Results tagged ‘ Travis Wood ’

4/10 Cubs lineup

Mike Olt will start against right-hander Gerritt Cole on Thursday in the series finale between the Cubs and Pirates at Wrigley Field. Travis Wood gets the start, and needs to do better against left-handed hitters. In his first start against the Phillies, lefties were 5-for-17 against him, while right-handers were 1-for-9. Here’s the lineup:

Bonifacio 2B
Kalish LF
Rizzo 1B
Schierholtz RF
Lake CF
Castro SS
Olt 3B
Castillo C
Wood P

4/4 Phillies 7, Cubs 2

Ernie, Billy, Fergie and Ryno took part in pregame ceremonies, helping celebrate Wrigley Field’s 100th anniversary, but the Phillies spoiled the festivities at the Cubs’ home opener. Chase Utley hit a two-run home run in the fifth inning and added an RBI single in the seventh to lift the Phillies to a 7-2 victory Friday over the Cubs in front of 38,283 chilled fans.

The game marked the start of the team’s year-long celebration of Wrigley Field, which first opened in 1914 and has been the Cubs’ home for 98 seasons. Hall of Famers Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, Fergie Jenkins and Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg shared the first-pitch duties and all but Sandberg sang the seventh-inning stretch. The former Cubs second baseman had to take care of his on-field duties.

The Cubs totaled three hits, including Welington Castillo’s solo home run, which wasn’t enough for Travis Wood. The lefty took the loss in his first start of the year, striking out eight and scattering six hits over 6 1/3 innings. Wood totaled 24 quality starts last season, and picked up his first this year.

“Give Travis credit, he got through some innings that we kind of muffed a little bit and he got out of them but that took his pitch count up,” said Rick Renteria, specially pointing to the Phillies’ fourth.

In the fourth, Marlon Byrd reached on an error by Chicago third baseman Luis Valbuena, who couldn’t close his glove on the ball. Byrd moved up on Ryan Howard’s single and scored on Domonic Brown’s base hit that skipped past shortstop Starlin Castro.

With one out in the Phillies’ fifth, Carlos Ruiz singled and Utley smacked the first pitch into the right-field seats to take a 3-2 lead. A career .267 hitter against left-handers, Utley had never faced Wood before Friday’s game, and hit his RBI single in the seventh off another southpaw, Wesley Wright.

Renteria believes he has some good hitters, too, but in four games, the Cubs are batting .201.

“We’ve been having good at-bats and guys are seeing pitches,” Darwin Barney said. “We’re getting to the starter a little bit but we’re not keying in in situations and making it hurt. I think four games in, hopefully, we can keep getting more comfortable and keep getting better.”

The Cubs staff is looking more at the approach at the plate, not the numbers.

“You don’t know, four games in, the identity of an offense,” Barney said. “I think none of us are too worried about it. Obvoiusly, pitching has been good enough to be 4-0 right now. If we can turn it around offensively a little bit, I think things will look better.”

Castro and Anthony Rizzo are each 2-for-17, although Rizzo nearly took advantage of the bizarre 23 mph westerly wind in the first when he hit a fly ball to the track in center. On cold days at Wrigley, the wind usually blows in and favors pitchers.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen it that way — I asked a lot of guys and even asked Sandberg about it,” Barney said. “He said it was really odd that the wind was blowing out even though it was so cold.”

Castro, slowed this spring by a strained hamstring that resulted in him playing more Minor League games than Cactus League ones, wasn’t worried about the slow start. The shortstop said in Spring Training he wanted to get back to having an All-Star type season. Is he putting pressure on himself?

“No,” Castro said. “I try to get my mind strong. I know who I am, I know what I can do and I’m going to be good.”

The fans have high expectations for the Cubs, and some showed their displeasure at the sluggish offense.

“We all know how the fans are,” Renteria said. “They want to see a good ballgame and they want their team to do well and they have every right to be dissatisfied when we don’t do well, as we all are in that clubhouse. The one thing I have to maintain and we will maintain is that we take an even-keel approach and address those things that need to be addressed, and we’ll play another game tomorrow.”

