Results tagged ‘ Travis Wood ’

Series Preview – Brewers @ Cubs; April 8 – April 10, 2013

Finally some home baseball!  There really is nothing like the home opener at Wrigley, I love watching baseball there, on TV or in person.  The Cubs welcome the banged up Brewers to town for a three game set.  The Cubs need to find some hits and more importantly runs, both have been at a premium so far this season.  The Brewers are struggling as well, I mentioned they were banged up, they are also losing, five straight in fact.

Last Series:

Cubs suffered a three game sweep at the hands of the Braves in Atlanta

The Brewers were swept in a three game series by the D-Backs at home

Game Times and Broadcast Information:

  • Monday, April 8, 2013 – 1:20 PM CST on WGN TV
  • Tuesday, April 9, 2013 – 7:05 PM CST on WGN TV
  • Wednesday, April 10, 2013 – 7:05 PM CST on CSN+ (click to find your channel)

Starting Pitchers Scheduled:

Cubs:

Game One – Edwin Jackson (0-1, 3.60 ERA)
– Career vs. Milwaukee (7 GS)  (3-2, 3.06 ERA)

Game Two – Travis Wood (1-0, 0.00 ERA)
– Career vs. Milwaukee (7 appearances, 6 GS) (3-2, 3.40 ERA)

Game Three – Scott Feldman (0-1, 7.71 ERA)
– Career vs. Milwaukee (1 GS) (1-0, 0.00 ERA)

Brewers:

Game One – Marco Estrada (0-0, 7.20)
– Career vs. Cubs (8 appearances, 3 GS)  (2-0, 3.86 ERA)

Game Two – Wily Peralta (0-1, 6.75 ERA)
– Career vs. Cubs (First appearance)

Game Three – Kyle Lohse (0-0, 1.50 ERA)
– Career vs. Cubs (16 GS) (4-4, 5.17 ERA)

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not:

The Cubs are coming off a tough series in Atlanta where they should have had at least one win, maybe two.  Unfortunately the bats remained cold as they rank 29th in the Majors in average, on base percentage, runs, and slugging percentage.  The Cubs best hitter right now is Welington Castillo, “beef” is hitting .357 (5-for-14) on the season.  There are a number of Cubs hitters struggling as I mentioned, Valbuena, DeJesus, and Soriano would have to be at the top of that list.  The pitching on the other hand has been outstanding, sans Carlos Marmol of course.  The Cubs have a team ERA of 3.75 which is 14th best in the Majors, and that includes the last two games where they gave up a total of eleven run.

To say the Brewers are banged up might be an understatement.  Ryan Braun has missed the last three games, and might miss the series opener today, Jean Segura is hobbled, and Aramis Ramirez is out of the lineup indefinitely, and Corey Hart hasn’t played a game yet.  The Brewers have been scoring runs, and hitting as of late, but three of the guys that I mentioned as being hurt are their top hitters so far.  Rickie Weeks is having a bounce back year so far as he is hitting .333 on the season so far.  Norichika Aoki has been on fire as well as he is hitting .370 (10-for-27) in the early going.  Pitching is an issue for the Brewers as they have a team ERA of 5.68 “good” for 28th in the Majors.

Bold Prediction:

I think the Cubs get the bats going this week at Wrigley, finally feeling comfortable being at home.  The Cubs take two out of three from the Brewers this week, winning the first and third game of the series.

Thanks for reading, go Cubs!
– George

Wood Brilliant as Cubs Take Series From Pirates, Barely

April 4 line score

Full Box Score

Marmol coaster!  It’s too early in the year for this kind of drama.  The Cubs once again couldn’t find much offense, but managed just enough to get the win with Nate Travis Wood 4-4Scheirhioltz providing the big blow, a two-run homer in the ninth inning which the Cubs ended up needing.  Travis Wood was outstanding in his first start of 2013 but had to sit on the edge of his seat with the rest of us as Carlos Marmol came within a small unit of measurement of blowing it.  After allowing the Pirates to score twice in the ninth, Marmol got Alvarez to strikeout, and Walker to hit into a double play, never a doubt, Cubs win three to two……  Nice series win for the Cubs to start the season.

