Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011
Posted: 10:20 a.m.
It has taken some time, but Chicago's Randy Wells is finally starting to pitch like he did as a rookie two years ago.
Wells looks to extend his career-best winning streak to six games when he takes the mound for the Cubs against the New York Mets on Saturday at Citi Field.
Wells (7-4, 4.86 ERA) got off to a brutal start to the season, missing two months with a right forearm strain and owning a 6.16 ERA at the end of July, but he has been sharp for Chicago (62-82) since. The right-hander has posted a 0.83 ERA while winning his last three starts and is 5-0 with a 3.09 ERA in his last seven.
Wells allowed one run and seven hits in six innings of a 6-3 victory over Pittsburgh on Sunday.
"Better late than never," Mike Quade told the Cubs' official website. "He picked up right where he left off from August. Let's see if he can't finish that way."
Wells will now try to win four consecutive starts for the first time since July 18-Aug. 3, 2009. He finished his rookie season with a 3.05 ERA - 10th in the NL - but followed that up with a disappointing 2010, going 8-14 with a 4.26 ERA.
"People keep asking me about who I was in 2009," Wells said. "I wasn't any different in 2010. It was just a tough year. Things just didn't go my way."
Wells, 0-1 with a 3.06 ERA in three career starts versus the Mets (71-73), will be facing them for the first time this year.
New York starter Chris Capuano (10-12, 4.63) was also experiencing a bit of a renaissance before taking a step back in his last outing.
After yielding two runs while striking out 17 over 16 innings in his final two starts of August, Capuano permitted six runs and eight hits Monday in four innings of a 9-3 loss to Florida. The left-hander failed to reach the fifth inning for the first time in his 27 starts.
"It was frustrating. I could never settle into a good rhythm," Capuano said. "The ball was kind of flat and up a little bit. I just really couldn't make that adjustment."
Capuano has posted a 1.42 ERA while winning his last six starts against the Cubs, but hasn't started against them since 2007, while pitching for Milwaukee.
Chicago third baseman Aramis Ramirez, who hit his team-leading 34th double in Friday's series-opening 5-4 loss, is batting .324 with a homer and two doubles in 34 career at-bats against Capuano.
The Mets handed the Cubs their 12th defeat in 18 games Friday, as Justin Turner doubled in the winning run with two outs in the ninth inning. New York, all but mathematically certain to miss the postseason for a fifth straight year, rallied after giving up the tying run in the top of the ninth to win for the 11th time in 16 games.
"Regardless of where you're at, those are always exciting," outfielder Jason Bay said.
Bay, who doubled twice Friday, is batting .444 with three homers, four doubles and 10 RBIs during an eight-game hitting streak after batting .089 with two doubles and two RBIs in his previous 15 games.
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