– Carrie Muskat

4/4 Cubs lineup

Happy home opener, Cubs fans. It rained early in Chicago but the skies are supposed to clear up for the game against the Phillies. Once again, manager Rick Renteria overloaded the lineup with left-handed hitters against the Phillies’ Roberto Hernandez. Here’s the lineup:

Bonifacio CF
Castro SS
Rizzo 1B
Schierholtz RF
Valbuena 3B
Castillo C
Sweeney LF
Barney 2B
T. Wood P

3/27 Cubs 4, White Sox 3

Ryan Sweeney hit his first spring home run to lift the Cubs to a 4-3 victory Thursday over the White Sox in front of 15,170 at Cubs Park, setting a single-season Cactus League record. The Cubs drew 213,815 at the new ballpark, breaking the old mark of 203,105, which the team set in 2009 at HoHoKam Stadium. In 15 home games, the Cubs averaged 14,254 fans, tops in the Cactus League, and Cubs Park now has the top 11 single game Cactus League attendance marks.

Travis Wood, who will start the second game of the regular season for the Cubs on Wednesday in Pittsburgh, gave up two hits over three scoreless innings. The lefty is ready to play games that count.

“I think that’s unanimous around the clubhouse — everybody is ready to get away from here and get things rolling,” Wood said.

Wood is coming off his first 200-inning season, and took the same approach this offseason.

“I took the same approach as I did the offseason before last,” he said. “It seemed to work for me last year and I didn’t want to change anything and keep everything in stride and keep it rolling.”

Sweeney made it 2-0 with a leadoff home run in the second, his first this spring. It was the 36th home run by the Cubs this spring, tops in the Majors.

* On deck: The Cubs close the exhibition season with games Friday and Saturday at Chase Field against the Diamondbacks. Edwin Jackson will start Friday for Chicago. Shortstop Starlin Castro, injured in the third Cactus League game March 2, hopes to play both games in his final tune up for the regular season. The game will be broadcast on Comcast SportsNet and Cubs.com.

3/27 Cubs lineup

Travis Wood gets the start Thursday in the Cubs’ last Cactus League game at Cubs Park in Mesa. They’ll close against their crosstown rivals, the White Sox. Mike Olt will be the designated hitter. Here’s the lineup:

Bonifacio SS
Kalish RF
Rizzo 1B
Olt DH
Sweeney CF
Castillo C
Ruggiano LF
Valabuena 3B
Barney 2B

T. Wood P

3/23 Good cause

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Travis Wood and his wife Brittany (far right) helped serve food to families in need at Paz de Cristo on Saturday night in Mesa. Brittany was part of the Cubs wives’ fundraiser at Cubs Park earlier in the day that raised more than $6,500 through a mystery ball event.

3/22 Pitching notes

* Looking ahead, pitching-wise, Jeff Samardzija will make his final spring start on Wednesday against the jet-lagged Diamondbacks in Scottsdale. Arizona has already opened the season with a game in Australia.

* Travis Wood will start the Cubs’ home opener on April 4.

“It’ll be exciting for sure, even though Pittsburgh is a great place to pitch,” said Wood, who had been expected to follow Jeff Samardzija in the rotation.

Isn’t Wrigley Field a good place?

“Wrigley’s fine,” Wood said, laughing. “It’ll be cold either place, so it’s not like the weather will be different. The place will be packed, it’ll be jumping, it’ll be nice.”

Rick Renteria said they made the decision because of matchups. Wood has made three starts against the Phillies, and held them to five runs on 13 hits over 21 1/3 innings.

* The Cubs are still trying to fill the fifth spot in the rotation. The candidates include Carlos Villanueva, Chris Rusin and Tsuyoshi Wada. Villanueva, a valuable swingman, will start Monday against the Padres, while Wada will start Tuesday against the Angels. Rusin, who threw five shutout innings on Friday against the White Sox, is a possibility, but the Cubs may pick Villanueva because of his versatility and the fact they have four off days in the first three weeks of games. If the other four starters stay on a five-day rotation, Villanueva could slide into the bullpen until needed.

