Travis Wood Tosses a Gem, Cubs Shut Out the Reds – Cubs 2, Reds 0

Game One Hundred Forty-Three – Cubs 2, Reds 0

WP – Travis Wood (9-11) LP – Bronson Arroyo (13-11) Save – Kevin Gregg (31)

wflag-pubTravis Wood put together one of his best outings of the season and beat his former team for the first time on Monday night. Ryan Sweeney and Luis Valbuena hit solo home runs and gave Wood all of the run support he would need.

Monday was all about Travis Wood. Wood more than bounced back from his poor outing against the Marlins and rolled over the Reds for seven innings. Wood found a rhythm early and worked quickly with excellent command. Wood did not allow a leadoff runner to reach base in his seven innings of work. And while he allowed six hits, there were a lot of routine outs behind him.

Travis Wood gave up six hits, three for extra bases, with no walks, a hit batsman and seven strikeouts. Wood threw 100 pitches, 70 for strikes, over seven outstanding innings.

Pedro Strop and Kevin Gregg finished off the shut out. The Reds managed seven hits, four for extra bases, but were 0-for-10 with RISP and left nine men on base.

Ryan Sweeney (1-for-3 with a home run and a walk) put the Cubs up 1-0 in the second with his sixth longball of the season. Sweeney tied his career high in home runs with his solo shot off Bronson Arroyo. Luis Valbuena (2-for-4 with a home run and a double) collected two of the Cubs’ seven hits. Valbuena took Arroyo deep in the third and gave Wood a little breathing room. Valbuena set a new career high with his 11th longball of the season on Monday night.

Nate Schierholtz (1-for-3 with a double and a walk), Brian Bogusevic (1-for-4), Darwin Barney (1-for-4) and Dioner Navarro (1-for-4) collected hits.

The Cubs beat the Reds with just the fourth time this season (4-13) and equaled their win total from a year ago. With Monday night’s victory, the Cubs improved to 61-82 on the season.

The Cubs could not cash in a one-out double by Luis Valbuena in the first. After Castro struck out swinging to start the game (0-2 pitch), Valbuena ripped a 0-1 pitch off Votto’s wrist and down the right field line. Votto was given an error at the time, but was changed to a double soon after.  Rizzo flied out to left for the second out. Dioner Navarro singled to right. David Bell originally waved Valbuena around but threw up the stop sign. Navarro rounded first too far, was caught in a rundown (9-3-4-6) and tagged out to end the inning.

Travis Wood worked around back-to-back one out singles by Phillips and Votto in the first without allowing the Reds to score. Wood struck out Jay Bruce swinging (1-2 pitch) and retired Todd Frazier on a grounder to third to end the inning. Wood threw 15 pitches, 11 for strikes, in the first inning.

After Nate Schierholtz struck out swinging for the first out in the second inning, Ryan Sweeney stepped in and pulled a 1-1 pitch into the stands in right. Sweeney’s sixth longball of the season gave the Cubs a 1-0 lead. Bronson Arroyo struck out Bogusevic swinging but Brandon Phillips’ favorite player singled to center. With Darwin Barney on first, Wood grounded out to short to end the inning. Arroyo threw 25 pitches, 19 for strikes, over two innings.

Travis Wood retired the Reds in order in the second thanks to an excellent play by Starlin Castro. Zack Cozart pulled a 1-2 pitch to the hole at short. Castro ranged over, made a quick, strong throw to first. Anthony Rizzo kept his toe on the bag for the out. Wood needed 28 pitches, 20 for strikes, to complete two frames on Monday night.

Luis Valbuena put the Cubs up by two in the third inning with a solo homer to right. Brandon Phillips took hits away from Rizzo and Navarro to end the inning. The Cubs made Arroyo work over the first three innings … 41 pitches for Arroyo after three, 28 for strikes.

Travis Wood worked out of another jam in the third inning. After striking out Arroyo swinging to start the inning, Wood hit Shin-Soo Choo with a 3-2 pitch. Phillips popped out to Barney for the second out. Joey Votto singled to left (1-1 pitch) and put runners on first and second for Jay Bruce. Sweeney hauled in routine fly to center off the bat of Bruce to end the inning. Wood threw 46 pitches, 31 for strikes, over three innings.

After three complete, the Cubs led 2-0.

Travis Wood worked around a two out double by Zack Cozart in the bottom of the fourth. Wood retired Hanigan on a grounder to third to end the inning. Wood needed 63 pitches, 43 for strikes, to complete four innings.

The Cubs continued to make routine outs in the fifth inning. Arroyo threw 67 pitches, 47 for strikes, over five innings.

Travis Wood gave up a one-out double off the base of the left field wall to Shin-Soo Choo in the fifth. Wood caught Phillips and Votto looking to end the inning. Travis Wood threw 80 pitches, 56 for strikes, over his first five innings of work.

