View From The Bleachers

May 14, 2013

Game 38 – Wood Good Again

Filed under: Featured,General — Jedi Johnson @ 2:01 am

Box Score / Highlights

Star of the Game – Travis Wood – .278 (WPA)


Travis Wood
My last recap wasn’t terribly complimentary of Jeff Samardzija. Conversely, I have nothing but great things to say about Travis Wood. If you had to pick today, he’s the Cubs’ All-Star and it’s not really close. Even if Castro or Rizzo (or anyone else for that matter) winds up being selected for the team, Wood is making a strong case that he belongs. Eight starts in 2013, eight quality starts. He has surrendered 3 earned runs one time; it’s been 0, 1, or 2 in each of the other seven starts. He’s thrown more than 100 pitches just twice, even though he’s AVERAGING 6.2 IP. He’s been phenomenal; perhaps his best performance was Monday night against Colorado.

Not only did he pitch 7 innings, no runs, and only two hits; he was 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored. The Rockies haven’t had difficulty hitting LHP in 2013, either. Sporting a .277 team average against lefties, it didn’t matter; they couldn’t get to Travis Wood.

Offense
Timely hitting has returned to the Cubs in recent days. They were 6-for-18 on Monday with RISP, including some unlikely hits from the aforementioned Wood and Darwin Barney. Six different Cubs had 2 hits apiece and DeJesus and Castro each reached base on 3 occasions. It all led to nine runs, which was more than enough with Wood on the mound.

Relief
You may see that Marmol gave up a run in the ninth that cost the Cubs the shutout. I say he had a good outing though – it was a solo HR, and in part it was because he was throwing strikes. Of his 16 pitches, 11 were strikes – and with a 9-run lead, I can forgive a solo homer. It was the first run he’s given up since May 4th, and that means he’s only given up 4 runs total since being demoted from the ‘closer’ role.

Kyuji Fujikawa also pitched. He also threw strikes. And he has also looked good lately – returning to the Cubs on the 10th.

Improvement
The Cubs are 12-13 since staring 4-9 and currently on pace for 68 wins. The Rockies were their fifth different opponent in 8 days, with a weekend trip to Washington coming awkwardly in the middle of a homestand. With the next 5 at Wrigley and then a trip to Pittsburgh, the Cubs are again set up nicely to rack up a few wins. When you get a good start like the Cubs did on Monday night from Travis Wood, it makes you a bit more optimistic…

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  • http://www.facebook.com/checkosky Tomas Checkosky

    Walking across the street and not getting run over by a truck makes me a little optimistic about walking back across the street…seriously though that’s how we Cub fans find silver linings…nice write-up, hey, at least I can wear my “WE GOT WOOD” shirt again…

  • Jerry in Wisconsin

    First paragraph Wood good, Dread Pirate bad. Good write-up Jedi. Thanks.

  • Doc Raker

    I see development and a team getting better. Meatball Subs with ranch dressing for everyone on CAPS.

  • BLPCB

    You forgot about the veggies.

  • Seymour Butts

    You used sporting and Wood in the same sentence.

  • Noah_I

    The one caution I’ll give to the Wood love is that his current ERA is fueled by an unsustainable BABIP against (.186) and LOB rate (83%). Aside from that, though, there is some evidence he could be a meaningfully better pitcher than he has been in prior years, with his FIP (3.69) potentially being a good estimate for his true talent. He’s inducing more ground balls than in past years to approach being around the MLB average there, is walking less hitters, and is keeping the ball in the ballpark on fly balls. It’s possible that’s just a result of the cold weather, but he was also able to limit HR/FB in his two partial seasons in Great American Ballpark, which can definitely be a launching pad. He had a rougher time with that last season. Either way, after looking like someone who was going to be more of a 5th starter or swingman type at the end of 2012, the fact that he might be a quite solid 3/4 type is a nice bonus.

  • http://swantron.com/ jswanson

    Ah, the vagaries again.

  • Chuck

    The Cubs are like a good carpenter, no good Wood is wasted.

  • BLPCB

    But Chris Carpenter never played for us!

  • Seymour Butts

    Except for 2011, you mean.

  • BLPCB

    Never in the majors

  • Seymour Butts

    I don’t know why I care, but… From Wikipedia…
    Carpenter was called up to the majors for the first time with the Chicago Cubs on June 14, 2011.[1] He made his debut that day against the Milwaukee Brewers, pitching two-thirds of an inning with one strikeout.
    You may remember him as the guy traded to the Red Sox for Theo.

  • BLPCB

    I don’t remember him ever playing in the majors. I knew he was traded for Theo

  • Eddie Von Whtie

    Is he on trial?

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