Nothing but quality for Cubs' Wood
You have to go some to get Travis Wood and Hippo Vaughn into the same sentence.
Wood has been going some.
The Cubs left-hander sparkled again Monday night in a 9-1 victory over the Colorado Rockies at Wrigley Field.
Wood worked 7 shutout innings, giving up 2 hits as the Cubs won their third straight to improve to 16-22. It was Wood's eighth straight quality start to open the season.
Lefty Vaughn was the only Cubs starter to record 8 straight quality starts to begin a season since the Cubs moved to Wrigley Field in 1916. Vaughn did it in 1919.
As far as even hearing of Vaughn, Wood admitted he hadn't.
"No, to be perfectly honest," he said.
Of course, Vaughn wouldn't have heard of the term "quality start" back in his day. Nevertheless, Wood ran his record to 4-2 and lowered his ERA from 2.33 to 2.03.
Before the game, all the talk was on the Cubs signing their "core" players, such as Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo, to long-term deals. Is Wood inching his way into that group?
"As far as I'm concerned, he's put himself there," manager Dale Sveum said. "What he's done since spring training of last year is pretty impressive."
Count Wood interested in sticking around long term, too.
"I would love to be here for a long time with the Cubs, but that's not in my hands, and I'm not really thinking about that right now at all," he said. "We've got to go out and win tomorrow, and I've got four more days to get ready for my next start."
The Cubs outhit the Rockies 14-3, including a homer by Alfonso Soriano, a triple by Nate Schierholtz and 6 doubles.
"When you don't walk many people, it usually works," Sveum said. "Timely hitting, slugging percentage, all the above."
Pressure, what pressure?
Shortstop Starlin Castro said there should be no pressure on first baseman Anthony Rizzo, who agreed to a seven-year, $41 million contract extension Monday. Last year Castro signed a seven-year, $60 million deal.
"Not any pressure," Castro said. "It's kind of backward. You have your contract. You don't have to worry about anything. Your family's good. You only worry about playing baseball and winning with your team."
Pitcher Matt Garza threw in the bullpen before Monday's game. He will make his next rehab start Thursday for Class AAA Iowa. The Cubs will determine his next step after that. Garza is coming back from a strained left lat muscle.
"He had a great bullpen today," Dale Sveum said. "He threw with a lot of aggressiveness in the bullpen today."
Garza worked 3 scoreless innings Saturday for Class AA Tennessee.
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