View From The Bleachers

Talking Cubs Baseball Since 2003



September 2013



Wood finally beats his former team. Cubs shutout the Reds 2-0

Written by , Posted in General

by Rob Willer

The Travis Wood trade has been an interesting one for both ball clubs over the past two seasons. Sean Marshall was a workhorse for many years in the Cubs pen and was due for a hefty raise as a reliever. The Cubs maximized his value and traded him to the Reds for Wood, Dave Sappelt and Ronald Torreyes. Torreyes was traded to the Astros this year for international slot money which has proven to be quite valuable as it helped the Cubs sign some very impressive international talent. Sappelt has bounced around from the majors and minors this year and seems to be a fourth outfielder at best for his career recently designated for assignment. The real get in the trade for the Cubs was Travis Wood.  The 26-year-old Wood has enjoyed a breakout campaign with the Cubs thus far in 2013, pitching to a 2.79 ERA with 6.3 K/9, 2.8 BB/9 and a 33.7 percent ground-ball rate. He was 0-4 in his career against the Reds which of course included three losses this season against the pesky Reds. The Reds now are 13-4 against the Cubs this season. Wood went seven innings allowing six hits and fanned seven. Wood got his 22nd quality start and it was a beauty.

Kevin Gregg gave up a double in the ninth while earning his 31st save in 35 chances. Just think about that for a second Kevin Gregg has 31 saves after the Cubs got him for literally nothing probably one of the best in season moves this year. Pedro Strop continues his stellar performance out of the pen pitching a scoreless eight. His 2.93 earned average with the Cubs is very encouraging. Overall with the Cubs Strop has appeared in 29 games and turned in 26 scoreless relief outings.

Ryan Sweeney and Luis Valbuena homered off Bronson Arroyo (13-11), who had won his last four starts against the Cubs. These would be the only runs of the game for each team as the Cubs would muster enough offense to get their all-star a win. The Reds squandered a perfect chance to be with in a game of first with 17 games to go in the regular season. After last night’s loss the Reds sit at 2 games back of the National League Central Leading Cardinals. If you look at the top three teams in the National League Central their playoff efficiency percentages range from 99.0 to 99.8 tough year to compete folks. Side Note: The Pittsburgh Pirates have clinched an above .500 season for the first time since 1992. Another astonishing stat that 21 years have passed since they finished above .500. We are only in our second year of the Epstein rebuild folks if we can above .500 in 2015 I’ll take it.

It was the Cubs’ sixth shutout this season which kinda surprised me that they had that many as team. The Cubs go with Edwin Jackson (7-15), who leads the NL in losses. Yippee 19 million dollars for 15 losses. Can’t wait for his second year under contract.

  • Chuck

    I really can’t wait for this season to be over. Since August 1 (and if I can count correctly) the Cubs are 12-24 for a stellar 0.333 winning percentage. Nothing like limping across the finish line like a wounded zombie. They have the second worst record in the NL (thank God for the Marlins), but are not the worst team in Chicago. Thank you White Sox. I really believe that this is the nadir of the team for the foreseeable future because several players have had seasons so bad (I’m looking at you Castro, Barney, Edwin Jackson) that they can’t help but be better next season. The starting pitching has been very good, so I think there is hope for the future.

    I am thinking there is one more season of woe, then it is time to put up or shut up. The top tier prospects should be hitting the majors next season or considered busts (Baez, Vitters, Brett Jackson, etc…).

    • Doc Raker

      I agree Chuck, I am looking at 2015 as a turn around year. Chuck, I believe you owe $100 to a charity of my choice now that the Cubs have secured a season of less than 100 losses. True?

      • Seymour Butts

        Send it to:
        Raker’s home for soon to be wayward girls.
        PO Box 23
        Huntington’s Chorea Beach, CA

      • Chuck

        I do not believe we are quite there yet. But, it will happen at some point. What is your charity of choice?

      • Jedi

        So we’ve got two rooting for the Cubs to lose every remaining game. What a fan base!

      • PLCB3

        You want a fake fan base, be a White Sox fan. They root for their AL rivals to beat the Cubs when they’re in a playoff chase with their AL rivals.

      • Chuck

        Ummmmm… No. I was just stating the fact that they had not reached 62 wins yet. I even conceded the point that they will win at least one more the rest of the season.

  • Jerry in Wisconsin

    Yea! A game summary!

    • Seymour Butts

      What happened? somebody have a stroke?

  • Pierce

    I too am surprised on how many shutouts we have, although I can count at least 4 more that we have blown in the 9th.

    It was nice to see Wood back to his All-Star form too after a couple of rough starts for him. The pitching this year has been up and down and up and down, but I think I’m finally satisfied on where we’ve come this year pitching wise, and especially bullpen wise (thank you Strop and Gregg).

    • Jedi

      Hard to believe Gregg has 31 saves.

      • I’m guessing he can’t believe it either.

  • Mark_from_Toronto

    Was good to see Travis Wood get the win, even with his usual lack of run support. Wasn’t so good that the MLB package forced me to watch the Reds broadcast of last night’s game. If ever there were a pair of homers for announcers they are it, no matter what the Reds did wrong, they had nothing negative to say about them, even the Cubs pair of homeruns were talked over almost as if they hadn’t happend.

    • PLCB3

      Are you sure that Ken Harrelson wasn’t calling the game in disguise?
      Note how I referred to him as Ken Harrelson and not Hawk Harrelson. I despise that nickname for him. There is only one person in baseball known as Hawk, and that is Andre Dawson

      • That’s nothing. In my book, there is only one real Harrelson on WGN, and that is Woody Harrelson. Ever since Cheers hit syndication, I’ve referred to Hawk Harrelson simply as “Ken.”

      • PLCB3

        SHIMATA BAKA-NI!!!

  • Bryan

    I have a question that I have been going over in my head regarding Barney. He is definitely one of the best defensive second basemen in the ML, but his .213 batting average ranks 46th among 2nd basemen with at least 100 AB as a 2nd basemen this season. I think many managers would gladly trade A LITTLE offensive production for stellar defense, but where do you think that line is drawn for his great defense to negate his horrible offense? .250? .275?

    • Eddie Von White

      Apparently Theo draws the line at .213 or below.

    • Chuck

      It depends on who else is on the team. If you have a team with big boppers in spots 1-5, then you can afford to have a no-hit all-glove guy at 2B batting 8th. However, if you are the Cubs and do not have any hitters that could be considered “good”, then you need offense wherever you can squeeze it from. Then again, good teams do not have lousy lineups.

      I believe his time is limited because there are better options coming up from the minors. Do not even mention Cano. He is 30 and will be well past his prime by the time the Cubs are good. We are not one player away. We are several.

      • PLCB3

        Cano will either be a Yankee or a Dodger next year. What do you think?

      • Seymour Butts

        I think he will be a Dominican.

      • I think that you from a week ago would have jumped all over current you for bringing that to the table.

      • PLCB3

        I felt that way at the start of the season

      • Bryan

        Great response Chuck, thanks. Can I ask who you think will be at 2nd for the Cubs in the future? Alcantara? Or do you think they will move Castro over there if he figures out which end of the bat to hold?

      • Chuck

        I believe one of two things will happen in the next few months. Castro will be moved to 2B and Barney traded or Castro will be traded if he refuses to move from SS. I am still a member of the Castro fan club, but he has to improve. The good news is I believe that most of the issues with Castro are between his ears. This will improve with age and being pushed by management and teammates. Maybe a move from SS to 2B will be the wakeup call he needs.

  • Wow…sorry Chuck. My heart goes out to you and CAPS for tonight’s devastating win.

    • PLCB3

      Fine with me. I’ve resigned myself to seeing the Cubs with the 4th pick. It would be nice to have a better record than the White Sox, just to shut up their stupid fans. Then they will go into Bears fan mode and discuss nothing but 2005 or show their baseball vocabulary and constantly say Cubs Suck, even when discussing the Bulls and Bears.

    • Chuck

      I never root for the Cubs to lose. Ever. I was merely stating the fact that they had not yet reached 62 wins. Nothing more and nothing less. I am still awaiting his charity of choice.

    • Seymour Butts

      Thanks for the game recap, that’s what we get these days.