Cubs waste another strong effort by Wood

ST. LOUIS -- Unfortunately both for himself and the Chicago Cubs, Travis Wood has been in this position before -- talking about a game in which he pitched well, but still came away with a loss.

“It wasn’t enough, really,” Wood said of his performance after a 5-2 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals Monday night.

Wood, whose record dropped to 5-6 despite a 2.74 ERA, registered his fourth consecutive quality start, only to see his record in those four games fall to 1-3.

“It’s tough for the team,” Wood said. “We’re scratching and clawing and trying to get everything we can right now. We’re trying to put together quality ballgames and falling a little short right now. We’re eventually going to get it together and string together some wins.”

Wood allowed just four hits through the game’s first six innings, three coming in a four-batter span in the fourth when the Cardinals took a 2-0 lead. Two more runs scored in a wild seventh inning that included a close call at the plate which went against the Cubs.

“He threw another good game,” said manager Dale Sveum. “To hold that offense down like he did… a couple of miscue plays and it’s a stellar outing for seven. It was another good game against the best offense in baseball.

“The last time he pitched against these guys we won 2-1. It’s been tough to score runs all year. Travis has been our best pitcher day-in and day-out. Every fifth day he has thrown six or seven innings and given up two or three runs, if not one.”

The start was Wood’s 14th of the season, and the 13th in which he has worked at least six innings. He has given up two earned runs or less in 10 of his starts.

Of the four runs he allowed Monday night, one was unearned. He did not walk a batter and struck out four.

“I thought I was making pitches and keeping them off-balance, but they got to me in the fourth,” Wood said. “They hit some good pitches; they did what they do.”

Unfortunately for the Cubs, the loss also continued a trend of losing to a team in the NL Central. The team is now 8-22 against the other four teams in the division, and have only played the division-leading Cardinals three times, going 1-2 -- the one win belonging to Wood.

“It’s a tough division,” Wood said. “That’s a great ballclub over there (the Cardinals). We just played the Reds and then we had Pittsburgh before them. They are good clubs and they are going to give you everything they’ve got.”