Travis Wood was the most exciting player the Cubs had before the all-star break.
Since the break, it's been all Junior Lake.
Wood struggled badly in Friday's 6-2 loss to the Dodgers, giving up 7 hits and 5 runs in 31⁄3 innings. He threw 41 pitches in the third inning alone on the way to 96 for the game.
Lake, on the other hand, made some history Friday by recording his second career 4-hit game. That career spans all of 16 games.
Since at least 1916, no other Cubs player had collected a pair of 4-hit games over his first 16 played. Lake became the first major-leaguer to accomplish the feat since Bo Hart of St. Louis did it in June 2003.
"I feel so good," Lake said through interpreter Franklin Font, a coaching-staff assistant. "I'm seeing the ball real well now."
Lake wound up 4-for-5. He has 24 hits in 67 at-bats (.358).
As for Wood, manager Dale Sveum absolved him of too much blame because Wood has been the team's most consistent pitcher. He fell to 7-8 with a 3.05 ERA.
"Obviously, it took four months for something like that to happen," Sveum said. "Not too many starters will go through a whole season without having a little hiccup."
Wood did not have his best command.
"That's kind of how it ended up," he said. "I was battling all day. You can't have 5 walks with the team they are over there as well as they've been playing."
Cougars working out:
This is the first year of the Cubs' affiliation with the Class A Kane County Cougars of the Midwest League.
The Cougars play in Geneva, about an hour west of Wrigley Field, depending on the traffic.
"It's great, having it so close," Cubs team president Theo Epstein said. "When it really sinks in is when you see the Kane County players on an off-day coming here to Wrigley and taking in a game and watching (batting practice) and chatting up the big-league players. That makes me feel great."
The Cubs named Kane County Cougars first baseman Dan Vogelbach the organization's minor-league player of the month for July. Matt Loosen, who spent time with Class AA Tennessee and Class A Daytona, is the Cubs' minor-league pitcher of the month.
Vogelbach, 20, batted .330 with 4 doubles, 4 home runs, 19 RBI, a .417 on-base percentage and a .500 slugging mark in 27 July games.
Loosen, 24, combined to go 3-0 with a 0.96 ERA in 6 July starts between Daytona and Tennessee, holding opponents to a .162 batting average while striking out 33 compared with 14 walks. On July 8 at Dunedin, he pitched Daytona's first 9-inning no hitter in 17 years.
Cubs help Marmol out:
Ex-Cubs closer Carlos Marmol finished the game for the Dodgers and got booed.
He gave up a leadoff double in the ninth to Julio Borbon, but Borbon got thrown out at third base on a pitch in the dirt. Dale Sveum was not happy with the ill-advised play. The Cubs did not score in the inning.
"First and second and nobody out changes that ballgame around a lot," Sveum said. "When you're down by 4 runs and there's no outs, you can stand on second base because we've got to get a bunch of hits. It's not the greatest thing I've ever seen."
Borbon on the rocks:
The Cubs designated outfielder Julio Borbon for assignment immediately after Friday's game.