CHICAGO -- Randy Wells has made 31 career starts since being called up on May 8, of last season. That's basically the equivalent of one full season as a starter. During that time, he's gone 14-10 with a 2.97 ERA and become a mainstay in the starting five. A model of consistency, Wells has pitched at least five innings in 27 of those 31 starts.
"That's what you shoot for," Wells said of his consistency. "Everybody dreams about winning games and being perfect, but in all reality you're going to have your off days, and teams are going to flat-out beat you once in a while. The more consistent you can stay and give yourself and your team a chance to win every day, is what you shoot for."
After posting 12 wins and a 3.05 ERA in 27 starts last season, the 27-year-old has been outstanding out of the gate for Chicago in 2010, posting a 2-0 mark and a 2.49 ERA.
"I learned a lot from [Greg] Maddux in Spring Training about being completely prepared for each game," Wells said. "I think just learning from the tapes from last year -- stuff that I did well and stuff that I didn't do well -- to eliminate all the mistakes that I made."
And Wells has been a road warrior for the Cubs, with a 2.60 ERA in 16 career starts away from Wrigley, including a 1.42 ERA in three road starts this year.
"I can't really explain," Wells said of his road dominance. "I go out there the same way every time. I give up a lot of hits, so here at Wrigley it's kind of a weird playing field. Some balls shoot down the lines, turn into extra-base hits. But I don't think there's anything different."
One thing Wells would like to do this year is go deeper into games and possibly increase his pitch counts. It's an idea he's broached to skipper Lou Piniella.
"I want the ball and I want to pitch deep into the games," Wells said. "I think I can go about 120-125 pitches, so hopefully [Piniella] will start letting me go that far."
The most pitches Wells has thrown in a game is 111, and he rarely goes over 100.
"The thing about pitch counts ... it's not about pitch counts," Piniella said. "It's how hard you're working to get to the actual pitch count.
"We can let him go eight [innings]. We can let him go nine if he wants to pitch a complete game. We're not going to let him throw 135 or 140 pitches to do it. If a guy can pitch a complete game in 115 or 120, then so be it."
"I think the game dictates it," Wells said. "It's tough to bargain for playing time when you give up five or six runs."