Wrap-Up: Chicago Cubs Vs. Philadelphia Phillies (04/28/2012)


The Chicago Cubs entered Saturday’s game fresh off a 5 to 1 victory over the Roy Halladay and Philadelphia Phillies as their momentum continued from taking two out of three from the St Louis Cardinals earlier in the week. The momentum was certainly building. Randy Wells made his second start in place of the injured Ryan Dempster. For the second straight start, Wells struggled.

Wells allowed 4 runs on 3 hits while issuing 4 base on balls in 3.2 innings. Wells now has issued 9 base on balls in his first two starts with the Cubs this season. Wells was the pitcher of record in the Cubs 5 to 2 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday night. It is unfortunate that Wells has not been more effective than he has been in his first two starts for the Cubs this season.

When Wells was optioned down to Triple A-Iowa to begin the season, the starting pitcher was disappointed. Especially because Wells did nothing in Spring Training to lose his spot in the starting rotation from the 2011 season. But with a new regime in place, Wells was placed in position to earn a spot in the Cubs’ starting rotation once again. If Jeff Samardzija and Chris Volstad hadn’t been so effective in Spring Training, Wells would have easily earned a spot in the Cubs’ starting rotation. Instead, Wells would begin the 2012 season by pitching out of the Iowa Cubs’ starting rotation.

Wells made three starts with the Iowa Cubs allowing 15 runs on 16 hits and 6 base on balls.  If one were to combine Wells’ three starts with the Iowa Cubs with his first two starts with the Chicago Cubs, it would be easy to speculate that Wells may be pitching his way out of the Cubs’ long-term plans. There was speculation towards the end of Spring Training that the Cubs were willing to trade Wells, and if Wells continues to be ineffective, that speculation may resurface once again.

Here are the game notes from the Cubs 5 to 2 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday night.

What Went Right: There was little to be excited about during the Cubs loss to the Phillies on Saturday. The offense was inept, and the starting pitchers was not much better. If there was anything to take away from this game, it would be that the Cubs’ bullpen kept the team in the game. Michael Bowden, Shawn Camp, and Scott Maine threw a combined 4 1/3 innings allowing one run 0n three hits. Kerry Wood is inching closer to returning to the Major League team, as the reliever has started to throw off the mound. Take your time, Kerry.

What Went Wrong: Randy Wells, as we know, was not too good in Saturday’s loss. Neither was the Cubs’ offense. While the Cubs offense collected more hits than the Phillies, the hits were scattered. Third baseman Ian Stewart continued his struggles as Stewart was 0 for 4 in Saturday’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies. Stewart is hitting .169 on the season, but manager Dale Sveum is not ready to give up on the third baseman. Though, if Stewart’s struggles continue into the month of May, the Cubs’ manager may not be as supportive.

What Was Interesting: Catcher Welington Castillo made the start in place of Geovany Soto on Saturday. Soto is dealing with tightness in his upper back area, and the catcher is not expected to return to the lineup on Sunday. Meaning Castillo will once again get the start. Castillo was 0 for 3 in Saturday’s game. However, Sveum has said that he anticipates that Castillo will have more chances to play everyday than Steve Clevenger had before injuring his rib-cage and being placed on the 15 day disabled list on Friday. Reason being Castillo was an everyday player with the Iowa Cubs, and Sveum does not want to alter that mentality for Castillo. With Soto struggling on the season, Castillo is going to push the 2008 rookie of the year for playing time in the Cubs’ lineup. Castillo has been considered by many to be the Cubs’ catcher of the future. The future may be now.