Game Seventy-Three: Cubs (30-42) vs. Astros (28-47)
- Game Time – 3:05pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 183/844
- Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Travis Wood (5-6, 2.74/1.00) vs. Bud Norris (5-7, 3.64/1.42)
The Cubs will try to make it two in a row over the Astros this afternoon behind Travis Wood. The offense did just enough on Friday and Matt Garza took care of the rest. It would seem with the way the offense has struggled of late, Wood will need to pick-up where Garza left off to have a shot at a victory.
Dale Sveum said Friday he is unsure when the Cubs will make a roster move to add a bat to the bench and get back to a 12-man pitching staff. According to reports, the team was mulling over possible roster moves but has not decided which way to go. Based on the players used by the I-Cubs in Friday’s doubleheader against the Sounds, the roster moves will wait at least one more day.
Nate Schierholtz and Luis Valbuena will be back in the starting lineup this afternoon along with Welington Castillo. But will Starlin Castro? If Castro plays today, a day off on Sunday would give Castro basically three full days (night game in Milwaukee on Tuesday) to clear his head. Castro could have used a break a couple of weeks back, now he really needs a breathier.
This afternoon all starts with Travis Wood …
Travis Wood is coming off a solid start against the Cardinals and another outing he did not receive any run support. Wood recorded his 13th quality start in 14 tries the last time out after allowing four runs, three earned, on seven hits with no walks and four strikeouts over seven innings. Wood put his team in position to win the game but the offense could not figure out Shelby Miller before he left the game. The Cardinals pulled away with two in the seventh and cruised to a 5-2 lead.
Travis Wood is a perfect example of why a win-loss record and ERA are not the best ways to determine how well a pitcher is performing. Wood is 0-3 in his last three starts with a 2.70 ERA and a 0.95 WHIP with nearly a 4:1 strikeout to walk ratio (14 strikeouts, four walks) and five fewer hits (15) than innings pitched (20).
For as good as Wood has been this season, likely the Cubs’ representative in the Mid-Summer Classic, he has been better at Wrigley. In nine home starts, Wood is 3-4 with a 2.36 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP … 41 strikeouts, 20 walks and 42 hits allowed in 61 innings.
Wood makes his tenth career start against Houston this afternoon. Wood is 3-2 in the first nine with a 1.89 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP.
Astros Career Numbers against Travis Wood
- Jose Altuve – 2-for-11 with a home run
- Brandon Barnes – 2-for-6 with a double
- Jason Castro – 0-for-3
- Ronny Cedeno – 4-for-9 with two doubles and a walk
- Carlos Corporan – 1-for-3
- Matt Dominguez – 0-for-6
- J.D. Martinez – 3-for-10 with a double
- Justin Maxwell – 2-for-7 with a double
- Bud Norris – 1-for-2 with a double
Bud Norris has struggled of late and is coming off a loss to the White Sox. Not only did Norris pitch poorly but the comments he made about possibly being traded to the Giants did not sit too well with his manager.
Norris is a very good pitcher that has struggled with consistency throughout his career. Norris has teams, like the Cubs, that he has had success against and even dominated at times, but he struggles with putting together long stretches of pitching to his ability.
Even with the poor outing against the Sox, Norris has put together eight quality starts in his last ten games. Bud Norris is 1-3 in his last four starts with a 3.46 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP … 26 hits allowed in 26 innings with five walks and 23 strikeouts.
Bud Norris is 4-4 in nine career games, eight starts, against the Cubs with a 3.14 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP. Norris was 2-2 in four starts against the Cubs a year ago with a 4.03 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP and in five career games, four starts, at Wrigley, Norris is 1-3 with a 4.38 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP.
Cubs Career Numbers against Bud Norris
- Darwin Barney – 1-for-14
- Welington Castillo – 1-for-5 with a double
- Starlin Castro – 7-for-19 with two doubles and a home run
- Scott Hairston – 1-for-5 with a home run
- Dioner Navarro – 2-for-6 with a double and two walks
- Anthony Rizzo – 0-for-7 with a walk
- Nate Schierholtz – 0-for-2 with two walk
- Alfonso Soriano – 6-for-17 with a double, two home runs and three walks
- Luis Valbuena – 2-for-6 with a double and a home run
- Travis Wood – 0-for-2
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …