Goatriders of the Apocalypse

Game Recap: Dodgers 2, Cubs 1 - Wells couldn't buy a win right now

Cubs Lose
Your name is Randy Wells.  You are a relatively unheralded 26-year-old who regrettably shares a resemblance with Kevin Federline.  You are playing for the team that drafted you as a catcher and thought so highly of you as a pitcher that they left you unprotected for the Rule V draft -- resulting in your first cup of coffee in the majors with the Blue Jays last year.  Now you're back, and, although you've been ridiculously good in your first 4 starts this year, nobody is giddy with your potential and it seems as if you couldn't buy a win with all  your bonus money. 

In last night's game against the Dodgers Wells did it again.  He threw 7 innings and -- although the Dodgers knocked him around early -- he only walked 1 and surrendered 2 earned runs.  His ERA is now 1.80, he's got 23 strikeouts in 25 innings, and he's not only winless but mokes like me are planning ahead to when -- not if, but when -- he'll get demoted to the bullpen.

Perhaps the term that best describes how that happened last night could be this: offensive druthers.

While Wells was trying to save the ship, the Cubs as a team collected 9 hits, 3 walks, and grounded into 4 double plays.  In fact, every Cubs regular got at least one hit but, had Bobby Scales! not made the most of his return trip to the majors with a homerun*, the Cubs would've been shut out.  This is frustratingly despite the Cubs stranding 5 men on base in the final 2 innings - 4 of whom reached their base before there'd been a single out.  Maybe Carlos broke all their run-scoring bats in a fit of anger?

(*Gabby Hartnett had his Homer in the Gloamin', Bobby Scales! has his now-legendary Please Don't Demote Me Again Dinger.  Not quite as catchy)

The one thing this game really reminded me of was last October.  The Dodgers are the kind of team that's built to give the Cubs trouble.  They run a lot, their pitchers surrender groundballs, and they'll beat you on singles and steals.  You know, if this game reminded us of anything it isn't that the Cubs should desperately do something to rattle Soto's cage but, instead, maybe they should recognize that at the best of times -- when his shoulder isn't gimpy -- he's never going to be Hank Whitesque when it comes to gunning down base runners.  As much as I love Three Finger Hill, maybe the Cubs need to look for that catcher with the Chip Caray "lazer-beam" arm.

I digress.  The Cubs play tonight ... for vengence!

Anybody else read that Rick

Anybody else read that Rick Reilly article about the switch pitcher?

That's basically where we find ourselves at this point. Let me explain.

Lou has made it abundantly clear throughout his tenure with the Cubs that he respects platoon splits, and he will do whatever he can to make the most of those match-ups. Once everyone's healthy, I expect Lou will move both Sean Marshall and Randy Wells in and out of the fifth starting spot, depending on match-ups.

Beyond the advantage of being able to choose the handedness of his starter, Lou can also use both pitchers to give the other a rest from starting. Sean and Randy are both young, and will probably be limited in the number of innings they're able to pitch this year.

So yeah, that's how I see it: two "sixth" starters that combine to give us a switch pitching fifth starter.

It's an interesting idea, but

It's an interesting idea, but I can see a lot of reasons to be concerned about it. It kind of goes back to my insane pitching rotation concept from earlier this year. The issue is that a starting pitcher needs his regular work to maintain arm strength. What if, based on the matchups, Wells gets 3 starts in a row? That's two weeks of no-starting for Marshall. Sean can probably make up for that by being used in the bullpen, but how will that affect his endurance?

Isn't it possible that, if he pitches in relief for two weeks and steps in to start, he might hurt himself if he throws too many pitches? And how many pitches is too many? We don't know because it hasn't been done before.

I think Lou's just going to have to make a tough choice and, unless Marshall starts getting hammered, that tough choice may have to be Wells becoming our new setup man. Which in and of itself wouldn't be a bad thing.

stolen bases

When are the pitchers going to take some of the blame for the stolen bases.

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