Results tagged ‘ Travis Wood ’
Travis Wood gets the start on Monday as the Cubs open a four-game series against the Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Here’s the lineup:
T. Wood P
* The Cubs placed reliever Pedro Strop on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday with a moderate left groin strain and recalled lefty Zac Rosscup from Triple-A Iowa. Strop was pulled from Tuesday’s game after facing five batters. He apparently injured his leg a few days ago while working out, but said he was ready to pitch. Cubs manager Rick Renteria said Strop was available.
“I didn’t think [his leg] was an issue, quite frankly,” manager Rick Renteria said. “He’d been working and did fine in his flat ground. All indications were that he was fine.”
* Mike Olt is trying to relax, and maybe being the designated hitter for one game will help. The third baseman was the DH Wednesday. He is 2-for-23 in his last nine games. Renteria has opted to platoon Olt with left-handed hitting Luis Valbuena at third base, so not playing every day has been new.
“It’s hard — you could be struggling a little bit and tend to put a little more pressure on yourself and that’s what’s been going on with me right now,” Olt said. “I’ve had some talks with guys on the team and coaches and am going to go back to being relaxed. There’s no excuse to say, ‘Hey, I’m not playing, this is why I’m struggling.’ It’s more me putting too much pressure on myself. I’m going to go back to having fun.”
He’s not worried about his hitting.
“I’ve been through way worse slumps than this,” he said.
* Maybe the Cubs should’ve let Travis Wood bat for himself?
“Everyone talks about it,” Renteria said. “Obviously, because he hit the grand slam against them before and because he swings the bat well, it’s an
outside thought but you wouldn’t do that.”
– Carrie Muskat
This and that …
* Travis Wood will be making his 100th career start Wednesday. He has a 2.92 ERA (20 ER/61 2/3 IP) in 10 Interleague starts for the Cubs, going 3-3 in those outings. He’s given up three or fewer earned runs in all 10 starts and two or fewer earned runs in seven of those, including each of his last four. Wood has a 2.19 ERA (6 ER/24 2/3 IP) in his last four starts against the AL dating to June 28 of last season.
* Wood’s 2.92 Interleague ERA as a Cub is third-best all-time in franchise history. Matt Garza’s 2.60 ERA ranks first amongst Cubs hurlers.
* Cubs designated hitters have batted .280 (142-for-508) with 23 home runs and 89 RBIs in 128 games at AL ballparks. The 23 homers have been hit by 13 players, including a franchise-record six by Alfonso Soriano.
The Cubs and White Sox move their intracity Interleague series to U.S. Cellular Field Wednesday. Travis Wood gets the start and Mike Olt will be the designated hitter. Here’s the lineup:
T. Wood P
Anthony Rizzo hit a solo homer and hit a two-run single to lift the Cubs to a 6-5 victory Friday over the Cardinals. Travis Wood picked up the win, and Welington Castillo added a two-run double. Castillo hit three doubles in the game, the first time a Cubs catcher has done that since Damon Berryhill on Sept. 16, 1990. Rizzo is batting .404 (19-for-47) at Wrigley Field in 14 games. He now has homered in back to back games for the first time since July 31-Aug. 1, 2013.
* Ryan Sweeney had to leave the game in the eighth after making a catch on the warning track. He was to have an MRI on his right hamstring. The Cubs are expected to make a roster move and most likely will add outfielder Chris Coghlan from Triple-A Iowa.
* The Cubs will make another roster move on Saturday when they add pitcher Jake Arrieta, who is scheduled to start. The team has been carrying 13 pitchers and that is unlikely to change.
* Starlin Castro is batting .417 (10-for-24) with two doubles, two homers and five RBIs in six games since moving to the cleanup spot in the lineup. The Rizzo-Castro one-two punch impressed St. Louis starter Adam Wainwright.
“I think they’ve both always been dangerous,” Wainwright said. “Rizzo’s always played us very tough, even when he wasn’t hitting other people well. He’s always taken great at-bats off us. I think he’s got tremendous talent, and Castro, how many times has he had 200 hits? A few times already. I always think he’s a dangerous hitter.”
* The Cubs now are 2-2 against the Cardinals this season.
– Carrie Muskat
The Cubs open a five-game homestand on Friday against the Cardinals. Travis Wood gets the start against Adam Wainwright. Here’s the lineup:
T. Wood P
Jason Hammel and Jeff Samardzija have both posted quality starts in each of their outings this year, and Hammel improved to 4-1 with a win Sunday over the Brewers. But their success has made them attractive to several other teams. A Cubs spokesman said Monday they have not received calls about the two right-handers or lefty Travis Wood. The trio will likely draw interest leading up to the July 31 Trade Deadline. Samardzija (1.53) and Hammel (2.08) rank seventh and 12th, respectively, in the NL in ERA, while Wood has posted quality starts in three of his five outings and has a 3.52 ERA.
Hammel signed a one-year contract in February before pitchers and catchers reported to Spring Training. He has said since camp started that every pitcher wants to stay with one team. Would he consider an extension if the Cubs offered one?
“That’s crazy to even bring that up,” Hammel said after Sunday’s win in Milwaukee. “Every player wants to stay in a place for a long time but I’m not thinking about that.”
He’s not thinking about being traded either, but that’s been the Cubs’ trend the last two summers. Last year, it was Scott Feldman and Matt Garza who were dealt by the Trade Deadline.
Hammel is focused on the Cubs right now.
“I just want to win,” Hammel said. “We’re learning how to do that now.”
– Carrie Muskat
The Cubs play host to the Diamondbacks, starting Monday night. Here are the pitching matchups:
Monday: LHP Travis Wood (0-2, 3.00) vs. RHP Bronson Arroyo (1-1, 9.95)
Tuesday: RHP Jason Hammel (2-1, 3.05) vs. RHP Brandon McCarthy (0-3, 7.11)
Wednesday: RHP Jeff Samardzija (0-2, 1.29) vs. LHP Wade Miley (2-2, 4.35)
Thursday: RHP Edwin Jackson (1-1, 5.40) vs. RHP Mike Bolsinger (0-1, 10.29)
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:
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