After five innings, the Cubs led 2-0.

Nate Schierholtz reached on a ground rule double to right with two down in the sixth. But Sweeney rolled out to Phillips at second to end the inning. And Travis Wood worked around a two-out double by Ryan Ludwick in the sixth by catching Zack Cozart looking at a 1-2 pitch to end the inning.

The Cubs did nothing against Arroyo in the seventh and Wood set down the Reds in order in the home half. The game went to the eighth with the Cubs clinging to a 2-0 lead.

Pedro Strop replaced Wood for the eighth. Strop walked Brandon Phillips (3-2 pitch) to start the inning, the first time that the Reds put the leadoff runner on base. Joey Votto lined out to left and Strop struck out Jay Bruce swinging at a 1-2 pitch that was in the dirt. Phillips took second on the wild pitch. Todd Frazier lined out to Rizzo for the third out.

Nate Schierholtz and Ryan Sweeney worked back-to-back one out walks against Manny Parra in the ninth. Bogusevic battled Parra but struck out swinging on the eighth pitch of the bat. Dusty Baker went to his pen for Alfredo Simon. Darwin Barney bounced out to third to end the inning.

The game went to the bottom of the ninth with the Cubs up by two runs.

Kevin Gregg retired Ryan Ludwick on a deep fly to right center (3-2 pitch) for the first out. Zack Cozart doubled to right center (1-0 pitch). Gregg jumped ahead of Hanigan 0-2 but missed with his next two offerings. Ryan Hanigan lined a 2-2 pitch to Bogusevic in left for the second out. Xavier Paul hit for Alfredo Simon. Gregg fell behind Paul 2-0 before inducing a grounder to Barney to end the game.

Edwin Jackson faces Tony Cingrani on Tuesday night.

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Quote of the Day

"Show me a guy who’s afraid to look bad, and I’ll show you a guy you can beat every time." – Lou Brock

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  • Neil

    Travis Wood is first Cubs lefty with 7 scoreless innings with 7 strikeouts and no walks since Ken Holtzman on 6/8/71

    • TheWrongGuy

      Good WIN T.Wood should have minus 5-8 losses, no run support, and plus 4-7 more wins the way he has pitched this year. MY OPINION!

      Great work and good report Neil!

      • Neil

        Thank you

  • CubbyDenCritic

    CNN Bleacher report ranks top 35 shortstops……Baez #29…Castro #28.

    • TheWrongGuy

      I understand ranking Castro’s low ranking with really awful season at the plate his defense though has improved from seasons past still not as good as it can be. MY OPINION.
      Hopefully Baez can take 2nd from Barney, not there is much competition with Barney who carries his glove to the plate it seems. I would like to see Watkins or Alcantara, but Alcantara seems a year or more away and Sveum wont play Watkins so….
      Anyways my opinion…

      • Tony_Hall

        This is on Bleacher Report, anyone of us could be posting it.

        2B had Barney 29th and Alcantara 32nd as they are looking at next year and prospects included.

        1B had Rizzo at #11

    • 07GreyDigger

      I know it says CNN on the front, but why would you go to CNN for your sports news?

  • cubtex

    Travis Wood is the highlight of this season. He has performed post all star game. He is the player of the year for the team……and 2nd place isn’t even close.

  • Brp921

    This was a great win for Travis Wood. It’s always great to beat your former team. Glad to see he’s got that monkey off his bat.

  • Ripsnorter1

    And speaking of Choo…..

    There has been some speculation that the Cubs are going to try to sign him.
    The Mets are also in the mix, according to MLBTR.

    Choo has hit only .211 vs LHP, but still has a .350 OBP vs LHP.

    • John_CC

      He is a platoon player at this point, but a darn good one on strong side of the platoon with someone like Junior.

      • 07GreyDigger

        But not worth paying a guy 10+ million dollars to be a platoon. IMO.

      • Dorasaga

        A LHB with 350 OBP vs LHP is hell better than your league average platoon.

        • John_CC

          I agree. He just doesn’t hit lefties much, but still a better everyday option than most. I shouldn’t say he is platoon player, I hate all that parsing of splits, no one hits both sides equally and very few LH hitters hit LH pitching well.

          • Dorasaga

            I think we are discussing choo being a viable option partly cuz he’s learned the league, notably NL Central, and now a big FA CF out there. I doubt the Cubs wanted him. The hole here is ML-ready pitching, but with Arieta (option remains) and Rusin doing their job, it’s probably not a priority anymore. The Cubs CAN pursue other “fix” if they don’t expect Lake to be an everyday CF.

            Choo should end up in a bid b/w NY and LA. If LA wins him, then they might trade Ethier. It’ll be interesting to see how well the Cubs can coax them.

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