Randy Wells versus Tim Lincecum was a heck of a mismatch – about as much as Cubs versus Giants. Sometimes I feel guilty gleefully cheering on the Cubs as they crush a team’s playoff hopes. But, when that team is offering up its ace and can’t get the job done? There is no guilt.
- Randy Wells on his first career shutout: “It was pretty cool. You always want to try to fill up your columns. I came close last year in St. Louis, got lifted in the ninth. It’s just another thing you can say you have done and nobody can take it away from you.” Is Wells making a strong case for a rotation spot next year? His ERA was right around 4.00 since mid-July, and that was before last night’s shutout. I suspect that, no matter what happens in September – and probably no matter what the Cubs do in the offseason – Wells is going to have to pitch his way into the rotation in Spring Training.
- Andrew Cashner threw another perfect inning yesterday, this time striking out the side at AA Tennessee. It’s a good guess at this point that he’ll make an appearance or two at AAA Iowa, and rejoin the Cubs this weekend.
- Cubs Brass is expected to meet on Friday to decide on September call-ups. First baseman Bryan LaHair – just named a PCL All-Star, and just hit his league-leading 37th homer – and catcher Welington Castillo are virtual locks to be called up. A couple relievers might also get the call. But everyone wants to know about top prospect Brett Jackson. Mike Quade doesn’t sound committed, one way or another. “I want to do what’s right for the organization and the kid, and I mean that from the bottom of my heart,” Quade said Monday. “He’s a fine-looking young player. People who are watching him and see him every day are in a good position to make a decision as to whether we should bring him up here.”
- Matt Garza, who leads Major League pitchers with seven errors, knows his defense needs to improve. But he’s inclined to believe the errors are an aberration, and not a result of his amped-up personality. A theory upon which I have no actual evidence to rest? Garza is seeing a whole lot more bunts in the NL than he saw in the AL, which require a faster field-and-throw than a comebacker. Ok, I do have *some* evidence: Garza is already up to 31 chances on the year; his previous career high was just 27.
- A different take on Aramis Ramirez’s attitude, influence, and effort. It amounts to a you-don’t-know-what-goes-on-behind-closed-doors defense. And that’s true: we don’t really know how Ramirez is with his teammates. Ramirez says he still doesn’t know if he wants to come back next year, and it depends on what the new GM comes in and does.
- Pitching prospect Trey McNutt’s first professional hit: a homer. Naturally.
- More evidence that former Cubs shortstop Shawon Dunston was pushing his son, the Cubs’ 11th round pick this year, to sign with the Cubs: “I said, ‘They’re offering you first-round money and you haven’t done anything yet, and you’ve got to look at that and you’re young,'” the elder Dunston said of the Cubs’ offer of $1.275 million, which was over slot and included money for college. “I said, ‘For you to get this money back in college, everything has to go right, and when I say everything, I mean everything.'”