Cubs 4, Pirates 1; Wells Wins Going Away
I'll tell you a story.
Back in March, I had occasion to chat with a few very nice young ladies in one of Chicago's tonier nightspots. We talked for awhile, I explained what I do and what's involved with it. As an aside, if you ever want a laugh, try explaining to someone the economics of blogging. You'll see.
But they were all too happy to share that they had just met the next great Cubs outfielder, Sam Fuld, the past weekend at this same spot. Now, Sam had obviously—and for obvious reasons—overstated his role with the ballclub a bit, and I had to explain depth charts, free-agent signings, talent limitations, and other baseball-related issues to them, and that they shouldn't look for Sam to be back in Chicago anytime soon, regardless of his hopes to break camp with the team.
Okay, I was wrong. Things have gone very bad in the Cubs outfield this season, and Fuld is back in town. Not only that, but his first major league start Wednesday turned into a highlight reel, as he helped power the Cubs to a 4-1 win over the Pirates.
Personally, I was just happy to see Alfonso Soriano sit for a night; I suspect most fans felt the same way. However, he proved to be a catalyst from the lead-off spot as well.
Fuld would collect his first major-league hit in the first inning ahead of Derrek Lee, who'd promptly drive him in with a two-run shot to put the Cubs up early. He'd finish 2-4 on the night with a walk, in addition to providing a number of highlight defensive plays in left field.
First, he'd rob Ramon Vazquez of a hit in the fourth inning. Then in the fifth, he'd throw out Jack Wilson at the plate to end the Pirates rally. It was a great play, and I'm sure he'll impress the ladies with tales of it this weekend.
All this was in support of starter Randy Wells, who, after some tough-luck early on this season, seems to be collecting wins at a pretty steady pace now. He'd go seven innings Wednesday, allowing one run on six hits.
I can't say enough good things about his performance, but I will say that he went after hitters and didn't nibble, which is the nicest thing that I can say about a rookie pitcher. I don't like rookies, and I can't stand nibblers.
And for those who needed to see a little more fire out of Lou Piniella, well, you got it. Sweet Lou was ejected in the sixth inning after arguing a bang-bang Wells groundout, and let's just say he got his money's worth.
No bases were harmed in the making of this tirade, but even I have to admit it was refreshing to see some genuine anger from Lou, which he dealt out plenty of to ump Chad Fairchild.
So, the Cubs close the road trip with a win, finishing it with a 3-7 record overall and an 11-14 record for June. Pretty bad, but fortunately, reinforcements are on the way.
Aramis Ramirez is expected to come off the disabled list on Monday, followed by Angel Guzman on Tuesday. And for reasons that I don't completely understand, the Cubs are on the verge of acquiring Jeff Baker from the Rockies.
Why, I've no idea, but at least he beats an injured Aaron Miles on the roster.
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