Cubs 3, Braves 2
The Cubs end a three game losing streak behind Randy Wells best pitched game of the year, beating the Braves 3-2.
What went right:
- Randy Wells pitched his best start of the year, going 6 2/3 while giving up only 1 run on 2 hits and 2 walks to go along with 6 strikeouts. He’s taken a step back this year and is likely going to have to fight for a spot in next years rotation.
- Aramis Ramirez stayed hot, getting on base three times.
- Alfonso Soriano hit a homer for the second night in a row.
What went wrong:
- Mike Quade’s decision making continues to be questionable. Randy Wells showed signs of struggling in the 6th inning, but got out of it. He came up in the bottom of the inning with Soriano on second and two outs. That seemed like a good chance to pinch hit for him and thank him for a night of good pitching. He got the lead off man in the seventh, Freddi Freeman flew out to the wall, and then Chipper crushed one over the center field wall. He was removed at that point.
- Geovany Soto had a rocket in the 8th with the bases loaded and one out that was caught by Chipper who touched third for an easy double play. Tyler Colvin did the same thing on the first base side and later scorched one to deep center, but Michael Bourn was able to grab it. Tough luck, that’s baseball for ya…Tyler could’ve got that OBP over the .200 mark!
Reserved for Carlos Marmol note
- Carlos Pena was claimed off waivers by the Yankees (I guess they’ll do anything to keep Jesus Montero in AAA). The Cubs would still be on the hook for the $5 million deferred payment in his contract next January, so it doesn’t sound like they are all that anxious to move him. I don’t see why not. Let the Yankees take him and save $1 million or try and work out a trade and get something for the farm system. The Yanks won’t resign him, so if he’s still on your wish list, he’ll be there in free agency (along with Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols, who they have to at least talk to, right?). The timing of the GM change was a mistake on Ricketts part.
- Bud Selig was in the booth talking with Len and Bob. One subject to come up was the idea of an international draft and hard slotting for draft picks. This is a great idea if he wants to lose the best athletes to other sports. The 2011 draft had the Nationals, Pirates, Royals, and Mariners as the top four spending teams with Toronto and Tampa Bay collecting the most players that signed for over $500k. What’s wrong with the way it is? You get what you pay for and if the Nat’s, Pirates, and Royals are the top three spending teams, I’d venture a guess that any team can take this strategy.
- Aramis Ramirez is about as hot as a hitter can get. This has brought a lot of discussion about the Cubs picking up his option for next year. My opinion is absolutely. It is a mutual option, so Ramirez can decline and become a free agent. With the weak third base free agent class, he’s sure to get a multi-year deal from someone, so he’d probably decline. Then the Cubs could offer arbitration, which he’ll decline again, and be able to collect two extra draft picks. If Ramirez decides to accept the option and come back next year, the Cubs have one of the top handful of third basemen on a one year contract.
Stars of the Game
Base on Win Probability Added (WPA)
1st Star – Randy Wells (.279 WPA)
2nd Star – Alfonso Soriano (.177 WPA)
3rd Star – Carlos Marmol (.172 WPA)