All the Cubs Need is Wood – Cubs 5, Diamondbacks 1

Game Eighteen: Cubs 5, Diamondbacks 1

WP – Travis Wood (1-2) LP – Bronson Arroyo (1-2) Save – None

wflag-pub2014Travis Wood took matters into his own hands on Monday night. Wood not only put together an excellent outing on the hill, Wood also drove in four of the Cubs five runs as the Cubs took the opener of the four-game series against the Diamondbacks.

After rain delayed the start of the game for 61 minutes, Travis Wood took the ball and retired eight of the first nine batters he faced with four strikeouts. Wood found a rhythm early and kept the Diamondbacks off balance all night. Wood worked his way out of a jam in the sixth and made only one mistake over his seven innings of work. Mark Trumbo hit a solo shot in the seventh that accounted for Arizona’s only run. Wood struck out eight batters in six innings and tied a career high in strikeouts (9) when he struck out Cody Ross swinging to start the seventh.

Travis Wood allowed one run on six hits with no walks and nine strikeouts. Wood threw 107 pitches, 71 for strikes, in route to his first win of the season.

Hector Rondon pitched a scoreless eighth and Pedro Strop was solid in the ninth to close out the game. Strop threw behind Miguel Montero with two outs in the ninth and forced homeplate umpire D.J. Reyburn to warn both benches.

Travis Wood (2-for-3 with a home run, a double and four RBI) not only collected his first hits of the season but drove in four of the Cubs five runs with a three-run homer and a double off of Bronson Arroyo. Travis Wood gave himself a little breathing room with a three-run shot off Bronson Arroyo in the second inning then added a double in the fourth that plated Ryan Kalish (2-for-4 with two runs scored). Kirk Gibson did not allow Bronson Arroyo to face Wood for a third time on the night in the sixth inning. Gibson went to his pen for J.J. Putz with the bases loaded and one out and Wood tapped into a 1-2-3 inning ending double play.

Welington Castillo (2-for-3 with a RBI, a walk and a run scored) drove in Starlin Castro (1-for-3 with a run scored and a walk) with the Cubs first run of the game. All five runs scored with two outs and hitters five-nine in the Cubs’ lineup went 8-for-17 with two walks, five RBI and five runs scored.

The Cubs scored five runs on nine hits with four walks and beat Bronson Arroyo at Wrigley Field for the first time in his last 10 starts at the Friendly Confines.

With Monday’s victory, the Cubs improved to 6-12 on the season.

Travis Wood gave up a two-out single to Paul Goldschmidt in the first inning, but that was all, and the Cubs did nothing against Bronson Arroyo in the first inning. After Travis Wood retired the D-Backs in order in the second inning (25 pitches for Wood after two innings, 16 for strikes), the Cubs’ offense went to work against Bronson Arroyo in the home half.

Starlin Castro reached with a one-out single in the second inning. Ryan Sweeney worked a full count. Castro ran with the pitch and had to jump over the smash from Sweeney that appeared to be a single to right. Aaron Hill made an excellent diving stop and threw out Sweeney at first for the second out. Welington Castillo blooped a 0-1 pitch into right. Castro scored, 1-0 Cubs. Ryan Kalish followed with a single to right and put two on with two down for Travis Wood. Wood launched a 1-0 offering from Arroyo to the back of the bleachers in left … and gave the Cubs a 4-0 lead. Emilio Bonifacio walked. Arroyo retired Valbuena on a flyout to left center to end the inning.

At the end of two innings, the Cubs had a 4-0 lead.

Travis Wood retired the D-Backs in order in the third and needed only 40 pitches, 26 for strikes, to complete three innings. Arroyo faced the minimum in the third and Wood gave up his second hit of the night in the fourth, a one out single to Paul Goldschmidt. Wood retired Prado (flyout to deep center) and Ross (strikeout looking) to end the fourth. Wood threw 54 pitches, 35 for strikes, over his first four innings.

Travis Wood added to the Cubs lead in the fourth inning. After Sweeney grounded out to short and Castillo flied out to center (2-1 pitch), Ryan Kalish singled to left on a 2-1 pitch. Travis Wood stepped in and launched a hanging slider (2-2 pitch) to deep center. Tony Campana made a dangerous, headlong dive toward the bricks in center to try to prevent another run from scoring. The ball hit off the end of Campana’s big glove, Kalish scored, 5-0 Cubs. Bonifacio grounded out to second to end the inning.

The game remained 5-0 Cubs through the fifth and sixth innings. The Cubs wasted a golden opportunity to tack onto the lead in the sixth. The Cubs loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the sixth after Starlin Castro led off the inning with a walk. Sweeney singled to center and Castillo singled to center to load the bases. Gary Jones made a bad decision by not sending Castro home with the weak-throwing Campana in center. After Kalish grounded out to second with the infield in and Hill threw home to force Castro, Kirk Gibson went to his bullpen with Travis Wood due up. Gibson replaced Arroyo with J.J. Putz and Wood tapped into a 1-2-3 double play to end the inning.

The Diamondbacks broke up the shutout in the seventh. Travis Wood tied a career-high with his ninth strikeout of the game when Cody Ross struck out swinging to start the inning. Mark Trumbo hit a long home run into the bleachers in left center … 5-1 Cubs. Miguel Montero followed with a double off the vines in center (3-2 pitch) and Rick Renteria got Hector Rondon up in the pen. Tony Campana grounded out to short and with Montero at third, pinch hitter Cliff Pennington fouled out to Rizzo (3-2 pitch) to end the inning.

Hector Rondon gave up a hit to Goldschmidt in the eighth, but that was all. And Pedro Strop closed out the game with a scoreless ninth.

Jason Hammel is scheduled to face Brandon McCarthy on Tuesday night (7:05pm CDT).

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Quote of the Day

"Don’t ever permit the pressure to exceed the pleasure." - Joe Maddon