After failing to make it out of the seventh inning in each of his last six starts, Wolf didn't seem to have any trouble going the distance. He allowed the Cubs just four hits – two singles and two doubles – while striking out four to pick up his second shutout of the season. It was also the first win of his career at Wrigley Field.
"That's what an ace is all about," Phillies manager Larry Bowa said. "Randy is our stopper. When you come into Wrigley Field and throw a shutout against a team like the Cubs with their offense, you've really pitched your butt off."
Ledee actually gave Wolf all the support he would have needed with a solo homerun in the second inning. Just to be sure though, Thome blasted a long homerun onto Sheffield Avenue beyond the right field bleachers, making the Phillies lead 3-0. The homerun gave Thome 1,001 RBI in his career. Thome's homerun also moved him into a tie for 57th place on the all-time list with Gary Gaetti at 360.
"I grew up a Cubs fan living in Peoria, Illinois. My parents were here to watch me play in this park for the first time," Thome said. "I can't tell you how emotional it was to hit a home run in front of them here, and also get my 1,000th RBI on the same night."
Acquired from Pittsburgh on Tuesday, Lofton and Ramirez combined to go 0-for-8 with a strikeout and an error. Mark Grudzielanek was the only Cub to solve Wolf, stroking two doubles and a single.
Matt Clement (7-9) allowed just three runs and three hits but walked five in seven innings. The right-hander also had five strikeouts.
After getting Placido Polanco to ground into a double play to erase Marlon Byrd's leadoff single in the first, Clement ran into control problems. Thome and Bobby Abreu drew walks before Clement uncorked a wild pitch. Mike Lieberthal walked to load the bases, but former Cub Tyler Houston grounded to first to end the threat.
The Cubs had an opportunity in the bottom of the inning when Grudzielanek doubled and took third on Abreu's error. But Wolf fanned Sammy Sosa and got Eric Karros to ground out to get out of the inning without any damage.
The Cubs had chances in the second and third innings as well. With one out in the second, Alex Gonzalez walked and Damian Miller reached on an error by Houston. Clement failed to execute a sacrifice, popping up a bunt for the second out, and Wolf struck out Lofton to maintain the shutout. In the third, it was again Grudzielanek who was in the middle of things, leading off with a double, but getting thrown out at third trying to advance when a pitch by Wolf got away from Lieberthal.