Game Eight – Cubs 5, Reds 0
WP – Travis Wood (1-1) LP – Jason Marquis (0-1) Save – None
Travis Wood allowed three Reds to reach base over the first seven innings of the game. Wood put together one of his best starts in a Cubs’ uniform. Anthony Rizzo gave Wood all the runs he would need in the first inning with a two-run homer as the Cubs shut out the Reds on Wednesday night at the old ballyard.
Travis Wood worked extremely well with Miguel Montero and found an early rhythm. Wood threw strikes and pitched ahead in the count for a majority of his outing. Wood retired the first 10 batters he faced and did not allow a hit until two outs in the fourth.
Wood took a two-hit shutout into the eighth, but was lifted after the first two batters reached base. Phil Coke, with help from Starlin Castro, kept the Reds off the board in the eighth.
Travis Wood scattered three hits with two walks and seven strikeouts. Wood threw 99 pitches, 64 for strikes, in seven-plus innings.
Brian Schlitter recorded the final three outs after replacing an injured Neil Ramirez. Joe Maddon had to make a change in the ninth after Ramirez threw three pitches to Joey Votto. Ramirez left with a sore right shoulder and is scheduled for an MRI. Based on Maddon’s statements after the game, it does not look good and Ramirez is headed for the disabled list.
Cubs’ pitching gave up four hits with three walks and eight strikeouts in the combined shut out over the Reds.
Dexter Fowler (2-for-4 with a double, a walk and two runs scored) once again jump started the offense. Fowler led off the game with a double to left and scored when Anthony Rizzo (1-for-4 with a home run, two RBI and a walk) launched his first homer of the season through the wind and into the construction zone in right field.
Every player in Maddon’s starting nine, including Travis Wood, collected at least one hit in Wednesday’s finale.
Jonathan Herrera (1-for-4 with a RBI) singled in Starlin Castro (2-for-3 with a double, a walk and a run scored) in the second with the Cubs’ third run. And Jorge Soler (1-for-3 with a walk, a HBP and a RBI) collected another RBI when Jason Marquis plunked him with the bases loaded in the second.
Miguel Montero (1-for-3 with a SF RBI) capped the Cubs scoring in the fourth inning with a sac fly to center with the bases loaded that plated Dexter Fowler.
The Cubs scored five runs on 11 hits with four walks. The Cubs finished the game 2-for-11 with RISP, left 10 men on base and struck out six times.
Starlin Castro had a terrific night in the field and at the plate. Castro not only reached base three times in four plate appearances, but he turned in several excellent plays in the field. And the double play Castro started in the eighth should be shown with the top plays of the day.
For those scoring at home, that’s back-to-back series wins for the Chicago Cubs.
After Travis Wood set down the Reds in order in the first inning (15 pitches, 11 strikes), Dexter Fowler went with a 1-1 offering from Jason Marquis and doubled to left. Anthony Rizzo pulled a 1-1 pitch through the wind and into the construction zone beyond the right field wall. Rizzo’s first longball on the young season gave the Cubs a 2-0 lead. Jason Marquis struck out Soler and Montero swinging. Chris Coghlan reached on a bunt single. Brayan Pena threw out Coghlan trying to steal second to end the inning.
After one complete, the Cubs led 2-0.
Starlin Castro walked to start the second inning. Joe Maddon called for a hit and run on a 1-1 pitch to Alcantara. Arismendy Alcantara singled to left, Castro held at second and Travis Wood had a chance to help himself. Wood struck out swinging.
Jonathan Herrera singled to right center on a 3-2 pitch. Castro scored, 3-0 Cubs. Fowler struck out swinging on a 3-2 pitch. But Herrera was running with the pitch and made it to second. Marquis intentionally walked Anthony Rizzo and loaded the bases for Jorge Soler.
Marquis jumped out in front of Soler 1-2 before missing his spot by a foot. Instead of trying to get Soler to chase an outside pitch, Marquis plunked Soler on the left shoulder. In real time, it appeared Soler was hit in the head, replays showed otherwise and Soler popped up and went to first. Alcantara scored, 4-0 Cubs. Montero grounded out to second for the third out.
The Cubs had a 4-0 lead after two innings.
Travis Wood completed his third perfect inning. Wood retired the first nine batters he faced on 37 pitches, 27 for strikes.
The Cubs could not cash in a one out double by Starlin Castro in the third. The Cubs had a 4-0 lead after three innings.
Travis Wood got Billy Hamilton to fly out to center for the first out in the fourth, 10 in a row for Wood. Joey Votto walked with one out in the fourth. After Todd Frazier flied out to center, Brandon Phillips singled to right … first hit of the night off Travis Wood. With runners on first and second with two down, Marlon Byrd grounded out to Castro to end the inning.
The Cubs added on in the fourth inning.
Dexter Fowler singled to center with one out and moved to third on a fielding error by Joey Votto that allowed Rizzo to reach. Jorge Soler walked to load the bases.
Miguel Montero lifted Marquis’ first pitch to center. Hamilton hauled it in, Fowler tagged and scored 5-0 Cubs. Coghlan flied out to center to end the inning.
After four innings, the Cubs led 5-0.
The Cubs were unable to tack on to their lead, but the offense didn’t need to outscore the pitching staff Wednesday night.
Travis Wood took a two-hit shutout into the eighth. Maddon went to his pen after Pena singled and Cozart walked to start the eighth. Phil Coke replaced Wood and Starlin Castro helped keep the shutout intact. Kris Negron hit a grounder back up the middle. Castro made a diving stop on a ball ticketed for center, flipped to Herrera and the Cubs turned the 6-4-3 double play. Billy Hamilton grounded out to third to end the inning.
Neil Ramirez started the ninth but three pitches into his outing, Ramirez left the game with soreness in his right shoulder. Brian Schlitter replaced Ramirez and walked Votto. Schlitter retired three of the next four batters to close out the game … and the series.
Thursday is an off day for the Cubs. The Cubs open a three-game series against the Padres at Wrigley Field on Friday afternoon (1:20pm CDT). Jason Hammel is scheduled to face James Shields in game one.