CHICAGO -- Cubs pitcher Randy Wells mentioned one of his teammates had given him a "kick in the butt," which resulted in a strong outing on Wednesday against the Braves.
Wells wouldn't identify who delivered the pep talk, but the identity has been revealed. It was Ryan Dempster, who downplayed his involvement.
"We see each other pitch all the time," Dempster said. "We have pitching coaches and managers and bullpen coaches, but I've seen [Wells] pitch since the time he was in 'A' ball. I just reiterated something he knew, but he's the one who did it. The key now is to continue that."
On Wednesday, Wells gave up two hits over 6 2/3 innings, walking two and striking out six, in a 3-2 win. The first hit was an infield single in the fourth, and the other hit was a solo homer by Chipper Jones in the seventh.
Sometimes the message has more impact when it's from a teammate and not a coach or manager.
"It might have been something he had already been hearing," Dempster said. "But sometimes when you hear it from a different voice -- like when your parents tell you to do something and your buddy tells you the same thing, you're like, 'Oh yeah, you're right.'
"I think it's something [Wells] knew, and maybe somebody saying it in a different way or helping out [worked]. Like I said, he's the one who went out and did it."