Sunday, July 1, 2012

Travis Wood stellar as Cubs win 3-0 and sweep Astros; Castro and LaHair selected for All-Star Game

The Cubs shutout the Houston Astros 3-0 at Wrigley Field today, which also completes the sweep.  Travis Wood started for the Cubs and pitched a stellar game as he allowed just three hits in 7-2/3 scoreless innings.

Travis Wood was excellent as he led the Cubs to a 3-0 shutout of the Astros on Sunday
The weather was not looking too promising right before the scheduled 1:20pm start time, but the storms just missed Wrigley Field and dropped a few sprinkles before the game was able to start at 2:15pm.

The view from the Captain Morgan Club around 1pm before Sunday's Cubs game against the Astros
I was at the game and really enjoyed watching the Cubs play a good game.  There was no score until the sixth inning, when the Cubs put three runs on the board.   Travis Wood led off with a double and scored on Anthony Rizzo's single.  Then Starlin Castro was intentionally walked and Jeff Baker hit a double to drive in Rizzo and Castro.

Rizzo now has three game-winning RBIs in his five games so far since joining the Cubs.  "It's been a lot of fun, a whirlwind," Rizzo said.

Anthony Rizzo provided the game-winning RBI on Sunday against the Astros
"That was another pretty dominating outing," manager Dale Sveum said about Wood's performance today.  "That was about as good as it gets, even though he had one of those last time too."

Wood has allowed only eight hits and walked only one in 14 2/3 innings in his last two games.  "I'm so relaxed out there and things keep rolling into place," said Wood, who started the season at Triple-A Iowa.  Wood tipped his cap to the crowd of 37,389 at Wrigley Field, who gave him a standing ovation when he was pulled in the eighth inning.

Travis Wood leaves the game in the 8th inning

Travis Wood receives a standing ovation from the fans at Wrigley as he leaves the game in the 8th inning
"I love hitting and being on the bases," Wood said.  "Since it's part of the game, I feel I try to be as good as I can.  You're just helping yourself out there."

The Cubs have now won three of their last four series and 10 of their last 19 games, but remain in last place in the NL Central.

In other Cubs news, Starlin Castro and Bryan LaHair have been selected to represent the Cubs and the National League in the All-Star game.  It's Castro's second straight year in the All-Star game and LaHair's first.

“I just couldn't stop staring at the [information] package, I was kinda like in awe,” LaHair said when Sveum announced the news at a team meeting before Sunday's game.  “It's like another dream that came true for me.”

Cubs' first-base coach Dave McKay also earned the honor to be at the All-Star game for being on the coaching staff of the World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals during the 2011 season.

Tomorrow the Cubs will travel to Atlanta and play a four-game series against the Braves, starting at 6:10pm CT tomorrow.  Jeff Samardzija will start for the Cubs and try for his sixth win of the season, even though he is 0-4 with a 12.27 ERA in his past four games.

Following are some more photos that I took at today's game:

Sign at O'Malley's bar in Wrigleyville

Darwin Barney and Anthony Rizzo watch Shawn Camp warm up in the 8th inning

Starlin Castro and Darwin Barney hug after the Cubs shutout the Astros 3-0

Cubs players and coaches celebrate their win on the field

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