At The Plate – The Cubs only had two hits last night, today they had three, at least the result was different.  Starling Castro was 1-for-4 with an RBI on the day and has the honor of being the first Cubs player to get a hit with a runner in scoring position this year, yep.  Nate Schierholtz was the offensive hero going 1-for-3 with a walk, a run, and two RBI’s which came on a huge two-run homer in the top of the ninth to give the Cubs a three run cushion.

On The Mound – Travis Wood was outstanding this morning/afternoon, Wood went six scoreless innings, giving up one hit while walking two and striking out four to earn his first win of the season, barely.  Shawn Camp, James Russell, and Kyuji Fujikawa were very good out of the bullpen as they tossed a combined two scoreless innings, giving up no hits, no walks, and struck out three.  Cue the circus music… enter Carlos Marmol.  Marmol wasn’t very good, again, as he gave up two runs on three hits while walking one and striking out one, but battled and ended up “earning” his first save of the season.

Up Next – The Cubs head to Atlanta for a weekend series against the high-powered Braves.  Scott Feldman will make his Cubs debut against Atlanta lefty Mike Minor at 6:30 PM CST.

Stat Of The Night – The Cubs team ERA is 2.08, Carlos Marmol’s ERA is 20.25

April 4 box score 1

April 4 box score 2

Game Highlights:

Nice diving catch by Schierholtz
Russell gets a big strikeout
Starlin Castro puts the Cubs on the board
Schierholtz goes deep in the ninth

Thanks for reading,
– George

April 4, 2013 – Cubs @ Pirates Preview/Lineups

Pitching Matchup – Cubs (1-1):  Travis Wood (0-0, 0.00) vs. Pirates (1-1):  James McDonald (0-0, 0.00)

Where:  PNC Park, Pittsburgh, PA

When:  11:35 AM CST

TV/Radio:  WGN TV / WGN 720

The Run Down:  The Cubs look to win the first series of the year, but will have  a tough test against James McDonald who really came into his own last season.  It seems clear that the Cubs have to generate offense at the top of the order because the bottom part has not been close to adequate so far.  The Cubs will look to get their first hit with men in scoring position today, of the year.  Obviously that has to improve, but looking at the big picture it really would be nice to start the season with a series win.

April 4th lineups

 

Thanks for reading, go Cubs!
– George

Cubs Bats as Cold as the Weather in Loss to Pirates

April 3 line score

Full Box Score

It was rather obvious early, the Cubs offense was awfully disinterested in this one.  Wandy Rodriguez and the cold temperatures combined to keep the Cubs at bay as they could only manage two Edwin Jackson 4-3hits all night.  The Cubs opportunity came in the seventh inning when they put the first two on, and then loaded the bases with one out only to come up empty.  It really was a story of one inning both ways tonight for the Cubs as Edwin Jackson was decent except for the fourth inning.  Jackson struggled with his command in the fourth and gave up two runs in the frame which was more than enough for the Pirates in this one.

At The Plate – How many ways can I say bad?  I guess I’ll just leave it at that, the Cubs approach and the subsequent results or lack there of left a lot to be desired.  Alfonso Soriano and Alberto Gonzalez were the only Cubs to register hits in this one, both singles.

On The Mound – Edwin Jackson was really good early, then got into deep count after deep count and had to exit after five innings of work.  Jackson gave up two runs on three hits while walking one and striking out five in his Cubs debut.  Hector Rondon made his Major League debut, tossing a scoreless inning while walking two, and striking out two.  Michael Bowden gave up one run in his inning of work on two hits.  Shawn Camp and Hasanori Takahashi each had scoreless outings.

Up Next – The rubber game of the series.  Travis Wood will take on James McDonald at 11:35 AM CST, love morning baseball!  Look for the normal Cubs lineup sans Welington Castillo tomorrow.

Stat Of The Night – Here I will feature a stat, either from the game, or a trend, could be good, or bad, or alarming.  Tonight it’s alarming, the Cubs are 0-for-13 as a team with RISP, yikes.

April 3 box score 1

April 3 box score 2

Game Highlights:

The Cubs had two hits, there are no highlights worth watching, I promise.

Thanks for reading,
– George

Rusin Shuts Down Dodgers in Win

Cubs-Dodgers 3-14-13 Header

Full Box Score

  Chris Rusin was outstanding Thursday afternoon, which is nothing new this Spring as he has been nothing short of brilliant.  The lefty is slated to start the 2013 season in the Iowa rotation, and if he has continued success like this don’t be surprised if he is back at Wrigley sooner than later, either starting or coming out of the pen.

Box Score At The Plate

Brent Lillibridge made a triumphant return to the lineup going 2-for-3 with a double and two runs scored.  Welington Castillo got the start behind the plate and was 1-for-2 with a triple, two RBI’s and a run scored.  Luis Valbuena (1), Brian Bogusevic (2), Dave Sappelt (1), and Darnell McDonald (1) had the rest of the runs knocked in.

Box Score On The Mound

As I mentioned, Chris Rusin was awesome.  Rusin tossed five nearly perfect innings, giving up no runs on one hit while walking one, and striking out one.  Raley improved to 2-0 on the Spring with a 0.69 ERA, he has worked thirteen innings this spring and has given up one run.  Drew Carpenter, Jaye Chapman, and Blake Parker all had scoreless appearances in the victory.

Box Score Up Next

Split squad action tomorrow as half the team will face the White Sox on the road, and the other half will face off against Team Japan.  Travis Wood will make the start against Team Japan, and Scott Feldman will work against the White Sox.

Thanks for reading,
– George

Cubs Edge A’s Behind 12 Hit Attack

Cactus League Header

Cubs-Athletics Line Score 2-28-13

Full Box Score

  The Cubs got back to basics this afternoon and also back into the win column, that’s not a coincidence.  After yesterdays game, which was one to forget, the Cubs pitching shut the A’s down all day while the offense pounded out twelve hits, and the defense was solid making no errors, a complete ballgame.  Scott Feldman got the start for the Cubs, his first as a North Sider, and 2-28-13 picturestruggled a bit with his command but was able to pitch around some self-imposed trouble.  Feldman worked two innings giving up one run on two hits while walking two and striking out two.  Travis Wood followed Feldman out of the pen, and ended up with the victory as he also went two innings, he gave up one run on two hits while walking none and striking out two.  Kyuji Fujikawa had his second straight strong outing as he worked a scoreless inning giving up one hit and striking out one, he now has three strikeouts in two innings of work this Spring.  Jensen Lewis made things interesting in the ninth inning as he allowed one run on three hits, but got a couple of clutch strikeouts to earn the save.

   The Cubs sprayed the ball all over the field offensively today, registering twelve hits with zero leaving the ballpark.  Junior Lake had an impressive day at the plate going 2-for-3 with a double, and an RBI, he is now hitting .300 on the Spring (3-for-10).  Darnell McDonald had a strong day at the plate as well going 2-for-3 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored.  Jorge Soler flashed some of his tools in the game today, he finished 1-for-3 at the plate with two strikeouts, but gunned down Josh Reddick at 3rd base from right field.  Javier Baez got the start at shortstop today while Starlin Castro nurses a tight hamstring, and went 1-for-3 with a run scored, he didn’t endanger any infielders’ lives today, which is good I guess.  I know it’s early, and it’s only Spring, but it’s nice to see a Cubs team competitive from the start.

Cubs-Athletics Box Score 2-28-13

Cubs-Athletics Pitchers Box Score 2-28-13

Thanks for reading,
– George

Cubs Throttle Angels Behind Hot Hitting, Solid Pitching

Cactus League Header

Cubs-Angels Line Score 2-23-13

Full Box Score

  Things didn’t exactly get going the right way for the Cubs and eventual winning pitcher Travis Wood.  Wood walked the first batter he faced today, on four straight pitches, then threw 11 consecutive strikes to close out a solid two inning outing.  He didn’t get out of the game unscathed as the lead-off walk he issued scored for the Angels which was part of a two run first inning.  The Cubs quickly erased that deficit thanks to some clutch hitting in the third inning.  spt-0224-BaezRogersAfter Luis Valbuena brought the Cubs to within one run in the second inning with a solo home run, the Cubs exploded for five runs in the third, all with two outs.  The highlight of the inning had to be Brett Jackson‘s two run triple, his second triple of the game, he finished the day going 2-for-2 with two triples, two RBI’s and a run scored, guess that new swing is working out okay so far, it’s early, I know.  Jorge Soler, and Anthony Rizzo had solid spring debut’s as they each registered a double in three plate appearances, Soler’s double brought in a run for his first RBI of the Spring season.  Junior Lake also wowed the capacity crowd with a long solo home run, his only hit of the day in three plate appearances.  Back to the pitching, it was outstanding, sure it wasn’t against the vaunted Angels every day lineup, but it was still an excellent performance for so early in the Spring.  After Travis Wood, six Cubs pitchers joined the fun to close out the game, they tossed seven innings allowing four hits, one walk and no strikeouts.

Cubs-Angels box Score 2-23-13

Cubs-Angels Pitching box Score 2-23-13

Thanks for reading,
– George

Sveum Sees Feldman in Rotation Already

I’m not going to say that Scott Feldman making the Cubs rotation is surprise, I just expected to be writing about it at the end of a very competitive camp, not before it even starts.  Patrick Mooney reported today that Dale Sveum has penciled Scott Feldman into the rotation behind “the big three” of Garza, Samardzija, and Edwin Jackson.  Yes, barring a step back from Samardzija, a blown apart Garza elbow, and an Edwin Jackson disaster, the Cubs can actually be considered as a team that has a big three at the top of the rotation.  At this point, if you look at the top three for the other teams in the Central Division, I like the Cubs.  They have three power arms at the top, and now, edwinjacksoncubsslideaccording to Sveum they have Scott Feldman following them.  “Feldman’s going to be one of the starters,” Sveum said Thursday. “There’s an above-average chance Baker’s going to probably start a little bit late, just because you don’t want to really rush him. There’s no need for anything like that.”  The words from Sveum today caught me a little off guard because the one word that I think describes this Cubs camp the best is competition, not saying there still won’t be plenty of it, I just expected more of it before naming Feldman to the rotation.  As Mooney says in his article, both Feldman and Baker were promised a chance to redeem themselves this year as starters, so one would think that gives them the inside track.  Not so fast, if we have learned anything from this Cubs organization since Theo took over is that they are calculated, everything they do has a reason or four behind it.  Sveum continued with the comment of “there are no guarantees” in the rotation behind Garza, Samardzija, and Jackson, so what Sveum is saying in my opinion is that Feldman, and Baker for that matter, will be slotted in the rotation but if they give the coaching staff any reason to doubt that they belong there they will be bumped for someone who deserves it.  So my final thought on this is expect there to be plenty of competition all Spring long, and don’t be surprised if Feldman doesn’t start the season as a starter, for my money, I think he will, but don’t count out Carlos Villanueva, or Travis Wood quite yet.

Thanks for reading,
– George

61-101; The 2012 Cubs Season is Over; a Recap, Kinda

Seems like just yesterday we here at Born on Third were getting ready to cover Opening Day, and just like that it’s over.  Crazy how time flies, and I didn’t expect it to go so fast given how bad the Cubs were this year.  I was expecting just the opposite, for it to drag on and on, and I guess it did towards the end there but the reality of no Cubs baseball for four months is starting to sink in.  Let’s take a look back at some of the surprises and disappointments that we all barely lived through, this season.

