Game One Hundred Sixteen – Cubs (49-66) vs. Rays (57-59)
- Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 188, 844
- Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Travis Wood (7-9, 5.08/1.54/4.20) vs. Alex Cobb (7-6, 3.52/1.21/3.58)
The Cubs wrap-up their series against the Rays this afternoon not only in search of a win to salvage the finale of the three-game series but to actually put the ball in play on a regular basis. Over the first two games (18 innings) the Cubs have struck out 27 times, 12 on Friday and 15 on Saturday afternoon. And it will not get any easier for the offense with Alex Cobb on the hill. The Rays have the pitching staff to be a real challenge in the post-season if Joe Maddon can sneak his team in the tournament.
Rick Renteria should run out as right-handed a lineup as possible this afternoon. Cobb has had less success this year against righties (264/.344/.314) than lefties (.214/.272/.304).
Travis Wood takes the mound for the Cubs this afternoon in need of a complete outing. Like Edwin Jackson, Wood has struggled early in his outings and ran up his pitch count while putting his team in an early hole before turning things over to the bullpen. Wood needs to finish the season on a positive note but he’s continued to have command problems since the break.
The Wrigley Field 100 celebration continues today with the seventh of nine Throwback Sundays. Both the Cubs and Rays will wear throwbacks, or throwback inspired jerseys today.
The Cubs will honor the ’88 team, the first to play under the lights, that was managed by Don Zimmer and featured the likes of Ryne Sandberg, Mark Grace, Shawon Dunston, Andre Dawson, Jody Davis, Greg Maddux, Rick Sutcliffe, Jamie Moyer, Scott Sanderson and Goose Gossage but finished in fourth place in the NL Eastern Division with a 77-85 record.
The Rays, and not Devil Rays, will don fauxbacks this afternoon that look very close to a certain team on the West Coast that knocked the Cubs out of the ’84 playoffs with the appropriate tribute to Don Zimmer still on the sleeve.
Today all starts with Travis Wood …
Travis Wood is coming off a quality start in Colorado, his first such outing since June 26. Wood still struggled early in the game before somewhat settling down. Wood has not been able to find his command this season and until he begins hitting his spots Wood will continue to run up his pitch count, ERA and WHIP while reducing his average innings per start.
Chris Bosio needs to see Travis Wood build on his last outing. Wood showed a year ago that when he able to locate he can be a good big league starter, but over the last two-plus months he’s just not been able to find a groove.
Travis Wood is 3-3 in 11 starts at Wrigley this year with a 4.05 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP. In 66 2/3 innings, Wood has given up 61 hits with 26 walks and 70 strikeouts. While he has not been able to maintain a 3:1 strikeout to walk ratio this season, in order for Wood to finish the year on a positive note he will have to quit pitching from behind in the count.
Travis Wood makes his first start against the Rays today. James Loney (0-for-7 with two walks) and Logan Forsythe (0-for-4) are the only two players on the Rays active roster that have faced Wood in a big league ballgame.
Alex Cobb has been very good this season and the Rays are 6-4 the last 10 times he’s taken the bump. Cobb is coming off a no decision against the Athletics in which he allowed two runs on eight hits in 5 2/3 innings. Cobb walked four and struck out four batters. In his two starts prior to facing Oakland, Cobb held the Brewers to one run on three hits in eight innings with 12 strikeouts and shutout the Cardinals for seven innings with 10 strikeouts.
Alex Cobb is 6-2 in nine road starts this season with a 3.42 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP. And he is 3-0 in his last four starts with a 1.71 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP … 21 hits allowed in 26 1/3 innings with eight walks and 28 strikeouts.
The Cubs get their first look at Alex Cobb today … and no one on the active roster has faced Cobb in a regular season big league ballgame.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …