the second by flying out to left. Matt Holliday and David Freese followed with back-to-back singles … but Molina grounded into a 5-4-3 double play.

The Cubs did nothing in the third against Edwin Jackson … and Wells retired the Cardinals in order in the home half of the third.

The Cubs finally got on the board in the fourth but it should have been more. The Cubs could not take advantage of a mental lapse by Matt Holliday and scored only one run after loading the bases with one out.

Carlos Pena walked to start the fourth. Soriano lined out to center but Blake DeWitt singled to left. Holliday threw to the wrong base and that allowed both Pena and DeWitt to move up ninety feet. With runners on second and third with one out, the Cardinals intentionally walked Marlon Byrd, for some unknown reason, to load the bases for Geovany Soto.

Geovany Soto launched a 1-2 pitch into right center. Jon Jay raced back and caught the ball on the warning track. Pena tagged and scored … 1-0 Cubs. Randy Wells popped out to short to end the inning.

The Cardinals did nothing in the fourth against Randy Wells.

Edwin Jackson sat down the top of the Cubs lineup in order in the fifth.

The Cardinals tied the game in the fifth after Randy Wells struggled with his command. Wells retired Holliday on a grounder to second to start the inning. Freese walked and advanced to second on a single by Molina. Wells pitched around Skip Schumaker and walked him on five pitches to load the bases.

Edwin Jackson hit a 1-2 pitch into right field. LaHair caught the ball but Freese tagged and scored the tying run. With runners on first and third with two down, Furcal flied out to left to end the inning.

After five, the Cubs and Cardinals were tied at one.

The Cubs did nothing against Edwin Jackson in the sixth … and other than a two out walk by Lance Berkman, the Cardinals did nothing against Wells in the home half of the inning.

Marlon Byrd ripped a double into right to start the seventh. After Soto and Wells struck out, Starlin Castro stepped in and ripped a 1-0 pitch into left. Byrd scored the go ahead run and Castro extended his streak of reaching base safely to 37 games.

With Castro at first, Darwin Barney reached on an error by Skip Schumaker but Bryan LaHair grounded out to second to end the inning.

Randy Wells took a one-run lead into the bottom of the seventh … and the one-run advantage did not last long.

Wells retired Freese on a grounder to short to start the inning. Yadier Molina followed with a homer to left … and his 14th of the season tied the game at two. Schumaker struck out swinging and Daniel Descalso, pinch hitting for Edwin Jackson, flied out to right to end the inning.

The Cubs predictably did nothing against Octavio Dotel in the eighth.

After throwing 96 pitches in seven innings, Mike Quade sent Randy Wells out to start the eighth … and it cost the Cubs.

Rafael Furcal crushed a 0-1 pitch from Wells. The ball ended up beyond the right field wall and the Cardinals took a 3-2 lead. To Wells’ credit, he retired Jay, Pujols and Berkman to keep the Cubs deficit at one run.

Randy Wells threw 109 pitches on Sunday afternoon, 66 for strikes.

The Cubs went down in order, quickly, against Jason Motte in the ninth to end the game.

Two one run losses in a row to the Cardinals in which the Cubs had a lead late in the game … It’s a Way of Life.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

The Cubs open their final series of the year on Monday night in San Diego. Casey Coleman against Mat Latos in game one.

Quote of the Day

"The will to succeed is important, but what's more important is the will to prepare." - Bobby Knight
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  • Tony_Hall

    Not that the Bears are any less frustrating to watch, but this season, which was over before it started, is almost done…thankfully!

  • jw

    On to San Diego for the right to pick 6th

  • J Daniel

    Usually, it is thank goodness for football.  But we can skip that as well.  LET’s GO HAWKS!

    • Ripsnorter1

      Oh come on. 

      Every Cub fan has the same slogan:

      WAIT UNTIL NEXT YEAR!!

      LOL

      • paulcatanese

        Not me Rip, its always been “same as last Year”.

