7/4 Athletics 1, Cubs 0

Travis Wood picked up his 16th quality start, but once again, he had nothing to show for it. The Athletics tallied on a passed ball charged to catcher Welington Castillo in the seventh inning to post a 1-0 victory Thursday over the Cubs, who mustered two hits in the game.

Matt Guerrier, who joined the Cubs on Wednesday from the Dodgers for Carlos Marmol, took over in the seventh from Wood and walked Derek Norris with two outs. Norris reached third on Seth Smith’s single and then scored on passed ball by Castillo, who was catching Guerrier for the first time.

“[Guerrier] made a good pitch and I think I just didn’t read it very good and it went through my legs,” Castillo said. “I’m not going to make an excuse. He made a really good pitch and I didn’t get a read.”

Wood held the A’s to three hits, and now is 0-3 with a 2.58 ERA in his last six starts.

“You just have to keep battling,” Wood said.

“He’s been our All-Star, no question about it,” Dale Sveum said of Wood. “He’s had some very unfortunate incidents and his earned run average would be quite a bit better than it is without some unfortunate, strange occurrences.”

Such as game-winning runs scoring on passed balls. On Sunday, Wood sounded frustrated that he hadn’t done more.

“I’ve got to figure out how to win the ballgames,” he said. “I’ve been able to keep them off balance and not score, but I have to help our team pull through and win the games.”

One thing the Cubs did learn in their first series in Oakland is not to run on left fielder Yoenis Cespedes. Starlin Castro was at second with one out in the fourth and tried to score on Alfonso Soriano’s single, but Cespedes threw him out at home.

“I thought he was [going to score],” Sveum said. “It seemed like a no brainer right off the bat. I don’t know what happened there.”

“It surprised me,” Castro said. “I ran hard right away. When I saw the ball hit, I went right away to home plate and he made a good throw.”

Castro had never seen Cespedes in the outfield.

“The guy made a great throw,” Castro said. “I thought I’d score easy. I never stopped, I never said to myself, ‘I’m out.’ I ran hard right away to second base. I was surprised I was out.”

Oakland starter Dan Straily, promoted from Triple-A Sacramento for the start, combined with Ryan Cook and Grant Balfour on a two-hitter.

Despite the loss, the Cubs finished with a winning road trip (5-4) and will have a winning record in Interleague Play (11-6) for the first time since 2007. At least they proved they could win west of the Mississippi River. Last season, the Cubs were 1-18 on the road against National League West teams, picking up their only win in the last game.

— Carrie Muskat


Pingback: Wood’s Bad Luck Continues, Starlin Castro Dogging It Cost Cubs A Run? « Behind the Ivy

Wood does not deserve this dumb loss! Castro says he was running full out. NOT! He was looking back and just gimping along and acting like there was no rush. He also looks like he has gained ALOT of weight which would slow him down. Also looks might there might be an injury or something hurting ? Sori was stealing – WHY? Not a good idea when you have no runs and no one is hitting!

Sorry was stealing because he needs to add to his self-worth because he and the entire universe knows he is a major disappointment in all aspects of his game. He’s got good stats….for a ROOKIE! Colvin-like stats a few years ago. What a waste of money. Has Castillo had a high number of passed balls this year? I think he needs major improvement RECEIVING the ball, he does pretty good THROWING it.. Castro? Could be the highest paid minor leaguer soon if he keeps this up and Sveum grows a pair and benches him for a few weeks. I get the feeling Sveum is keeping the manager’s seat warm just like Soriano is keeping LF warm…replacements are on the way in a year or so? I hope so, major disappointments that hurt more the team the most.

Wood wasn’t the LP in this game. It’s damn difficult to win when the ballclub gets only 2 hits. The Cubs have an ability to make rookie opposing pitchers look like Cy Young candidates. They will lose 95 (+/-) and call it progress.

Castro did not run at full speed on that play where he was nailed at home plate, but there was more. Later in game when he swung at third strike on pitch low and way outside the zone, and ball got by catcher, Castro loped to first in a lackadaisical manner. That was more revealing to me than the prior lack of hustle.

It is hard to know what is going on with Castro but whatever it is he is failing in every aspect of his game. I do not want to see this nice young man fail and wonder what is being done to help him. Would a few days off help? He has ALWAYS had attention deficit problems but now it has become more serious and could result in further errors but also injury to himself or a teammate. Any thoughts?

Pull a Bobby Cox on him and bench him for a week or two, if that doesn’t help demote him to AAA to have him work on his game with other players with the same talent level as him (currently, anyway). But as we all know Dale Sveum is FAR from a Bobby Cox. Sveum is a company man, toes the line, and goes above and beyond not to embarrass the FO guys who hired him in the first place because he knows where his bread is buttered….the FO. Luckiest manager in MLB???


Speaking of watching winning teams. I observed the Orioles/Yankees tonight, and am predicting Buck will be looking for a closer pronto as his, Jim Johnson, endured another meltdown. Could not protect a one run lead in ninth. Johnson leads AL and perhaps all of majors in blown saves with six. If Buck wants Gregg, I would want us to insist on getting a legit young prospect in return, not a veteran pitcher with control issues as we received for Feldman; we ,in fact, received two of those for Feldman.

As you were, I overlooked fact that Gregg has already performed for Orioles and they know him well, and doubt would be interested. Tigers still need a closer, do they not?

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