How it happened: The defeat to the Cardinals ended a disastrous weekend in which the Cubs were not only swept, they were outscored 23-1. Travis Wood was roughed up for the second consecutive start, giving up seven runs on nine hits over six innings. The Cubs were shut out in consecutive games for the first time this season.
What it means: After seven consecutive starts of allowing three earned runs or less, Wood has now given up 15 runs over his last two outings. Sunday’s start was also a rare rough one on the road for the left-hander. He entered with 2.73 ERA in five road starts, compared to a 4.86 ERA in six home starts.
Outside the box: Sunday’s defeat gives the Cubs a 38-56 record this season. Oddly enough, the 2011 team was also 38-56 through 94 games. The Cubs have dropped three consecutive games for the first time since a four-game losing streak June 20-24, but their recent run of success when they won 14 of 19 games helped them to get on pace with last season’s club.
Off beat: The Cubs had to wait until just before game time to make a roster move since left-hander Jeff Beliveau was en route from Albuquerque, where Triple-A Iowa was playing. Once he arrived about a half hour before first pitch, Rafael Dolis was sent down. Beliveau didn’t get much of a breather as he made his big-league debut with 1 2/3 scoreless innings. He gave up three hits with a walk and a strikeout.
Up next: The Cubs will send right-hander Jeff Samardzija (6-8, 4.57 ERA) to the mound at Pittsburgh in the opener of a three-game series. The Pirates will counter with left-hander Erik Bedard (5-10, 4.55) in the 6:05 p.m. CST start from PNC Park.