Braves-Cubs: New Road Trip, Same Old Story

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Braves-Cubs: New Road Trip, Same Old Story

"This is rumor control, and these are the facts."

Randy Wells again proved to be the tough-luck pitcher of 2009, going from storybook one-hitter to a no decision, as the Atlanta Braves rallied in the ninth to tie the Chicago Cubs, and again in extra innings to win 6-5.

What does this guy have to do to get a win? Wells, easily the Cubs' best starter this season, is still in search of his first Major League victory.

Everyone thought Tuesday was the night, as the Cubs took a 5-0 lead into the eighth, thanks primarily to an Alfonso Soriano solo shot and Derrek Lee's RBI double earlier in the game. Even Wells would help himself, driving in a run in the second off of Braves starter Kenshin Kawakami.

But the Cubs' real Achilles heel, that awful bullpen, acted up again after Randy got the hook.

After a so-so appearance by Carlos Marmol in the eighth, Kevin Gregg had yet another ninth-inning implosion, serving up a two-run Jeff Francoeur homer to tie the game.

It was an utterly ridiculous pitch, a fastball that caught entirely too much plate for a strikeout candidate like Francoeur.

You throw him high heat, and it's not a question of whether he homers, but how far he's going to hit it. This time, he hit it far.

Then in the 12th, Aaron Heilman could neither keep Yunel Escobar close enough to keep from swiping second, nor the ball far away enough from Chipper Jones to keep him from singling to left for the game winner.

Oh, and Milton Bradley is injured again. It's a calf injury, likely to keep him out the rest of the week, at the very least.

The Cubs are not back on the right track, as they've still got the same problems of old.

Yes, Sean Marshall needs to head back to the pen. He's been good. Wells has been better. And another lefty there would help.

The bullpen woes are not going to work themselves out, regardless of the happy face that Lou Piniella puts on it.

Bradley will not play in anything close to 135 games, as the Cubs suggested.

And the Mets fans that curse the name of Aaron Heilman do so with good reason.

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