Randy Wolf ... eighth win
"What a big bat you have, Mr. Wolf," said the Cubbies. "All the better to BEAT you with," said Mr. Wolf, who doubled to left-center to do just that. Dodgers pitcher Randy Wolf combined with George Sherrill and Jonathan Broxton on a one-hitter, and he doubled in the second inning to drive in both runs in a 2-1 win.
Riding his strong left arm and, as the Cubbies mentioned, his big bat, as the NL West-leading Dodgers recorded consecutive victories for the first time since Aug. 10-11 and two straight at home for the first time since a five-game winning streak from July 18-22. Chicago was held to one hit for the first time since Aug. 31, 2005, by Derek Lowe the Dodgers at Wrigley Field.
Wolf retired the first seven Cubs before walking San Fuld, who was bunted to second and scored on Ryan Theriot's single. Wolf allowed only more more base runner, on a walk, until he turned the ball over the Sherrill and Broxton who equally as stingy with hits over the final two innings.
But don't call Wolf and ace. "I'm not an ace," Wolf told Ken Gurnick of MLB.com after the game. "To me, an ace is career numbers stuff, to have that dominating pitcher year in and year out. It's an overused term. There's maybe four guys in that category, guys with 20 wins almost every year with ERAs ridiculously low, guys who just dominate."
So, if Wolf (8-6) isn't an ace after going 3-0 with a 1.99 ERA in his past three starts, with 10 quality starts in his past 11 outings, and has had a MLB-high seven wins his bullpen let get away, like the song says, "It will have to do until the real thing comes along."
The win allowed the Dodgers to add a game to their National League West lead for the first time in 11 days, while the Giants (5 1/2 back) were beating the second-place Rockies, now 4 1/2 behind.
“We got a ways before we’re back to form. And lately we haven’t played well,” Wolf said. “We’ve come across some really good teams, really good pitching. The nice thing about this team is that we have a lot of short memories and guys get over things very fast. After that Cardinals series a lot of guys could have hung their heads, but they didn’t. We just squeaked out a win and you kind of need to do that to be a good team.”
Wolf (8-6) finished his seven innings having allowed one run, struck out five and walked two for his third consecutive win. The left-hander was lifted after only 88 pitches. He retired 12 of the final 13 batters he faced on the eve of his 33rd birthday.
Sherrill allowed a walk in the eighth and Broxton pitched a perfect ninth for his 27th save in 32 chances, hitting triple digits on the speed gun just like old times.
Wolf tied a career high with his 11th RBI, diving in Russell Martin, who forced James Loney after the first baseman had collected the first Dodgers hit. Orlando Hudson reached base on an error by the shortstop before Wolf's long blast that rolled to the left-center field wall.
His 11 RBIs are the most for a Dodgers pitcher since Fernando Valenzuela in 1990. But the total is a ways from Ed Stein's 30 in 1894 (Brooklyn record) and Don Drysdale's 18 in 1965 (Los Angeles record).
Fuld, who scored the only Cubs run, reached above the fence in right-center field in the eighth inning to take a home run away from Manny Ramirez.
Rookie Randy Wells (9-6), gave up only seven hits in 6 2-3 innings, struck out three and walked two as the Cubs lost for the ninth time in 12 games and remained seven games behind NL Central leader St. Louis.
Komes the Knuckleballer
Charlie Haeger makes his second start this afternoon in the third game of the four-game series. In his first start against the Cardinals after being called up from Albuquerque, he allowed three runs in seven strong innings in a 3-2 loss.
In that start, 61 of his 80 pitches were strikes, and 78 of the 80 were knuckleballs. "Anytime that I can consistently throw strikes with it, I'm going to keep throwing it," Haeger said. "I'm going to live and die by the knuckleball; that's what I do."
Knuckleballers are traditionally on a short leash and a bad performance might be his last with the big club. However, if he does well, he might be in line for another start and perhaps move into the fifth-starting slot, at least until Hiroki Kuroda recovered from a mild concussion after behind drilled with a line drive.
And, too, recently acquired Vicente Padilla is expected to be promoted Thursday to start against the Rockies.
The Cubs will give the ball to former Dodger LHP Ted Lilly (9-7, 3.42 ERA)?who worked six scoreless innings against the Padres, allowing up four hits on his first start after coming off the disabled list. walking one. He hasn't gotten much support, going 2-6 when he gets three runs or less. He beat the Dodgers on May 29 at Wrigley, holding them to one run on four hits over seven innings.
The game will be on the FOX network.
Score by Innings
Chicago 001 000 000-1
Los Angeles 020 000 00x-2
Los Angeles ab r h bi ave
Furcal ss 4 0 0 0 .259
Kemp cf 4 0 2 0 .312
Ethier rf 4 0 1 0 .283
Ramirez lf 4 0 1 0 .311
Blake 3b 3 0 1 0 .289
Loney 1b 4 0 1 0 .277
Martin c 3 1 0 0 .260
Hudson 2b 3 1 0 0 .293
Wolf p 1 0 1 2 .208
Pierre ph 1 0 1 0 .320
Sherrill p 0 0 0 0 .000
Broxton p 0 0 0 0 .000
Totals 31 2 8 2
Chicago 26 1 1 1
2B- Wolf (4). RBI- Wolf 2 (11).
LOB- Los Angeles 8, Chicago 2. SB- Kemp
(26). CS- Pierre (10) Pickoffs- Wolf.
Los Angeles in h r-er bb so era
Wolf (8-6) 7.0 1 1-1 2 5 3.34
Sherrill 1.0 0 0-0 0 1 1.90
Broxton (sv 27) 1.0 0 0-0 0 2 3.00
HBP- Blake. T- 2:33. Att- 51,579.
Dodger Blue Notes-- The last time the Dodgers one-hit an opponent was July 7, 2008, when Hiroki Kuroda shut out the Braves 3-0. Los Angeles improved to 73-50 and leads St. Louis (70-54) by 3.5 games for the best record in the Senior Circuit. ...Juan Pierre, who carried the Dodgers while Manny Ramirez was serving his suspension, has six hits in his last 10 pinch-hit opportunities dating to August 8. Pierre is batting .333 (10-for-30) with two walks and two sacrifices in 34 pinch-hitting appearances overall. ...The Dodgers improved to 22-16 in one-run games, 18-6 at home. The Cubs fell to 10-16 against NL West opponents—their worst record against any division— after going 23-10 against the West last season. ...After 51,579 showed up at the game the Dodgers attendance swelled to 2,860,505 for the season, and obviously posed to break the two million mark for the 24th time and the 14th season in succession. ...The Second Annual ThinkCure! Radiotelewebethon kicked off with $143,887 being raised for cancer research by game’s end. The campaign continues today and will certainly beat last year’s inaugural total of $165,000.