When posting last night’s game thread, I was full of doom and gloom about the Cubs’ chances while facing Clayton Kershaw. None of you scolded me for being a Debbie Downer, so I’m assuming you all had the same idea as me. Travis Wood pitched deeper into the game and allowed one fewer run than the mighty Kershaw, and the bullpen was able to hang onto a lead. The final result, Cubs 3, Dodgers 2. How about that Travis Wood?
“[Wood] matched [Kershaw] obviously pitch for pitch, and actually out-did him,” Sveum said. “Woody was awesome to go seven innings against that lineup. That was as good of stuff as he’s had in a long time. The ball was coming out of his hand really, really well.”
Wood lost to the Dodgers on Aug. 2 at Wrigley Field, giving up five runs over an abbreviated 3 1/3-innings outing. Tuesday was much improved.
“Wood was an All-Star,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “He’s been having success by staying out of the middle of the plate. He didn’t do it in Chicago, but he did a nice job tonight.”
One key in getting Kershaw out of the game early (5.2 innings) was a first inning in which the Cubs made him throw 29 pitches.
“I think that was huge for us,” Navarro said. “We got his pitch count up a little bit. I knew Kershaw, and I knew he was going to throw at least six innings. We did a great job as a team. It was a great group effort and we did what we were supposed to do.”
Especially considering we saw the likes of Cody Ransom, Darnell McDonald and Cole Gillespie in the lineup.
In case you missed it yesterday, the Cubs announced that their top four prospects will be playing in the Arizona Fall League, along with some others. Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, Jorge Soler and Albert Almora will all be playing together in Mesa.
“I’m very excited,” Bryant said. “I don’t much about [the AFL]. I’m new to this whole process, but I know there are lot of good players who have gone to the Fall League. I’m excited I get to continue playing baseball. The games will only help me in my development against some very good competition.”
The Cubs project Bryant, Almora, Baez and Soler to be key pieces in the team’s future. Now, they’ll be teammates.
“That’s huge,” Bryant said about being with the other prospects. “To get to play 30 plus games with these guys, it’ll only help us in the future. Hopefully, we can develop chemistry so heading into next year, we can make things easier for ourselves.”
And you can all come save the day after the All Star Break next year. Looking a little nearer in the future, the Cubs will have a chance to win the series against the Dodgers today. Starting for the Cubs will be Edwin Jackson (7-13, 5.00). After a stellar July, Jackson has struggled, including his last start when he blew a six run lead. Ricky Nolasco (5-1, 2.53) will take the mound for the Dodgers. Looks like another David vs. Goliath game.
Game time is 2:10 Central and you’ll be able to watch on CSN.