  • Brett

    I wonder what excuse Mike the master mind Quade will use when he runs out the vets who don’t factor in the future plans during this last 3 game set. Can’t say he’s doing b/c they owe it to the other teams in the race since the Padres are out of it. Byrd, Soriano, Pena, Soto, Baker and DeWitt shouldn’t get a single start….I think we all know what will happen. At least this season is almost over.

  • paulcatanese

    According to Aram, he feels he cannot grace the lineup until Tuesday, just let him sit the last two days, everyone know what he can do, and why risk an injury for his next team? I’m sure he would like to be 100% for whoever so he can produce at the beginning of the year for them.

  • Ripsnorter1

    I’ll say this: I had fun at the CCO this year.

    Thanks so much, Neil.

    Oh yes, I’ll be watching/commenting on the last three games.

  • Ripsnorter1

    ESPN’s BOWDEN GIVES HIS OPINION ON THE CUBS’ OFF-SEASON

    Bowden’s bold move

    It’s more like bold moves. The Cubs should start their offseason by hiring Hall of Famer Pat Gillick as senior VP of baseball operations and Red Sox assistant general manager Ben Cherington as GM. Then, they should let Carlos Pena leave via free agency, release Zambrano, decline the $16 million option on Ramirez, trade Marlon Byrd and talk Ryan Dempster into accepting a trade to a contending team. Chicago should reinvest all of its potential savings into player development and scouting, and that includes staffing in addition to players. The Cubs should pursue the game’s top evaluators from other teams and be willing to pay them at the top dollar. Then Chicago should go to MIT, Harvard, Stanford and every other top college in the country and hire some of the best computer science and statistical minds available and start building an analytical and research department to start catching up with the times and break new ground.There shouldn’t be an amateur player available internationally that the Cubs don’t scout and at least attempt to outbid — even the Yankees — for their services. Every top-round talent who falls on the board because of signability in next June’s draft should be selected and signed. The Cubs should sign some Type B free agents to one-year contracts with hopes that these stopgap-type players get traded at the deadline or bring them a sandwich pick in the following year’s draft. The hirings of Gillick and Cherington would put them on that path for both short- and long-term success. – Jim Bowden

    • Demitri

      The cubs dont have to do go overboard like that. We have cash, dont need to spend all of it on player development. But still need to improve player development. Just not full out

  • John G

    Went to the show last night and saw “Moneyball”. It should be required for all Cub fans. Here’s hoping that TR hires either Billy Beane or someone who subscribes to the same thinking.

    BTW Carlos Pena is an important part of the story. I had forgotten that he was with Oakland back then.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Brett Jackson:

    I kept my mouth shut all season. Now that the season is nearly over, let’s look at his stats and see what’s in the cards for Mr. Jackson and the Cubs:

    Just 22 years old, so he can still develop a great deal.
    Baseball America has him as the #38 best prospect in MiLB…..

    He split 2011 between AA and AAA Iowa. He actually played much better with the AAA Iowa Cubs than AA Tennessee…..

    Totals for 2011:
    .274 BA
    20 HR 
    58 RBI
    .379 OBP
    .490 slugging
    138k in 431 AB. HE FANS LIKE COLVIN……

    Totals for AAA IOWA:.297
    10 HR
    26 RBI
    .388 OBP
    .551 Slugging
    excellent….
    185 AB
    64 K
    FACE IT: HE FANS 1 for every 3AB……

    LET’S COMPARE HIM TO TYLER COLVIN’S 2009 SEASON:(That’s Tyler’s last full year in the MiL, and he, too, split time with AA and AAA).

    Totals for 2009:
    .286 BA
    .332 OBP
    .480 slugging
    15 HR
    60 RBI
    84 K
    419 AB

    You can see that Tyler….
    1. Fanned much less (84 vs. 138)
    2. Slugged about the same (.480 vs. 490)
    3. Hit just slightly higher (.286 vs. .274)
    4. Was down on OBP because Jackson walks, and Colvin doesn’t.

