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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  • based on what SF has been doing every other year lately, getting access to the postseason playoffs seems to be what's important. bring on dat short series!

    that said, skipping the sudden death 1-game WC would be nice from here on out.

  • I know what you are saying, but I feel compelled to point out that there's no such thing as luck, curses, etc. The Cubs this year have as good as a chance as the Pirates to move on to the next round. If the Cubs proceed to the next round or not tomorrow, it will not be because of luck, but because one team outlasted the other. When/if the Cubs are lucky enough to make it to the league series, that's where they may find their biggest challenge. The Dodgers have a good, deep pitching staff.

  • debuting the new format 1 game "sudden death" WC matchup at yankee stadium does a perfect job of showing the intense emotion and drama this game can be.

    that said, i'm ready to not see yankee stadium or hear fans at yankee stadium for another 5 and 1/2 months. at least i don't have to sit through the braves with their "tommy hawk chawp" this postseason.

  • i'd like to know why the mlb.tv internet radio feed of the game (which is always delayed by a few seconds at best) is almost a minute faster than the ESPN cable TV coverage. wtf?

  • i dont know what order they'll be in, but i pretty much expect fowler/schwarb/rizzo/bryant/montero/castro/lastella/arrieta. any change at all (aside from the first 4 guys) wouldn't shock me, though. coghlan is still a wildcard in the lineup equation...plus joe could always march d.ross out there with very slow arrieta pitching.

  • Yup. Have to agree. Baseball, like golf, certainly has that psych component for the player. There is no real reason why a fielding position should affect a batting average. The Cubs are 106 years over due for a little luck. Don't you guys think so? Maybe the rookies can bring some dumb luck on.

  • probably stacking capable lefties vs cole while keeping the "hot" castro in the game. fwiw, he's 1-6 lifetime with 0 bb/k vs cole (double).

    i chalk bryant's issues at the plate while playing OF up to coincidence so far.

  • I will call your dead horse, "Trigger".

    In one game, when anything is possble, I am glad that Joe Maddon is our Manager.

    He knows the stats better than all of us. It would seem, IF La Stella gets the start at 3B, it will be only up to the point that they were to get the lead (crosses fingers). From everything I have read, the game will be managed like a hoops game: offense/defense. So expect La Stella to be out of the game by the 5th. This team is incredibly deep which is so surprising. We never woulda thunk it.

  • i don't know what their roster plans are, but j.herrera is out there practicing with the team.

    i can't imagine him making any roster, though. dude had 4 PA the entire month of sept. him being a good dude to be around while keeping the clubhouse loose seems to be his main role at this point.

  • I know it's my own personal dead horse to beat --but Bryant has been a lousy hitter when playing the OF this year. Given that it's his first playoff game, I really hope they keep him in his natural position and don't mess with his routine.

    Lousy as in 8-for-45 with one XBH and no HR. Small sample and all that -- but why take the chance?

  • hard to tell what's up given they'll probably want to stack as many good lefties into the lineup as possible.

    castro being a bit hot doesn't help things. if he was still cool they'd probably stick la stella at 2nd and call it a day.

  • Madden won't announce lineups but Stella is practicing at 3rd and Bryant in LF today. I'd rather see Bryant at 3rd but I guess Stella has been hotter than Coghlan.

    /edit. Though I guess they could be practicing this with the idea Stella would come in as a PH then double switch him to 3rd base and Bryant to LF. Hope that's the plan instead

  • I really like the sound of that idea about expanding the AFL to ten teams. Each org. gets to field more players.
    They should do that anyway, regardless of Adv. Instructs.

  • Dallas Beeler, Corey Black, David Garner, Pierce Johnson, Steve Perakslis, James Pugliese, Duane Underwood Jr, and Rob Zastryzny threw early-morning bullpen side-sessions at Riverview yesterday.  

    Underwood threw last, and received specific one-on-one instruction from pitching coach Mike Mason. 

  • HAGSAG: There are only five advanced instructs squads left, and presently the only "co-op" team operating is the Angels/Cubs.

    The league was originally established as a "parallel" league to the AFL (a sort of "junior AFL"), for players too advanced for traditional ("basic") instructs but who were unable to get placed on AFL rosters due to AFL player-limits.

  • He is but I would think it'd be better to start out with offense and then bring in Jackson and LaStella once they have a lead. Stella has very good PH #s too.