Wood, Cubs complete 'slam' of White Sox
So who needs the DH anyway?
The way things are going, Cubs pitchers might lead the fight against the National League ever adopting the designated-hitter rule.
Cubs scouting reportCubs vs. Arizona Diamondbacks at Wrigley Field
TV: Comcast SportsNet Friday: FOX Saturday; WGN Sunday
Radio: WGN 720-AM
Pitching matchups: The Cubs' Matt Garza (0-0) vs. Wade Miley (3-4) Friday at 1:20 p.m.; Jeff Samardzija (3-6) vs. Ian Kennedy (2-3) Saturday at 6:15 p.m.; Edwin Jackson (1-7) vs. Patrick Corbin (8-0) Sunday at 1:20 p.m.
At a glance: The Diamondbacks lead the NL West. Their pitchers entered Thursday fourth in the NL in ERA (3.38), while the Cubs were sixth (3.67). While the Mets' Matt Harvey gets all the attention, Corbin has a 1.71 ERA and 1.02 WHIP in addition to his perfect record so far. Paul Goldschmidt leads the offense with a line of .324/.407/.595 entering Thursday. He had 12 homers and 40 RBI.
Next: Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium, Tuesday-Wednesday
-- Bruce Miles
Once again, reporters wanted to talk to a Cubs pitcher about his hitting after Thursday's 8-3 victory over the White Sox at Wrigley Field.
The victory clinched the "Crosstown Cup" for the Cubs, who have beaten the Sox three times this week, with a makeup game still to come.
The star of the game for the Cubs was pitcher Travis Wood. Although he continued his remarkable run on the mound -- he's 5-3 with a 2.75 ERA -- item No. 1 on the interview agenda was Wood's hitting.
The left-handed pitcher and right-handed batter singled in the second inning and hit a grand slam in the fourth.
The grand slam was the first by a Cubs pitcher since Jason Marquis did it on the road against the New York Mets in 2008. Before Wood, the last Cubs pitcher to hit a grand slam at Wrigley was Burt Hooton in 1972.
With the 4 more RBI, Cubs pitchers have 19 for May, a record for a National League pitching staff for one calendar month. The last team whose pitchers had more was the 1940 Detroit Tigers, with 20 RBI in August of that season.
"Our whole staff has been hitting," Wood said. "We take pride in our hitting, just being able to help ourselves out, just being able to handle the bat. That way we're not just a dead out.
"We try to go out there and eventually help ourselves out and get something going for the team."
Wood has 2 homers and 7 RBI this year. Scott Feldman has a homer and 6 RBI, and Jeff Samardzija has a homer and 2 batted in.
"Pretty impressive," said manager Dale Sveum, whose team has won four in a row to improve to 22-30. "Woody can flat-out hit. He hits any fastballs. They've all been a big key to a lot of these wins.
"They're not just getting a single and driving in a run. They're getting 2-run doubles and home runs and are able to put the games away."
Wood's pitching was just as impressive, especially on a day when the wind was blowing straight out at 24 mph. The Sox had no homers, while Nate Schierholtz and Luis Valbuena joined Wood by hitting solo shots.
"Keep the ball down," Wood said of his approach on the mound. "Honestly, I didn't do that very well the first 3½-4 innings. I was pitching up, and I was fortunate they were missing balls, popping them up just light enough to where they weren't going out of the ballpark because the wind was howling out.
"I was able to calm down and get the ball down a little bit."
As far as the Cup, the Cubs won their first since one began being presented in 2010. Players posed with it on the field after the game and had it on display in the clubhouse after the game. So maybe it means something after all.
"It's our in-state rival, same city," first baseman Anthony Rizzo said. "As far as the Cup, it's another series, but you want to win. We're getting hot at the right time. Hopefully we just keep taking off with it."
Added Wood: "It's absolutely awesome. We were in there just a minute ago holding the Cup up and everything. So it's nice. It brings a good feel to the clubhouse. Hopefully, we can build off that and keep rolling."
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