Zephyrs' Montz Drills Wells Deep
There was a big, bad moon rising tonight over Principal Park about the time New Orleans' Luke Montz boomed a Randy Wells s(t)inker through the teeth of the brisk zephyr blowing in off the Des Moines River to break a 1-1 tie and launch the visitors to a 7-3 series-evening win.
Wells actually lowered his Iowa ERA to 8.38 while allowing three runs in his rather ordinary five inning stint. He was touched for seven hits and walked two while needing 91 pitches to labor through his outing. Only once did he retire the side in order. He did score a run after drawing a walk himself before Anthony RBIzo doubled him home to put the I-Cubs in front in the bottom of the third.
Rizzo had fanned on three straight breaking balls in the first. The first pitch to him in the third was another one which he pulled sharply foul. On the fifth straight one he saw he stayed back and lined it just fair inside the line at third.
Brett Jackson was back in the lineup tonight and led off in the bottom of the first with a ringing double over the left fielder's head but then proceeded to strike out in his next four trips.
Daniel Berlind relieved Wells in the sixth and made his Iowa debut. He's lanky and throws hard from a preying mantis type posture. When he retired the first hitter he faced on a pop fly I sat up and took notice. Then the next five batters went walk, walk, double, single, double and Berlind took his 108.00 ERA into the showers. Succeeding him, Manny Corpas, Esmailin Caridad and Scott Maine all had scoreless lines. Corpas throws his overhand fastball about 90 and his sidearm one about 85. Tonight he mixed them effectively and retired all five batters he faced, two on strikes. Maine looks good every time I see him. As Cubster has noted, I think he's good enough to pitch out of a bullpen as shambled as Chicago's.
Not much else to report except that Rizzo, who has made six errors already at first, looks very good there to me. Tonight he made one particularly sparkling play and almost made another when a screamer glanced off his glove as he leaped to spear it. I've seen half a dozen games but only one of his miscues when he muffed an underhanded scoop to a pitcher covering the bag.
Travis Wood was to have started tonight until he was summoned as Garza's understudy for tomorrow's rubber match with the resurgent Dodgers.
Oh, one other thing. I scored tickets today for the Springsteen gig at Wrigley on September 8. We go back to his show at the University of Iowa 37 years ago when I was matriculating there. He may have lost a step but we'll see if he beats Brett Jackson to center field at The Friendly Confines. I'm not trying to put pictures in Tim's pen but I'd like to see what he could do with this scenario.