Wood Unable to Slow Down the Big Red Machine – Reds 4, Cubs 2

Game Eighty-Eight: Cubs 2, Reds 4

WP – Johnny Cueto (9-6) LP – Travis Wood (7-7) Save – Aroldis Chapman (18)

The Reds dominance over the Cubs continued in game one of Tuesday’s day-night doubleheader as the Cubs fell behind early and could string together any hits against Johnny Cueto and the Reds’ bullpen.

Travis Wood had another rough outing. Wood gave up three runs in the first inning on a single by Brandon Phillips and a two-run homer by Jay Bruce on the first pitch from Travis Wood. Wood labored through the first three innings but did not allow the Reds to add to their led. Six of the Reds’ eight hits off Wood came in the first three frames. Wood settled down and pitched clean innings in the fourth and fifth, but he could not get out of the sixth without allowing another run.

Travis Wood surrendered four runs, three earned, on eight hits with two walks and five strikeouts. Wood threw 109 pitches, 65 for strikes, in 5 1/3 innings.

The bullpen and the defense kept the Reds from putting any more runs on the board, but the Cubs offense does not have the bats right now to climb out of a hole against a quality pitching staff.

The Cubs managed only one hit over the first five innings against Johnny Cueto.

PrintChris Coghlan (1-for-3 with a home run, HBP) led off the sixth with his third home run of the season. Ryan Sweeney (2-for-5 with a home run) followed Coghlan with a solo homer, his first of the year. Coghlan and Sweeney’s back-to-back jacks in the sixth accounted for the Cubs only two runs.

John Baker (1-for-3 with a walk), Justin Ruggiano (1-for-1), Darwin Barney (1-for-4) and Junior Lake (1-for-1) collected the Cubs other hits. The Cubs managed seven hits and three walks (2-for-6 with RISP, 9 LOB).

With the loss in game one, the Cubs dropped to 38-50 on the season.

Travis Wood fell behind Billy Hamilton 3-1 to start his afternoon. Hamilton bunted toward first and reached easily to jump-start the Reds’ first. Hamilton stole second with Todd Frazier at the plate. Frazier grounded out to third. Hamilton held at second but scored when Brandon Phillips singled into right past a diving Anthony Rizzo. Jay Bruce stepped in and crushed Wood’s first pitch. The ball sailed into the stands in right and just 14 minutes after the game’s first pitch, the Cubs were down 3-0. Wood retired Mesoraco on a grounder to third but walked Chris Heisey and gave up a single to Ramon Santiago. Wood wiggled out of a first and third two out jam when Zack Cozart popped out to Castro. Travis Wood threw 30 pitches, 16 for strikes, in the first inning.

After one complete, the Cubs trailed 3-0.

Travis Wood pitched his way in and out of trouble in the second and third innings, but did not allow the Reds to tack on. Wood settled down and retired the Reds in order in both the fourth and fifth innings.

The game went to the sixth with the Cubs down 3-0 and only one hit in the first five innings.

Chris Coghlan led off the sixth and pulled a 2-2 pitch from Johnny Cueto into the stands in right. Coghlan’s third homer of the season cut the Reds lead to 3-1. Ryan Sweeney then cranked his first home run of the season into the stands in right. And two batters into the inning, the Cubs were down 3-2. Rizzo chased on a 3-2 pitch and struck out swinging for the first out. Starlin Castro was robbed of a basehit by a diving Chris Heisey in left and Zack Cozart took a hit away from Luis Valbuena on a liner hit to center to end the inning. Cueto needed 83 pitches, 58 for strikes, to complete six innings.

Travis Wood took the hill for the bottom of the sixth only down one run. Wood retired Mesoraco on a fly out to right. Chris Heisey reached on a single to left just out of the reach of Starlin Castro. Castro got a glove on the ball and slowed it down, but he was not able to field the ball. Heisey took off for second on the first pitch to Santiago. Baker made a strong throw, but the ball hit Heisey and was kicked into left field. Heisey went to third. Rick Renteria brought his infield in and the light-hitting Ramon Santiago lined a single back up the middle and into center. Heisey scored and the Cubs took a 4-2 lead. Renteria decided that was enough for Wood and went to his pen for Brian Schlitter. Cozart reached on an infield single to third. With runners on first and second with one down, Cueto hit for himself and bunted both runners up ninety feet. Billy Hamilton flied out to Sweeney in center to end the inning.

After six innings, the Reds had a 4-2 lead.

Nate Schierholtz led off the seventh and flied out to left. John Baker singled to right on a 3-2 pitch. Darwin Barney pulled a 0-1 pitch down the third baseline. Santiago got to the ball but could not get field it and the Cubs had runners on first and second with one out. Justin Ruggiano hit for Schlitter and singled to left center. Baker was held at third for the second time on the afternoon. With the bases loaded, one  down and two lefties due up, Bryan Price went to his pen for southpaw Manny Parra. Coghlan struck out swinging and Sweeney grounded out to second to end the inning.

Justin Grimm pitched a 1-2-3 bottom of the seventh, and the game went to the eighth with the Cubs down 4-2.

And that is the way the game ended. Anthony Rizzo walked in the eighth and Junior Lake singled in the ninth, but that was all for the Cubs offense.

Tsuyoshi Wada faces David Holmberg in his big league debut in game two Tuesday night (6:10pm CDT).

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Quote of the Day

"Baseball, just a game as simple as a ball and a bat. Yet, as complex as the American spirit it symbolizes." - Ernie Harwell
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