Rapid Reaction: Cubs 5, Diamondbacks 1
April, 21, 2014
By Jesse Rogers
CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-1 on Monday night in the first game of a four-game series. Here’s a quick look at the game:
How it happened: Travis Wood hit and pitched his way to his first victory of the season as he homered and threw seven innings of one-run ball. After Welington Castillo drove in the game’s first run with an RBI single in the second inning, Wood followed with a three-run shot to left field. Two innings later, he drove in another run with a double to deep center. Meanwhile, the left-hander was great on the mound, giving up just six hits without a walk while striking out a career-high nine batters. The Diamondbacks' run came on Mark Trumbo's league-leading seventh home run, but that was Wood’s only blemish. Hector Rondon pitched a clean eighth inning, extending his scoreless streak from last season to 17.2 innings.
What it means: This was vintage Wood. He worked both sides of the plate, up and down -- and did it quickly. And he helped his cause with his bat. Wood is considered one of the better athletes on the team, and proved again why he’s one of the better pitchers -- probably one that the Cubs should lock up to a long-term contract sooner rather than later. He lowered his ERA to 2.52 and reminded everyone why he was the Cubs' lone All-Star last season. ... The Cubs improved to 6-12 on the season while Arizona fell to 5-17.
Wood at the plate: According to ESPN Stats & Information, Wood’s past four home runs have included a three-run shot (Monday), a solo blast (last July 28), a two-run homer (last May 19) and a grand slam (last May 30). The last pitcher to accomplish the “homer cycle” in less than a year was Larry Christenson of the Philadelphia Phillies in 1977-1978. ... It was the seventh home run of Wood's career. His four RBIs either matched or surpassed what four other Cubs in Monday's lineup have for this season. In fact, starter Bronson Arroyo was pulled as Wood came up for a third time, with the bases loaded in the sixth. Now that’s respect. Wood hit into a double play.
Arrieta pitches: Cubs starter Jake Arrieta threw 5.2 innings for Class-A Daytona on Monday night. He gave up three earned runs on five hits and two walks while striking out seven. He also gave up three home runs. The Cubs haven’t decided if Arrieta is ready to return from the disabled list, where he has been with a stiff shoulder since the season started. Manager Rick Renteria indicated that fifth starter Carlos Villanueva will get at least one more start later this week. Villanueva’s ERA is 10.93 after three starts and two relief appearances this season.
What’s next: Game 2 of the series takes place Tuesday night featuring Jason Hammel (2-1, 3.05 ERA) taking on Brandon McCarthy (0-3, 7.11 ERA).