Randy Wells + Run Support = Bright Future

David WyattAnalyst IJuly 29, 2009

CHICAGO - MAY 16: Starting pitcher Randy Wells #36 of the Chicago Cubs delivers the ball during a game against the Houston Astros on May 16, 2009 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Cubs defeated the Astros 5-4. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Every year you get one of those feel good stories, a rookie playing like a veteran, this year is no different. Randy Wells, today, picked up his seventh win of the season, while lowering his ERA to 2.84.

Like in most cases, the win total is very misleading. In his first four starts of the year he was 0-2. Some people would immediately look at that and say that he struggled, and that's why the win statistic is one of the worst measurements of a player's worth.

What you don't see there is that he had a 1.80 ERA, and had around a run per game in run support. If he had gotten every 2-3 runs per game, he would be sitting here on a 10 game winning season right now.

The fascinating thing about Wells is that he really doesn't over power anyone. He does not have a blistering fast ball that he can blow by people in any count to get himself out of trouble.

He is very much a finesse pitcher, in the mold of a Jamie Moyer or a Greg Maddux to some extent. He fields his position well and he throws the right pitch in the right count at the right time.

A student of the game, now I'm not for one second going to sit here and pretend like I know what he does in preparation for a game. I have absolutely no idea, he could watch hours of game tape, he could watch none at all.

However, by watching him pitch you can see that he knows the hitter, he knows where they like the pitch and where they don't. He doesn't walk a ton, but when he does walk people, you have a feeling it is for the better of the game.

Like somehow he knows that in a 3-1 count, throwing a get me over pitch to someone like Tejada is going to be crushed, so he throws it on the outside corner and deals with the consequence.

Today it was refreshing to see that he had run support from the start as the Cubs jumped out to a six run lead. He looked relaxed knowing that he runs to work with, and when a Astro did get on base, he seemed to get that ground ball to end any such threat.

If you look at Randy Wells history in the minors, nothing screams at you that he would be this effective in the Majors. In his first season at AAA in 2006 he had a 4.96 ERA, 4.52 ERA in 2007, a 4.02 ERA in 2008.

I managed to watch a few of his games during this period and it seemed to me that he was trying to do too much. He was trying to strike out every hitter, instead of pitching around their strengths and into their weaknesses.

Randy Wells should be sitting on a 10 win season with a ERA like 2.84. He is and should be in strong consideration for the NL rookie of the year.

Even winning seven games this season is some accomplishment. He is the first rookie to do this since Kerry Wood in 1998. We all know how that season turned out for Kerry.

If Wells receives at least respectable run support, this could be the start of a beautiful friendship.


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