The Cubs were unable to get anything started against Phillies starter Joe Blanton despite having eight hits off of him.
Here is what we learned and questions we have from this Cubs loss.
Did Dale Sveum Leave Randy Wells In Too Long?
The fourth inning was an absolute disaster for Wells. Before his collapse in the fourth, he was cruising through the Phillies lineup as he had yet to give up a hit. However, the wheels completely fell off of Wells in the fourth by walking three and giving up four runs.
Even with his early success in this game, was he left in too long? The inning began with a Hunter Pence double followed by a Jim Thome walk. After Shane Victorino grounded into a fielder’s choice, Wells walked Laynce Nix. Carlos Ruiz plated two runs with a single to center field and after Pete Orr flew out to center.
What should have been an easy out turned into a difficult at-bat to swallow as Wells walked the starting pitcher Joe Blanton. With the top of the order looming, Sveum had to notice Wells was losing his command and confidence. Instead of going to his bullpen early, Sveum ultimately decided the game with one pitch as Wells gave up a two-run double by Jimmy Rollins.
Is There A Thing As Being Too Patient?
It was obvious the Cubs were trying to force Joe Blanton to throw a ton of pitches and to exit the game early by avoiding swinging at the first pitch in almost every at-bat. However, this strategy backfired for the Cubs as nearly every batter was down in a 1-2 or 0-2 count.
Blanton threw 106 pitches and 78 of them were strikes.
Why Wasn't Tony Campana Starting?
It has always befuddled me when a manager benches a player who propelled the team to victory the previous night. Campana should have started in his second consecutive game because how much he can change a game in an instant.
Reed Johnson should be considered a bench player at this point in his career and not be starting three to five times a week.