    Totals for AAA:.300 BA
    14 HR
    50 RBI
    .334 OBP
    .524 slugging
    307 AB
    57 K

    You can see that Tyler:1. Outhit Jackson
    2. Out HR Jackson (HR per AB)
    3. Struck out much less (Jackson: 1/3 k/ab….Colvin 1/5.4 k/AB)

    Looking at the two, you’d say that Colvin was the better prospect…..

    SCOUTS SAY THAT JACKSON FANS TOO MUCH TO BECOME AN IMPACT PLAYER AT THE ML LEVEL.

    Translation: He looks like a role player–a platoon player. He must make more contact. Just ask Tyler Colvin about contact…..

    FURTHERMORE, IF COLVIN STRUGGLES AT THE ML LEVEL (JUST ASK CUBTEX ABOUT COLVIN’S FUTURE IN MLB) BECAUSE HE FANS TOO MUCH, WHAT DOES THIS SAY ABOUT JACKSON?

    • JW

      You can say whatever you want about the minor league numbers, but baseball, especially at the ML level is a mental game more than anything else. Colvin just couldn’t figure it out, whereas it remains to be seen what Jackson will figure out. Also his career .393 obp in the minors should project very well at the ML level. Noone is saying he is gonna hit .300 like Starlin Castro!

    • cubtex

      The fact that Jackson walks is a huge advantage over Colvin. Hopefully he can cut down on that K rate. Colvin doesn’t walk. But you are right…Jackson needs to cut down on that K rate.

      • paulcatanese

        Dont know that much about Jackson, except what everyone says, but sometimes a player just clicks wherever he is at. A good start and he may be off to the races. I would say this though, I hope Qua is gone when some of these kids are looking for their shot. Playing for Qua can be a very de-moralizing thing. As well as his enamored feeling for vets I think he may be viewed as a cruel insensitve jerk.

    • Mick88

      It says absolutely nothing about Jackson because they aren’t the same person. Does he need to cut down on the his K rate? Yes. Does this mean that he has a similar learning curve as Colvin? It might be that Jackson gets to the majors and really takes to the coaching and fixes it. Or maybe he struggles and isn’t able to get on track. I just don’t see the point in comparing the two especially when Jackson hasn’t had a single at bat in the majors. Can we let Jackson struggle first before we start deeming him the second coming of Tyler Colvin?

      • Ripsnorter1

        My post stated FACTS (re: stats, what ML scouts actually say), not HOPE. A hope statement is something like this: “It might be that Jackson gets to the majors and really takes to the coaching and fixes [his K rate].”

        The facts do say these things about Jackson:

        1. MLB scouts, (who get paid to evaluate talent), say that because he fans so much, it most likely means he becomes just a platoon player on the ML level.

        2. Since MiL players almost always perform at a lower level once they get to the bigs (because the talent level is higher than that in the MiL), perhaps Jackson is over-hyped. My post recorded the facts that his performance thus far is inferior to Colvin’s AA and AAA performance.

        If you take offense at my post, just remember this: 
        1. I try to be into reality, not Kool-Aid.

        2. The Cubs have over-hyped #1 prospects before: Corey Patterson comes to mind. What a great athlete, but really just a platoon player on the ML level.

        Finally, all the reports that I read say that the Cubs MiL system is deep in players like Barney: platoon players at the ML level, and that they completely lack impact players. My post on Jackson was saying, “He most likely isn’t an impact player, but rather just a platoon player.”

        The Pirates have a team full of platoon players, and no impact players (except perhaps McCutchin). Look where they live: the 2nd division.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Baseball Prospectus on Darwin Barney:

    Second baseman Darwin Barney became a fan favorite for his scrappy style and hot start to the season (.326/.351/.449 batting average/on-base percentage/slugging percentage in April), but he’s hit .263/.303/.326 thereafter, showing himself to be utility material. The Cubs will continue to court second-division status unless they disregard that initial success and reduce his role (or at least hit him lower in the lineup). 

    • paulcatanese

      I’ll bet they also compared him to Billy Martin, same type of player, but not off the field.