Cubs Put Up Little Phight in Home Opener – Phillies 7, Cubs 2

Game Four – Cubs 2, Phillies 7

WP – Roberto Hernandez (1-0) LP – Travis Wood (0-1) Save – None

On a cold day at Wrigley Field with the wind blowing out to right field, the offense showed little to no life as the Cubs dropped their home opener to the Phillies.

The Cubs jumped out to an early 2-0 lead on a solo home run by Welington Castillo (1-for-4 with a home run) in the second and a RBI infield single by Starlin Castro (1-for-4 with a RBI) in the third that plated Darwin Barney (1-for-2 with a walk and a run scored). But the Cubs could not manage a hit after the third inning. Only two Cubs reached base after the fourth inning and that was in the eighth on a pair of walks. The Cubs offense scored two runs on three hits with three walks (1-for-3 RISP, three LOB) in nine innings.

Travis Wood was not great but he was not bad either. Wood made quick work of the Phillies in the first two innings before laboring through a 29-pitch third inning that ran up his pitch count (56 pitches after three innings). The Phillies cut the Cubs lead in half in the fourth after Luis Valbuena committed an error that led to Philly’s first run. Chase Utley took Wood deep in the fifth and his first homer of the season, a two-run windblown homer, gave the Phillies the lead.

Travis Wood recorded a quality start in his first outing of the season after allowing four runs, three earned, on six hits with a walk, a hit batsman and eight strikeouts. Wood threw 102 pitches, 68 for strikes, in 6 1/3 innings.

The bullpen allowed the game to get out of hand in the seventh. The Phillies scored a run in seventh that closed the book on Wood, two more in the eighth off of Wesley Wright and a single run in the ninth off of Brian Schlitter.

While the Cubs could not buy a hit, the Phillies scored runs in five of their last six at bats and finished the day with seven runs on 11 hits.

With Friday’s loss, the Cubs dropped to 1-3 on the season.

Welington Castillo collected the Cubs’ first hit of the season at Wrigley with two down in the second inning. After Roberto Hernandez retired Schierholtz (lineout to center) and Valbuena (foul out to Ruiz), Castillo crushed a 1-0 pitch from Hernandez out to left. The ball ripped through the wind and ended up in the bleachers, 1-0 Cubs. Sweeney struck out swinging to end the inning.

The Cubs tacked on a run in the third after Travis Wood wiggled out of a small jam in the top half of the inning. Darwin Barney led off the inning with a single to left off of Cody Asche’s glove. Wood bunted Barney to second. Emilio Bonifacio lined out to center for the second out. Starlin Castro hit a grounder to the hole at second. Chase Utley made a sliding stop but did not field the ball cleanly. Gary Jones waived Barney around third. Utley made a strong throw, but Barney beat it and slid in safe with the Cubs second run of the game … 2-0 Cubs. Rizzo popped out to Utley in shallow right to end the inning.

Marlon Byrd led off the fourth and hit a liner toward third. Valbuena did not catch the ball and ended up at first on E5. Ryan Howard hit a soft liner to right. Byrd advanced to third and Wood was in trouble with runners on the corners and no outs. Domonic Brown hit a grounder back up the middle that Castro did not field. Brown was given a hit and a RBI on a ball that Castro should have caught … 2-1 Cubs. Wood struck out Nix and retired Asche on a deep fly to left center. With runners on the corners and two outs, Hernandez grounded out to second for the third out. Wood needed 71 pitches, 45 for strikes, to complete four innings.

The Phillies took the lead in the fifth after Carlos Ruiz reached with a one-out single to right. Chase Utley followed and lifted Wood’s first pitch up into the wind. The ball kept carrying out to right center and ended up two rows deep in the bleachers … 3-2 Phillies. Wood struck out Marlon Byrd and retired Howard on a grounder to Valbuena in the shift to end the inning.

At the end of four and a half, the Cubs trailed the Phillies 3-2 … and it remained a one-run game until the seventh inning.

Travis Wood threw 94 pitches, 62 for strikes, over the first six innings and stayed in to start the seventh. Wood struck out pinch-hitter Tony Gwynn Jr. for the first out. Ben Revere singled to left and Renteria made the slow walk to the mound. Hector Rondon replaced Wood, Junior Lake took over in left, Sweeney moved to right and Schierholtz left the game. Rondon walked Carlos Ruiz. With Utley due up, Renteria went back to his pen for lefty Wesley Wright.

Wright fell behind Utley 2-0 before getting one over. Utley singled to left, Revere scored and the Phillies took a 4-2 lead. Marlon Byrd hit a swinging bunt to the right of the mound. Wright picked up the ball and threw out Byrd at first as Ruiz and Utley advanced to second and third. Ryan Howard flied out to Bonifacio at the vines in center to end the inning.

The Cubs went down in order, again, in the seventh before the Phillies added to their lead in the eighth.

Wesley Wright stayed in for the eighth and gave up a leadoff single to Domonic Brown. Nix popped up a bunt attempt to Wright for the first out. Ryne Sandberg sent in John Mayberry Jr. to hit for Justin De Fratus. Mayberry Jr. cranked a two-run homer to left and gave the Phillies an insurmountable 6-2 lead. Ben Revere singled to left and Renteria went back to his pen for Brian Schlitter. Carlos Ruiz grounded out to Castro for the third out.

The Phillies added another run in the ninth. Brian Schlitter issued a two-out walk to Ryan Howard after retiring Utley and Byrd. Domonic Brown doubled to left. Howard scored, 7-2 Phillies.

Jeff Samardzija takes on Cliff Lee on Saturday afternoon (1:20pm CDT).

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO and @TheCCO_Minors

Quote of the Day

"People who write about Spring Training not being necessary have never tried to throw a baseball." – Sandy Koufax