Hey, Randy Wells, Aren't You Dan Haren?

Arizona's Dan Haren was lifted from Sunday's start at San Diego after the seventh. He held the Padres scoreless for 6 2/3 innings before allowing a solo blast to Kevin Kouzmanoff. In all, Haren was charged with 1 run on 4 hits. He fanned 5, walked 1, and at one point, retired 13 Padre hitters consecutively.

He was deprived of his fifth win of the season, however, when the Arizona bullpen failed to protect a 6-1 lead going into the bottom of the ninth. (The Diamondbacks eventually won, 9-6, in 18 innings.)

In Haren's last start, at Los Angeles, he held the division-leading Dodgers to 1 run on 2 hits over 7 IP, but emerged with a no-decision in a game his team ultimately lost, 6-5.

Haren began the season by losing 3-0, 3-1, and 2-0 games to the Rockies, Dodgers, and Giants, respectively. After those three starts, he had an ERA of 1.89 and a record of 0-3.

After 11 starts, Haren now has a 2.42 ERA. In 78 IP, he has yielded just 57 hits and amassed 78 strikeouts while walking just 10. He is also a .500 pitcher (4-4).

Six games into his career as a Chicago Cub, Randy Wells is now 0-2, 1.86, with his only "non-quality" start coming in his National League debut...when he held the Brewers scoreless, but only for five innings.

Wells' performance Sunday in the 6-3, 14-inning win at Cincinnati was typical of what he has delivered since being summoned from Iowa: 6 2/3 IP, 7 H, 1 BB, 4 K, and just 2 ER. The non-support he received from the Cub offense and the inability of the Cubs bullpen (specifically Carlos Marmol today) to protect a lead on Wells' s behalf were also, unfortunately, typical.

The good news is that Aaron Heilman, Kevin Gregg, Jose Ascanio, David Patton, and Angel Guzman were able to keep the Reds off the scoreboard, while the Cub batsmen were finally able to recapture the lead in the 14th inning, a mere 11 innings after they had last tallied.

I'm sure it wouldn't make Randy Wells feel any better to know that he has company the likes of Dan Haren or that he is becoming a poster boy for the injustice of evaluating starting pitchers by their win-loss totals. But at least he can know that he has done a bang-up job for the Cubs and that if he continues to pitch so effectively, the wins will eventually begin to follow.

Won't they?



The folks here, and Lou, are all smart enough to know that W-L doesn't mean much for pitchers. I think Wells has pitched his way into the rotation for the rest of the year. I like Marshall, but I think I would rather keep him in the 'pen, and keep Wells in there.

Speaking of former catchers now pitchers, anyone notice that Blake Parker is 6 for 6 in save situations at Iowa, and 0.82 ERA with over a K per inning? And this in only his 3rd year of pitching.

I agree, and I wasn't suggesting that his spot could be in jeopardy because of his W-L record. I was just pointing to the fact that we currently have on the Cubs a living, breathing example of the shortcomings of the W-L yardstick in this guy who has pitched well enough to already have four or five wins under his belt.

You can read through the TCR archives, but there's more to winning percentage than run support and ERA. Alternatively, you can just look at who leads the majors in wins in 2009.

I should have said "...the injustice of evaluating starting pitchers solely by their win-loss totals..."


something about zell giving up control to the lenders, although it would be his call


Article does say, "But Zell's team has indicated that it wants to work toward a consensual plan with the company's creditors," so they (the creditors) will most likely have a voice in determining Zell's role.

What a mess.

I'll say one thing about Zell, for all the hype about how smart of a businessman he is, he wasn't too smart buying a group of newspapers just as they are all going down the toilet.

I mentioned this during Sunday's Parachat that Randy Wells' tough luck reminded me of Juan Cruz' troubles as a Cub. In 2002 Cruz had a tough start to the season despite pitching very well. He went 0-7 in his first 8 starts, although his ERA was 2.81 after 6 starts. Even after getting roughed up his two next starts, falling to 0-7, his era was 3.86. That's when Don Baylor started mentioning he might need to move Cruz to the bullpen, and did so after his next start despite Cruz getting the win and going to 1-7. Cruz was moved out of the rotation to make way for Mark Prior's debut. A few weeks later Cruz was being considered to move back into the rotation to replace a struggling and injured Jason Bere.

Cruz' 2002 game log at Baseball Reference:


I found this tidbit from a 2002 CBS Sports fantasy blurb:

"Cruz gave up four runs and eight hits in 3 2/3 innings Tuesday as his record dropped to 0-7. He is winless in 10 starts since beating Pittsburgh last Sept. 26. However, his record is deceptive. His 3.86 ERA is hardly a cause for alarm. Cruz's problems can also be attributed to poor run support. The Cubs are only averaging two runs in his eight starts."


Replace Cruz with Wells in that story and nobody would know the difference, but Wells has been even more impressive. It's a hard knock life. I always liked Cruz, but he has always had the same control issues that plague Marmol so often. When either guy is on they are almost hittable.

"I'll say one thing about Zell, for all the hype about how smart of a businessman he is, he wasn't too smart buying a group of newspapers just as they are all going down the toilet."

Zell didn't buy Tribco for their papers - he bought them primarily for their real estate assets, as well as the TV/Radio stations. He never gave a crap about the papers, but was gambling on buying severely depreciated commercial real estate assets in prime locations on the cheap, in hopes of an eventual rebound. It's how he made his bones in the first place, his MO was coined as a "vulture investor."

Our intrepid manager just pitched Guzman and Marmol every game for a week straight, didn't he?

Wow - the Cubs Bullpen Usage Chart for Sunday certainly is packed with "X's"!

IS it the first time in the year all boxes have been checked for one day?

What a pathetic offense.

Recent comments

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  • deno ended the season well even though ajax heavily cut into a lot of his chances to play. it's either him or ajax. i'm a bit partial to deno, but whatever...at least ajax isn't hitting 2nd.

  • Agreed. And, with Hendricks on the mound, Cubs will probably need to score some runs to win -- why not start Soler for his bat and bring in Ajax for defense later?

    NEVER MIND....just re-read the lineup.

  • If the Cubs have the lead in the 8th, who pitches? Rodney? Travis? Yikes.

  • The Cubs had some good runs and nice winning streaks that propelled them to the playoffs. Austin Jackson wasn't part of that. I don't quite understand what it is about Jackson that they are so enamored with.

  • I think the strike zone was very inconsistent, but it's hard to blame the loss on the ump. They had chances and mistake pitches and just couldn't cash in. Lackey ran the ball inside and outside very effectively.

  • Correct. Castro 5th, AJax 6th; I'll edit my lineup post to fix this.

  • Lineup: Fowler, Soler, KB, Rizzo, Castro, AJax, Montero, Hendricks, Russell

  • if he put ajax 1st/2nd in the f'n playoffs he deserves to lose his nearly sure-thing MOY award to terry collins.

  • I believe Castro batting fifth, Ajax (LF) sixth

  • Maddon did not listen to me yesterday re Strop, or EricS on Schwarbs today.

    Wtf is up w/that?!

  • Crunch got his wish - Ajax not hitting 1-2 in the lineup ...

  • I know he's struggles against lefties but Schwarber seems zoned in - hope he starts tonight.

  • Awesome stuff, Phil.

  • listening on ESPN 1000, caller says Bill Welke will be the home plate ump today. Supposedly his reputation is for having an even bigger strike zone than last night's Phil Cuzzi. Some of the issues with bad umpiring come from an inconsistent strike zone. Hoping at least for consistency. Last night's called strike on David Ross was outright embarrassing for Cuzzi.

    That might work out in favor of Kyle Hendricks, who benefits much from a large strike zone.

  • it's kind of mesmerizing to watch
    should Theo add some Ted Abernathy videos for minor league pitching coordinator's use?

    sadly, Ted passed away in 2004 from complications of Alzheimers. I always loved the Cub bullpen trio of Phil Regan, Ted Abernathy and Hank Aguirre. As a kid, I even worked on both Phil Regan (very quirky delivery) and Ted Abernathy (extreme submarine) imitations when throwing a rubber ball against a wall. It wasn't a good imitation unless I could scrape my knuckles off the ground. I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for submariners.

  • HAGSAG: Chris Pieters was sent to instructs to develop his hitting, bunting, and outfield play (he is already a decent first-baseman).  

    Pieters is tall and rangy , a "long-strider" in the same mold as Trey Martin and Rashad Crawford. He is a very patient hitter (unusual for a hitter with his lack of experience) and has an outstanding (almost uncanny) eye at the plate, and he is a fast runner with unusually good baserunning instincts, and he is a good basestealer, too.