GAME TIME 6:15 CDTwell, at least the brewers lost; you can always count on that these days. the brew crew are in a 9-18 tailspin, roughly equivalent to the cards' grisliest stretch of the year (they went 10-20 from april 16 through may 20). but the cubs won for the 5th time in 6 starts since lou's tantrum; they've caught the cardinals in the loss column.
it's gonna be a nutty, sucky race, however long the cardinals stay involved.
wells seemed to throw far more breaking pitches than usual last night --- his changeup, in particular, got a heavier-than-usual workout. early on, he exploited the angels' free-swinging tendencies (they're 12th in the league in walks) and got a bunch of them chasing off-speed pitches low and away, but by the 2d time through the order they knew what was coming and stopped falling for that garbage: wells walked 4 of the last 13 men he faced and --- when forced to throw pitches in the strike zone --- gave up hits to another 4.
speaking of free-swinging tendencies: i didn't realize this until i checked today, but cardinal hitters are dead last in the league in walks by a wide margin. they've taken just 149 walks, 18 fewer than the 15th-place team (pittsburgh) and nearly 100 fewer than the league-leading reds (who have 241 walks). among the 30 major-league teams, the cardinals rank 29th; the seattle mariners have 7 fewer walks. all of which helps to explain why the cardinals remain mired in 14th place in team on-base percentage, despite having risen to 9th in team batting.