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Cubs Top Reds In Marathon

By Garrett Monaghan

If anybody notices Randy Wells spending more time around the batting cages, don't be too surprised. The Cubs' rookie righty pitched well enough to win again on Sunday, only to watch the bullpen cough up another lead. Fortunately, the Cubs managed to pull this one out for a change, but Wells has got to be wondering what he needs to do to win.

Called up on May 10 to replace an injured Rich Harden, Wells has gone 0-2 in six starts, despite posting a gaudy 1.86 ERA. Even though he doesn't have overpowering, the 26-year old Belleville native has racked up 31 strikeouts in 38 innings, allowing only 31 hits and 8 walks. Sunday he gave up two runs on seven hits, a walk, and struck out four in six and two thirds innings of work. The usual suspects, the form of the ever-erratic Carlos Marmol, and the depressingly consisten Aaron Heilman, combined to surrender the lead in the eighth on three walks and a sacrifice fly. The rest of the Cubs bullpen was excellent, holding the Reds scoreless for another six innings before Alfonso Soriano gave the Cubs the lead with a solo home run in the top of the 14th. Jose Ascanio went three innings for the Cubs, fanning three, while David Patton earned his second Major Leage win. Angel Guzman, who continues to pitch well, earned the save.

Offensively, the Cubs continued to be miserable with runners in scoring position, posting a dismal 4-for-21 mark on the day, and leaving the bases loaded twice. Mike Fontenot compiled two of the Cubs' hits with men in scoring position, and Ryan Theriot provided a little pop in the first with his sixth home run of the year. The Cubs have benefited from some terrific starting pitching during the last week, but the offense has been colder than the north end of a south-bound Yak. Ryan Therior leads the regulars with a .291 average, but the Cubs really need their big thumpers in Lee, Bradley, and Soriano to get hot and stay hot for the rest of the summer. Nobody thought this team was going to have trouble scoring runs, but right now the Cubs are getting outgunned by teams who shouldn't be anywhere near them in the standings.

Like everyone else in baseball, the Cubs are going to be looking ahead to the future with today's first-year player draft, but it remains to be seen if the Cubs can show some life and make anything out of the present.

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