Travis Wood made his first start since replacing Chris Volstad as the fifth starter in the Cubs rotation. He was impressive tonight as a pitcher, offensively, and defensively. In the third inning, he hit a long double, which was just shy of going out of the ballpark.
Wood pitched 5 2/3 innigs and allowed two runs, one of which was scored after he left the game with two outs and a runner at first base. He walked two batters and struck out three. "Travis was great,'' Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "He did a great job. … He was really, really good. He kept the ball down. He had a good changeup — 12 mph off his fastball, with really good fade. He didn't use much of anything else (as an off-speed pitch).''
Alfonso Soriano's home run was the Cubs' only run scored. Sveum needs to do what he said and shake up the lineup to see what happens. I say, "Why not?"
|Alfonso Soriano homers in tonight's game against the Astros (photo from cubs.com)|
|Tony Campana dives for third over the Astros' Matt Downs after advancing on a wild pickoff throw in the eighth. (Getty photo)|
Sveum will miss tomorrow's finale in Houston to attend his son's high school graduation in Scottsdale, Arizona. "He'll be graduating, so most of that time, I'll be looking at my phone [for updates]," Sveum said. Bench coach Jamie Quirk will take over on Wednesday.
The two teams will play tomorrow at 7:05pm CT, where Jeff Samardzija will start for the Cubs and try to earn his fifth win.