Game One Hundred Twenty-Seven: Cubs (54-72) vs. Nationals (62-65)
- Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 185/844
- Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Travis Wood (7-10, 3.13/1.10/3.77) vs. Stephen Strasburg (6-9, 2.93/1.06/3.21)
Weather permitting … The Cubs wrap-up their 10-game homestand this afternoon with the series and season finale against the Washington Nationals. The Cubs are just 2-7 over the first nine games of the homestand and will try to leave Chicago with a split of the four-game series against the Nationals. The Cubs and Nationals have split the first six games of their season series (3-3).
The Cubs enter play this afternoon a season-low 18 games under .500, mainly due to their poor performance at Wrigley Field. Dale Sveum’s team is 3-15 over their last 18 home games.
The Cubs’ struggling offense will face a well-rested Stephen Strasburg this afternoon. Strasburg was tossed in the second inning of his last start after throwing at Andrelton Simmons in the second inning. Strasburg has been throwing the ball extremely well, and it could be another very challenging game for the Cubs.
Travis Wood will try to keep the Nationals off the board while hoping that his teammates can put runs on the board. The Cubs have not scored a single run in Wood’s last two starts (13 1/3 innings).
According to a report from Judd Sirott during the pre-game show on Wednesday, both Ryan Sweeney and Luis Valbuena are scheduled to begin a rehab assignment in Arizona this week. Both players have been with the team, along with Arodys Vizcaino. With the Cubs spending the next week in San Diego and Los Angeles, all three players figure to report to the Cubs’ facility in Mesa.
The last game of the Cubs’ homestand all starts with Travis Wood …
Travis Wood is coming off a decent outing against the Cardinals, one in which he pitched better than his final line. Wood seemed to run out of gas in the sixth inning and gave up a two-run shot to Yadier Molina that put the game out of reach … and closed the book on Wood. He retired the first nine batters he faced and only allowed four hits. The Redbirds scored four times against Wood while the Cubs’ offense did not put up a single run for him for the second straight start.
Travis Wood has put together a very good season. And while the mainstream media will focus on the fact that Wood has not posted a win since July 28, the Cubs have scored a grand total of nine runs in his last five starts.
Travis Wood is 0-3 in his last four starts with a 5.09 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP. Over his last 23 innings, Wood has allowed 21 hits with eight walks and 17 strikeouts.
Today marks the first time that Travis Wood has started a game against the Washington Nationals. Scott Hairston (0-for-6), Adam LaRoche (1-for-6) and Jayson Werth (0-for-3) are the only three players on the Nationals active roster that has faced Wood in a big league ballgame.
Stephen Strasburg has been very, very good of late. Strasburg is coming off a short, one-plus inning outing in which he was tossed from the game in the second inning. Strasburg plunked Justin Upton in the first inning of last Saturday’s game in retaliation for the Braves hitting Bryce Harper two times the night before. Strasburg was still not satisfied in the second inning and started throwing behind Andrelton Simmons before he was tossed.
Strasburg is 1-2 in his last six starts with a 2.77 ERA and a 0.87 WHIP … and he’s been a slight bit better over his last three outings, 1-0 with a 2.12 ERA and a 0.87 WHIP. Strasburg has recorded 20 strikeouts in his last 17 innings with only four free passes.
The Cubs beat Strasburg on Mother’s Day in DC after scoring four unearned runs on five hits with two walks and seven strikeouts in five innings. Strasburg is 0-1 in two career starts against the Cubs with a 0.75 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP. This afternoon will be his second career start at Wrigley Field. Strasburg received a no decision on Opening Day a year ago.
Cubs Career Numbers against Stephen Strasburg
- Darwin Barney (.233) – 0-for-4 with a walk
- Brian Bogusevic (.308) – 0-for-1
- Welington Castillo (.348) – 0-for-2
- Starlin Castro (.289) – 2-for-6
- Anthony Rizzo (.251) – 2-for-3
- Nate Schierholtz (.299) – 0-for-2
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …