Game Sixty-Seven: Cubs 3, Phillies 0
WP – Travis Wood (7-5) LP – A.J. Burnett (4-6) Save – Neil Ramirez (3)
Travis Wood put together his best start of the season and combined with Neil Ramirez on a three-hit shutout of the Phillies on Sunday afternoon, the Cubs fifth shutout of the year. The Cubs took two of three in the weekend series in Philadelphia and won their first series on the road since last Sept. 9-11 in Cincinnati. Sunday’s victory also gave the Cubs the first winning series in Philadelphia since 2001. The Cubs were 0-8-2 in the previous 10 series at Citizens Bank Park.
After walking Ben Revere to start his afternoon, Travis Wood shut the Phillies offense down. Wood took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and ended up allowing only three singles in eight innings on the afternoon. Wood gave up a pair of hits in the sixth and one more in the eighth. Wood walked two and struck out six on 112 pitches, 67 for strikes, in eight innings.
Neil Ramirez retired the Phillies in order on 11 pitches in the ninth to close it out for Travis Wood. And Wood picked up his first career victory against the Phillies (1-1 in five starts).
Anthony Rizzo (1-for-4 with a home run) gave Wood all of the run support he would need in the first inning. Rizzo launched A.J. Burnett’s first pitch into the stands in right for his 14th home run of the season.
Starlin Castro (3-for-4 with a double, a RBI, a stolen base and a run scored) had a big game at the plate. Castro was responsible for the Cubs other two runs. Castro delivered a two-out single in the third that plated Justin Ruggiano (1-for-4 with a run scored) and scored the Cubs third run in the sixth. Castro led off the inning with a double to left and scored on a double by Nate Schierholtz (1-for-4 with a double and a RBI).
The Cubs managed eight hits off A.J. Burnett, three went for extra bases and led to runs.
With Sunday’s win (4-7 on Sunday in 2014), the Cubs improved to 28-39 on the season.
Anthony Rizzo put the Cubs on the board in the first inning. A.J. Burnett retired Valbuena (pop out to short) and Ruggiano (bunt back to the mound) quickly to start the game. Anthony Rizzo launched Burnett’s first pitch to deep right. The ball ended up in the stands and Rizzo’s 14th home run of the season put the Cubs up 1-0. Starlin Castro followed with a single to right and Ryan Sweeney also reached on a single to right. But Schierholtz flied out to right center to end the inning. What looked like would be a quick inning for Burnett turned in to a 14-pitch (10 for strikes) first inning.
Travis Wood worked around a leadoff walk and a stolen base by Ben Revere in the first. Wood threw 22 pitches, 14 for strikes, in his first inning of work.
After one complete, the Cubs led 1-0.
A.J. Burnett struck out Valbuena swinging to start the third inning. Justin Ruggiano followed with a single to center. A wild pitch with Rizzo at the plate allowed Ruggiano to move up ninety feet. Anthony Rizzo pulled a 3-2 pitch toward the hole at first. John Mayberry Jr. made an excellent diving stop, but did not field the ball cleanly. Mayberry finally grabbed the ball and tossed to Burnett at first. Rizzo appeared to beat the toss and was called safe. Ryne Sandberg asked for the play to be reviewed and the call on the field was overturned. So instead of runners on the corners and one out, Ruggiano was at third with two down. Starlin Castro pulled Burnett’s first pitch into left, Ruggiano trotted in … 2-0 Cubs. On a 1-0 pitch to Sweeney, Castro swiped second. Sweeney rolled out to Utley for the third out.
Travis Wood retired the Phillies in order in the third … 41 pitches for Wood after three, 31 for strikes.
The Cubs led 2-0 after three innings.
While Travis Wood kept the Phillies off the board and hitless through five innings, the Cubs could not tack on any runs against A.J. Burnett until the sixth inning.
Starlin Castro led off the sixth with a double to left on a 2-2 pitch. Ryan Sweeney flied out to deep right. Castro tagged and advanced to third with one out. Nate Schierholtz stepped in and drove a 1-2 pitch into left center. The ball hit off the wall, Castro scored and the Cubs took a 3-0 lead. Barney flied out to center and Whiteside popped out to Mayberry in foul ground to end the inning.
Travis Wood took the hill for the sixth inning with a 3-0 lead and a no hitter intact. Wood struck out A.J. Burnett swinging for the first out. Ben Revere pulled a 1-0 pitch into right for the Phillies first hit of the game. Jimmy Rollins followed with a single to left. And just like that, the Phillies had runners on first and second with one out. Chase Utley stepped in and Wood jammed him with a 1-0 pitch. Utley popped out to short for the second out. Marlon Byrd was jammed and he popped up the first pitch to Castro for the third out.
After six complete, the Cubs led 3-0.
The Cubs did nothing of the last three innings. And Travis Wood combined on a three-hit shutout with Neil Ramirez.
The Cubs open a three-game series Monday night (6:05pm CDT) in Miami. Jason Hammel is scheduled to face Tom Koehler in game one.