With the tough luck, lack of run support Travis Wood has been receiving in recent starts, the Cubs lefty may almost be wishing that he is included on the trading block as well. Wood tallied another quality start, going six innings with just three hits allowed, dropping his ERA to 2.69. Unfortunately for him the Cubs offense could only muster one hit off of Oakland starter Dan Straily and just two hits total for the afternoon.
Jul 4, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Travis Wood (37) pitches the ball against the Oakland Athletics during the sixth inning at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Cubs fans also got their first in game looks at newly acquired Matt Guerrier and Pedro Strop. Guerrier flashed a hint of Carlos Marmol in him, allowing a pair of singles and a pair of walks. His catcher Welington Castillo helped him out by catching the A’s Chris Young trying to steal second, but the two out walk ended up coming back to haunt him when Castillo had a passed ball that allowed the lone run of the game to score. To Guerrier’s credit, he was able to avoid a major collapse as was common with Marmol, but again it was the lack of offense on Thursday that was most glaring and the main reason for the loss. Strop tossed a perfect inning for his Cubs debut, as the front office hopes he can return to 2012 form, when he had a 2.44 ERA and 5-2 record in relief over 70 appearances. His career 5.4 walks per nine innings ratio is of concern, so control is an area of improvement that hopefully comes along as he continues to mature as a pitcher.
The good news is that the Cubs return home for a weekend set against the NL best Pirates before making the short trip across town for a make up game against the White Sox on Monday.