Goatriders of the Apocalypse

GameCast: September 27th at San Francisco

GamecastRandy Wells (11-9, 3.00 ERA) vs. Matt Cain (13-7, 2.99 ERA)

Story-lines
How impressive has Randy Wells been?  Look at the very basic line comparing him with Matt Cain -- probably any team in baseball would take the Giants stud without qualms, but in reality his numbers are no better than Randy's.  Perhaps Wells has been even better than we give him credit for.

Probing deeper, let's compare exactly how well Randy is doing pound-for-pound through the amazing power of projections.

Matt Cain -- through 204.2 innings -- 13-7, 175 hits, 22 HR, 70 BB, 158 SO, 1.20 WHIP.
Randy Wells -- projected through 204.2 innings -- 15-12, 203 hits, 19 HR, 54 BB, 124 SO, 1.27 WHIP

Not bad, not bad at all. 

Now, one of the most interesting questions we'll be asking this off season is whether or not Wells is a one-year-wonder, or if he is a future staple in the Cubs rotation.  Jim Hendry -- should he be back next year -- will be taking a fairly big roll of the dice in assuming that both Randy and lefty Tom Gorzelanny are big league material. 

Regardless, he is very close to having -- minus the 20 strikeout game and high SO totals -- a comparable-if-not-better rookie season than Kerry Wood in 1998.  And he is now poised to finish an improbable sweep of the Giants while cementing the Cubs third consecutive winning season -- and sixth of the decade -- not that it means too much.

The funny thing to me is that there have been a fairly large number of hardcore fans -- and some bloggers -- who have hated this season, who are practically giving up on the franchise because of this season, but all things considered this year has mostly just been mundane.  It hasn't been horrible, it hasn't been great. All it has been is average at a time when we want anything but.  Really, that's not so bad, and it's on par with my expectations of the Cubs organization.  They won't reach the playoffs every year, but they should compete.  Even Yankee fans couldn't ask for much more than that.

Chicago Tribune's Chicago's Best Blogs award