Wood Failed to Win Again in Cubs’ 3-2 Defeat
On Wednesday afternoon, Travis Wood pitched his third quality start in the month of August but it was still not good enough for a win. Instead, the Cubs offense was handcuffed in the 3-2 defeat to the Milwaukee Brewers. They were swept in Milwaukee and ended a road trip with one win and six losses.
It must be frustrating for the starting southpaw. He was in quest for his first win in August to snap an eight-game winless streak. However, Wood needs to wait another five days to do so.
Wood (4-10) pitched well to keep the Cubs alive by allowing three runs on six hits in seven innings. At one point, he retired 10 of 11 batters he faced but he gave up one run too many, a solo home run to Ryan Braun which decided the outcome of the game.
The Cubs were the first to put on scoreboard. David DeJesus led off the opening inning belting his sixth home run of the season to give the Cubs a 1-0 lead. It was his fourth in eight games.
The Brewers jumped over the Cubs though at their bottom first to take a 2-1 lead. Norichika Aoki hit a lead-off double off Wood and with one out, he was brought home on Braun’s double. Another out later, Braun also tallied on Corey Hart’s double to left field.
The game-winning run occurred in the sixth; Braun belted a solo shot, his league-leading 34th home run, to give the Brewers a 3-1 lead.
Bryan LaHair responded to Braun in the following frame with one of his own to cut the Brewers lead into half. The long ball went onto the upper deck in the right field for his 15th dinger of the year. It was his first home run since July 4.
However, it was the last run the Cubs were able to score off the Brewers pitchers. Jim Henderson pitched a scoreless eighth and John Axford preserved his team’s victory in the ninth for his 20th save, his second in many days.
In the eighth, Steve Clevenger made a tremendous defensive play to retire Carlos Gomez to reach home. Wood tossed a potential wild pitch while Gomez was stealing third. When the ball was about to reach the backstop, Gomez decided to run for home. Clevenger chased after the ball and threw it to Wood to retire the home-coming Gomez.
Starter Yovani Gallardo (13-8) outdueled Wood by conceding two runs on four hits in seven frames. He struck out nine Cubs and walked two.
The Cubs had a few chances earlier in the contest but failed to cash in. With less than two outs, they got runners on base in the second and third frames but Gallardo induced the batters to hit into inning-ending double plays.
With one out in the fourth, Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo hit back-to-back singles but have been stranded after LaHair was struck out and Clevenger was retired with a groundout.
After the Cubs were struck out 12 times by the Brewers on Monday and Tuesday nights, they were fanned 13 times in Wednesday’s defeat.
By: Patrick Au Yeung