Sunday, May 18, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Cubs 4, Brewers 2
By Doug Padilla
CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs posted just their second series win of the season with a 4-2 victory Sunday over the Milwaukee Brewers.
How it happened: Welington Castillo and Mike Olt hit home runs to provide the Cubs’ offense in the victory. Travis Wood was solid, giving up two runs on two hits over seven innings. His only mistake was the two-run home run he allowed to Rickie Weeks in the fifth. Hector Rondon closed out the ninth inning for his fifth save. The Cubs posted consecutive victories for just the third time this season and the first time since winning three consecutive April 30-May 3. Despite the consecutive victories, the Cubs have lost 10 of their last 14 games.
What it means: Wood continues to be in his comfort zone at Wrigley Field. The left-hander improved to 3-1 with a 2.43 ERA in five home starts this season. On the road it has been a different story as he has gone 1-3 with a 8.02 ERA in four starts.
Outside the box: Perhaps the Cubs can adopt the Little League rule of six-inning games and save everybody a little time. With the lead after six innings the season, the Cubs improved to 14-2. When they are trailing after six innings this season, they are 1-21.
Off beat: The Cubs showed in the first inning that sometimes a pickoff play can be too perfect. With the Brewers’ Jean Segura on first base after a walk, Wood snapped a quick flat-footed throw to first base that the runner appeared not to see immediately. With plenty of time to make the catch and apply the tag, first baseman Anthony Rizzo closed his glove too quickly, dropped the ball and Segura scrambled back to the bag in time. Wood eventually loaded the bases on two more walks, but a ground ball for the third out got him out of the jam.
Up next: After an off day Monday, Cubs right-hander Jason Hammel (4-2, 3.06 ERA) will square off against New York Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka (6-0, 2.17) in the 7:05 p.m. start from Wrigley Field.