Let’s start with the disappointments, there were plenty of them, I mean the team lost 101 games, you know how hard it was to write about 101 losses!?  Sure the record was disappointing, but one could argue that it was expected, maybe 101 losses wasn’t expected, but the Cubs were going to be one of the worst teams in the league, we knew that.  Let’s dig a little deeper into that futility, we should probably put on a Haz-Mat suit before doing so.  The one thing we heard all offseason was this new “Cubs Way” – well that was thrown out there to mean a lot of things, one being patience, no not by the fans (we do need that though), but by the Cubs as a whole at the plate.  So how did that go, you ask?  Not very good, the Cubs drew 447 walks this season, that comes out to less than three a game, and was good for the fourth fewest in all of baseball.  You could probably guess that the Cubs OBP was terrible as well, it was, the Cubs as a team had a .302 OBP this year, 2nd worst in baseball.  This is something that has to change, and it will on Theo’s watch, I believe that it will.  It’s hard to see that vision come to fruition however when the team on the field in “year one” was so terribly bad at it, or just refused to do it.

Let’s take a look at some poor individual performances…

Chris Volstad
Volstad, acquired in the Carlos Zambrano trade was a disaster, I can’t even say that he showed flashes of brilliance, maybe a flash, but not flashes.  Volstad finished the season 3-12 with a 6.31 ERA, I can’t even spin that into anything positive.  Volstad had a huge opportunity this year and took a step back, but all is not lost on the gigantic right hander.  He will have every opportunity to pitch for this team next year, that is squarely on his shoulders, his huge shoulders, seriously, look at a picture of the guy pitching, it’s cartoonish.

Rafael Dolis
For the first month or so of the season it looked as if Dolis’ name was going to end up on the surprise portion of the year-end recap, then things went bad.  Dolis lost the strike zone, in doing so his confidence disappeared and his ERA sky rocketed.  Dolis went from being the closer of the Cubs after taking over for Carlos Marmol to pitching and struggling at Triple-A.  Dolis was called back up to finish off the season but the numbers were not good.  He finished the year 2-4 with a 6.39 ERA and four saves.  He does have one thing the Cubs need in the pen, a power arm, so he will have a shot to pitch for this team next year at 25 years old.  If he wants to do so he has to clean up the walks, as he issued 23 in just 38 innings at the big league level this year.

Ian Stewart
I debated singling him out here, only because he was clearly hurt since last year in Colorado so I’m not sure how much we can really take from his season.  But a lot more was expected from Ian Stewart, on the plus side he did play above average defense at third base.  His season was shortened by much-needed wrist surgery, he finished the year hitting 5 home runs and 17 RBI’s.  He did show the ability to work the count and take a walk, but at third base he was and will be expected to be a source of production.  It remains to be seen if the Cubs will keep Stewart in their plans moving forward, I would like to see what a healthy Ian Stewart could do.

Other guys that I would say had disappointing years would be Darwin Barney’s bat, a sub .300 OBP from him is not acceptable.  Lendy Castillo had a 7+ ERA, but Castillo is so young and could be a huge part of this teams bullpen when they are contending.  Steve Clevenger took a nose dive after a very strong start, Starlin Castro’s mental lapses and subsequent errors.  I think Castro improved greatly defensively, I think the errors were a result of focus or lack thereof.  Should I mention the 12 game losing streak?  I just did.

Now onto the positives, sure there were some.

Anthony Rizzo
He lived up to the hype, and there was plenty of it heading into the season and that hype only grew as he tore the cover off the ball in Iowa.  He finally was called up to the Cubs on 6/26/2012, he had two hits in that game and never really looked back.  Rizzo finished the campaign hitting .285 with 15 home runs, and 48 RBI’s in 87 games, so just over half a Major League season.  The biggest thing here is that Rizzo showed the ability to adjust to major league pitchers.  I’m not just talking about rebounding from last years dud with the Padres, this year he had a few skids but came out of those before they became too overwhelming.  He is the Cubs 2013 starting first baseman, and will be for many years to come.

