Game Forty-Two – Cubs (14-27) vs. Brewers (27-16)
- Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 186, 844
- Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Travis Wood (3-4, 4.91/1.43/3.52) vs. Marco Estrada (3-1, 3.28/1.09/4.76)
The Cubs ended their three-game losing streak on Saturday afternoon behind an excellent outing from Edwin Jackson and have a chance to post their second series victory of the season today behind Travis Wood. The Cubs were scheduled to face Wily Peralta this afternoon, but instead, the offense will have the tough task of trying to beat Marco Estrada.
The Cubs have really struggled against Estrada over the last two-plus seasons (5-0 in eight games, seven starts, with a 2.62 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 33 hits, 10 walks and 48 strikeouts in 44 2/3 innings) and will have to change their approach in order to beat the right hander.
The Cubs will pay tribute to the ’37 team this afternoon. The ’37 Cubs finished second in the National League with a 93-61 record and the current players and coaching staff will don throwback uniforms for the third time this year, the second Throwback Sunday of a scheduled nine. The Brewers will also wear a jersey from around the same time period. Milwaukee did not have a Major League team in 1937. The Braves played their first season in Milwaukee in 1953.
Play the righties … If Rick Renteria would like to spend his first day off in 18 days with two consecutive win under his belt, he will load his lineup with right handed bats. Marco Estrada dominates left handed hitters (.147/.229/.286) and struggles against righties (.284/.327/.482). While Luis Valbuena took Estrada deep at Miller Park last month, Valbuena was the only lefty to square up Estrada.
This afternoon all begins with Travis Wood …
Travis Wood is in the middle of a bad stretch of starts. After beginning the season with 1-3 in five starts with a 3.52 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP, Wood is 2-1 in his last three outings with a 7.41 ERA and a 1.59 WHIP. Wood’s two victories in his last three starts further extenuate the value of a pitcher’s record. Wood has not pitched well at all over his last three outings.
Travis Wood has allowed 19 runs, 16 earned, on 19 hits with eight walks and 13 strikeouts in 17 innings. Wood has averaged just over five innings per start and the 27 baserunners (1.59 WHIP) are concerning. Wood was successful during the first month of the season because he was not walking batters (seven in 30 2/3 innings), that has not been the case over his last three games.
The offense had a big night the last time Wood took the hill and his win-loss record benefited from the 17 runs (20 hits) the Cubs scored. Wood allowed five runs, four earned, on five hits with three walks and four strikeouts in six innings. Wood has pitched extremely well at Wrigley Field this year and will face the Brewers for the second time this season.
Travis Wood is 2-1 in four starts at Wrigley with a 2.39 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP. Wood has limited teams to a .218 average in his home park. Wood’s string of rough starts began on April 26 in Milwaukee, so maybe he will be able to get back on track this afternoon.
The Brewers pounded Wood to the tune of five runs on seven hits with three walks. Wood struck out three and lasted 5 2/3 innings. Wood is 3-3 in nine career appearances, eight starts, versus the Brewers with a 3.83 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP.
Brewers Career Numbers against Travis Wood
Let’s get this out of the way, Marco Estrada has owned the Cubs for the last two-plus years. And until the team starts scoring runs against Estrada they will continue to lose season series to the Brewers. Estrada is a good, back-of-the-rotation starter, and his numbers against the rest of the league back up the statement.
After beginning the season 2-1 in five starts with a 2.87 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP, Estrada is 1-0 in his last three games with a 4.00 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP. Estrada’s strikeout to walk ratio has dropped significantly because teams have started laying off his pitch. Once the Cubs quit swinging at everything Estrada throws near the plate, they will start winning games in which Estrada pitches.
Marco Estrada beat the Pirates his last time out after allowing one run on six hits with two walks and eight strikeouts in six innings.
The crafty righty is 7-5 in 12 career starts against the Cubs with a 3.71 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP. And Estrada held the Cubs to three runs on four hits with no walks and a season-high nine strikeouts in a season-high 7 2/3 innings last month at Miller Park. All three runs scored on two home runs … a Luis Valbuena solo shot and a two-run blast by Welington Castillo.
Cubs Career Numbers against Marco Estrada
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …