Well, the inevitable happened Thursday, and the Cubs took home their first 'W ' for the 2010 season. Cubs pitcher Randy Wells (1-0) pitched remarkably well, although I still be he could go back to catching full time, and perform to the Cubs' standard .
There are several very nice things to be taken from this game.
We'll begin with Randy Wells' performance. Wells sat at around 90 mph with his fastball, with his sinker sitting on average at 89. He threw his sinker 35 times and hit the zone about 75 percent.
Pitch diversification was a key for Wells, as he threw all four of his pitches a good amount of time: four-seam fastball 20 times, sinker 35 times, change-up 23 times, and his slider 19 times. Wells' change-up demonstrated great movement, with 7.07 inches of run into lefties. He garnered 13 out of 15 outs as the ground ball type, and did a good job of changing speeds:
After Wells pitched his six innings, Sean Marshall came in for two batters, and shut them both down. Unfortunately, he did not retire either on strikes, so his K/9 was lowered down to 14.54 (!).
Tyler Colvin played left field in place of Alfonso Soriano , and hit his first Major League home run in his first at-bat. It was his only hit, but he did a fair job of putting the ball in the air (four out of five tries), which is a good quality for a power hitter.
Speaking of home runs, Marlon Byrd, Milton Bradley 's replacement in right field, also hit a homer, however his average is .182, as his only two Cubs hits are long-balls.
On the downside, Ryan Theriot's struggles continue, as he racked up two more strikeouts, leaving his K percentage at 27.3. Theriot is yet to reach base this season. The most alarming thing for him is that he is only making 41 percent contact. That number is bound to regress to around the norm, but for a contact hitter, that is unacceptable.
Also, John Grabow is proving to be quite worthless . He came in to retire Brian McCann, but proceeded to walking him in five pitches. On the season, Grabow is in danger of making a visit to Triple-A Peoria. He is only throwing ground balls at a 33 percent clip, while his BB/9 is 6.75. I am going to express some semblance of patience with Grabow, but I do not want to wait around while there is younger talent waiting to provide ample replacement value.
The game Thursday proved that the Cubs have plenty of things to build upon. There's 159 games left, so Cubs fans, please don't panic!