Alfonso Soriano
Wow.  There really is no other word to describe his 2012 season, I guess shocked would apply to me.  I was just that, shocked at what Soriano was able to accomplish not only with the bat, but with the glove.  Soriano made one error all season, think about that for a second.  This is the same guy that made 11 in 2009, 7 in 2010, and 7 in 2011, he worked his butt off and showed real improvement.  Offensively he set a career high in RBI’s with 108, folks the Cubs only scored 613 runs as a team this season.  Soriano also found the long ball again hitting 32 home runs, the most in one season since he hit 33 in 2007.  There’s no telling he has earned the right to be back here next year, and that is somewhat up to him, but we will see how the Cubs deal with him in the coming months.

Starlin Castro
I really don’t care what other people think of him, but Starlin Castro had a fantastic year, and a couple of mental lapses got in the way of making it something really special.  Castro became the first Cubs shortstop to play in all 162 games, ever.  That shows me that he wants to be out there, mental errors can come with that kind of workload, he probably needed a day off here or there to avoid some of that but he just kept going out there.  Castro hit .283 with 14 home runs (a career high), and 78 RBI’s (a career high), he also had 29 doubles and 12 triples for good measure.  Castro inked a 7 year extension during the season, he will be a Cub for a long time, and that is a good thing.

There are a number of other guys that deserve to be mentioned as bright spots this year.  Darwin Barney’s glove, Barney tied a major league record for consecutive error-less games at 141, and got to everything on the infield it seemed.  Carlos Marmol’s second half, after a terrible first half Marmol finished the season strong and looked to be back to his un-hittable self late in the year.  Travis Wood stepped into the rotation and did an adequate job for this team, if he can replicate those numbers or even improve upon them he can be a serviceable back of the rotation guy for the Cubs.  Bryan LaHair’s first half was fun while it lasted, and earned him a trip to the all-star game, no reason to ignore that.  Welington Castillo played his way into the 2013 starting lineup behind the plate as

It was a trying year for many, Dale Sveum included, and as I said around the all-star break I think Dale Sveum gets an incomplete for this season.  There was not enough talent on this team to win baseball games, not matter how he managed them.  What I did like seeing was the compete level of this team on most nights, sure over the course of a 162 game season there are going to be lackluster efforts.  For the most part this team really never gave up, I will be interested to see how Sveum does when he starts getting pieces he can use to compete in games on a consistent basis, that’s when he can accurately be judged as a manager.  I could have written about so much more but I think that sums up enough of what happened this season without going on forever, I’m really excited about the direction of this team, most of that excitement stems from the minor league system which we will continue to profile all offseason.  Patience is still something fans will have to have as the Cubs are not going to have a team ready to be a contender next year.  Sure, they should improve, and that’s what we need to look for, and it’s important we see that, one step at a time, thankfully for all of us I think the worst part just ended.

Thanks for reading all season long, we don’t take breaks so we will have great Cubs coverage all offseason for you.  Go Cubs!

- George

Western Road Woes Continue For Cubs

After falling behind by two runs early the Cubs were able to tie things up at two in the fifth inning.  But, the Cubs couldn’t get a shutdown inning in the bottom half as the Diamondbacks pushed across three runs to take a 5-2 lead and they never looked back on their way to a 8-3 victory.  Travis Wood got the start for the Cubs and didn’t have his best stuff as he could only last five innings giving up five runs on five hits while walking three and striking out two.  The Cubs wasted a really good opportunity as well as Ian Kennedy clearly had less than his best as he walked six guys and couldn’t make it through the sixth.  Dave Sappelt was the majority of the Cubs offense in this one as he finished the night 1-for-5 with his second home run of the season, he is now hitting .288 since his September call up.  Starlin Castro continued his strong finish to the season as well as he had three hits in the loss, including his 27th double of the season.    I guess the big news of the night was the error-less streak of Darwin Barney coming to an end.  Barney’s streak ends at 141 games which ties the Major League record (Placido Polanco), and falls one inning short of holding it by himself.  If that doesn’t sum up this season I don’t know what does, nice streak Darwin.

FULL BOX SCORE

Game Highlights:
Full Video Recap
Barney Makes an Error
Nice Catch by Sappelt
Castro’s RBI Double
Sappelt’s Two-Run Homer

Thanks for reading,
– George

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,670 other followers