Well, it’s the rubber game between the Cubs and the Dodgers, and it was supposed to be Matt Garza going for the Cubs – I like those chances. Instead, it’s Travis Wood, whom I’m excited to see (in the “I want to see what he looks like” sense), but who probably doesn’t give the Cubs quite as good a chance to win as Garza might have.
Wood has been pitching at AAA Iowa to start the year, and his first-glance results haven’t been great (1-3, 5.08 ERA, 1.518 WHIP). But there are a couple things to consider: (1) he’s striking out 9.5 per 9 (that’s awesome) and walking just 2.5 per 9, which are some of the best figures of his minor league career, and (2) the PCL is a hitter’s paradise where the league-wide ERA is right around 4.50. Wood is a fly ball pitcher, currently pitching in a league where fly balls frequently find the seats. Also, we’re talking about just about 28 innings. There are reasons to believe Wood’s 5.08 ERA doesn’t tell the whole story.
On the other side, the Cubs will face Aaron Harang, who isn’t the same guy he was with the Reds (thank Dusty for that), but is still decent. He hasn’t shown it yet this year, though. The Cubs frequently help guys in that situation.
Super Joe is in the lineup in favor of Ian Stewart, who also has been bitten by the “flu-like symptoms” bug, and Welington Castillo finally gets another start. Blake DeWitt, as you may have seen earlier, has been DFA’d to make room for Wood.
It’s a WGN game today, so just about everyone should be watching Wood’s debut.
UPDATE: The tarp is down as a major storm blows through. It’s supposed to pass by, though, so we’ll probably still have baseball. Just a minor delay is expected right now.
Los Angeles Dodgers (18-9) at Chicago Cubs (10-17), 1:20pm CT on WGN.
Game Thread and Series Preview
The Game Thread lives here. You should participate in the madness. And, of course, for those who aren’t into message board-style game threads, please feel free to use the comments on this post for your in-game commentary/outbursts.
Aaron Harang (1-2, 5.72 ERA, 1.553 WHIP)
Travis Wood (0-0, -.– ERA, no other stats yet)
Los Angels Dodgers Lineup
1. Dee Gordon, SS
2. Mark Ellis, 2B
Matt Kemp, CF (hamstring issue, was just scratched)
4. Andre Ethier, RF
5. Juan Rivera, LF
6. Jerry Hairston, Jr., 3B
7. James Loney, 1B
8. A.J. Ellis, C
9. Aaron Harang, P
Chicago Cubs Lineup
1. David DeJesus, RF
2. Tony Campana, CF
3. Starlin Castro, SS
4. Bryan LaHair, 1B
5. Alfonso Soriano, LF
6. Joe Mather, 3B
7. Darwin Barney, 2B
8. Welington Castillo, C
9. Travis Wood, P