Thursday, April 4, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Cubs 3, Pirates 2
By Jesse Rogers
PITTSBURGH -- Here's a quick look at the Cubs 3-2 victory over the Pirates.
How it Happened: Travis Wood did his part on the mound and at the plate before the bullpen finished off the Pirates -- barely -- to take the opening series of the season. Wood scored the Cubs first run when Starlin Castro singled him home after he got a base-hit in the third inning. His six innings on the mound were as good as Jeff Samardzija's eight on Monday. He gave up just one hit and two walks -- and no runs. Nate Schierholtz hit a 2-run home run in the 9th which turned out to be the game-winning hit.
Carlos Marmol: Again he entered the game in the ninth with a 3-run lead and nearly blew it. After giving up a three hits and a walk Marmol got a strikeout and then induced Neil Walker into a game-ending double play with the tying run on third.
What it Means: The Cubs take two of three from the Pirates and do it with just enough offense. Injuries and cold weather might have contributed to a weaker performance at the plate but it's not hard to feel this is the way it might go for the Cubs, struggling to score runs. On the other hand their pitching was on the mark the whole series. Wood did what he needed to do: work both sides of the plate, up and down. He was great. The Pirates had very few dangerous innings. And the Marmol controversy is far from over.
What's Next: The 2-1 Cubs move on to Atlanta where they begin a string of 19 consecutive games against teams that were above .500 last season, 13 come against playoff teams. Scott Feldman makes his Cubs debut on Friday night.