Renteria didn’t tip his hand on Saturday when asked about the fifth spot.

“They’re all still in the mix,” he said. “They’re all going out there and doing a nice job.”

* The Cubs had projected Jake Arrieta as the fifth starter but he’s been slowed this spring because of tightness in his right shoulder. On Sunday, Arrieta was scheduled to throw a bullpen.

“I’m hoping the next step is a game,” he said Saturday. “We’ll talk things over and see where we stand.”

* Cubs fans will get a chance to see two of the top pitching prospects on Tuesday when C.J. Edwards and Eric Jokisch pitch against the Padres. Edwards, 22, was a combined 8-2 with a 1.86 ERA in 24 games with Class A Hickory and Daytona last season. The Cubs acquired him in the Matt Garza deal. Jokisch, 24, was 11-13 with a 3.42 ERA at Double-A Tennessee in 2013.

– Carrie Muskat

3/22 Cubs rotation

The Cubs have reconfigured the rotation. Jeff Samardzija will be the Opening Day starter and be followed by Edwin Jackson, Jason Hammel and Travis Wood. That means Wood would start the Cubs’ home opener at Wrigley Field on April 4. Who’s the fifth starter? That’s still to be determined, with Carlos Villanueva and Chris Rusin as options. Villanueva would have an edge in that if the fifth starter has to be skipped, he could go to the bullpen.

– Carrie Muskat

3/20 Extra bases

* Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta, slowed this spring because of tightness in his right shoulder, will throw two innings in a simulated game on Friday. Arrieta said he is on schedule in his rehab. Projected for the fifth spot in the Cubs rotation, Arrieta is back on a regular routine, and that’s helped, too.

“For me, that’s very important, so I can approach each day as I would throughout the season and get into that routine,” he said.

* James McDonald was feeling better after coming out of his last start with soreness in his right shoulder. McDonald threw two pitches on Monday before he was lifted because of discomfort.

* The Cubs have traded outfielder Trevor Gretzky, son of hockey legend, Wayne Gretzky, to the Angels for Matthew Scioscia, who is manager Mike Scioscia’s son. Matthew, 25, batted .194 at three Minor League levels last season, while Gretzky, 21, hit .274 at short-season Boise and Class A Kane County. Angels general manager Jerry DiPoto told reporters the deal gives the two players a “new opportunity.”

* Travis Wood, scheduled to follow Jeff Samardzija in the Cubs rotation, will tune up with a start in the Minor League camp on Friday, facing the Diamondbacks’ Triple-A team. Wood, 27, has given up seven runs on 14 hits and one walk over 10 2/3 innings, striking out 11.

* The Cubs assigned left-handed pitcher Tommy Hottovy to Minor League camp on Thursday, reducing the spring camp roster to 44. Hottovy, 32, had appeared in three spring games, and given up one hit and one walk, while striking out five.

* The Cubs wives will host a mystery baseball charity event on Saturday at Cubs Park to raise money for Paz de Cristo in Mesa, which helps feed, clothe and empower those in need in the east valley. Fans can purchase an autographed ball for $30. There also will be game-used bats, jerseys and other equipment for sale. The wives will be set up near the left field gate, inside Cubs Park.

– Carrie Muskat

3/16 Cubs split split-squad games

Travis Wood struck out eight over five innings in the Cubs’ 3-2 loss to the Indians Sunday at Cubs Park in Mesa. Luis Valbuena hit a RBI double in the sixth.

In Las Vegas, Chris Rusin gave up one hit over four innings and Donnie Murphy, Daniel Vogelbach and Arismendy Alcantara each hit solo home runs to lead the Cubs to a 6-3 win over the Mets. Two runs scored on a throwing error in the Chicago first, and Ryan Sweeney added a RBI single. Alcantara finished with three hits.

On Monday, the Cubs play split squad games for the third straight day. Half of the team will face the Angels at Cubs Park. Edwin Jackson gets the start in Mesa. The other half travels to Phoenix where James McDonald will start against the Athletics.

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