Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Cubs still have (Travis) Wood but lose 8th straight; Tony Campana = Superman?; Wellington Castillo to the DL

The Cubs lost 2-1 to the Houston Astros and increase their losing streak to eight games in a row. 

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)
The defensive hightlight of the game was Tony Campana's Superman-like dive over Astros' third baseman Matt Downs to reach third base safely after a pick-off attempt at first base.  Campana was pinch-running for Reed Johnson after he singled.  What a play!  But unfortunately the play was wasted since Starlin Castro and Soriano both struck out and left Campana stranded on third.

Tony Campana dives for third over the Astros' Matt Downs after advancing on a wild pickoff throw in the eighth. (Getty photo)
The Cubs officially placed catcher Wellington Castillo on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained MCL in his right knee in order to make room on the roster for Wood.  Steve Clevenger is projected to come off the disabled list on Monday.

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.

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