The rumor mill continues to churn, so we’ll have more to discuss later today, as well as a discussion of Carlos Zambrano’s return to Wrigley Field. Until then, Bullets…
- Travis Wood obviously bombed last night, but it was his first stumble in a long, long time. Might it have been the 11 day layoff between starts? “I don’t like making excuses so I will say [that wasn’t it],” Wood said. “Every time you get the ball it’s your day to pitch and you have to ready to go and I always am. It was 11 days with the All-Star break and everything but I got my work in, I prepared and everything. It just wasn’t my night tonight.” Wood says he’ll try to get back on the horse in St. Louis.
- For whatever it’s worth, Geovany Soto thinks Wood was actually throwing the ball well last night. “I felt in the fourth, and going into the fifth, it felt like [Wood's] command was there, but they were laying off some great pitches, and he normally gets swings on them,” Soto said. “It happens sometimes. I thought he threw the ball real well. … He’s been throwing the ball phenomenally. That’s a good lineup over there.”
- Reed Johnson offers high praise for Anthony Rizzo. “I don’t know if it’s going to be that tough for him,” Reed Johnson said of Rizzo’s ability to live up to the standard he’s already set, according to Paul Sullivan. “He has that demeanor where he’s really calm. He doesn’t get too high or too low, and obviously we haven’t seen too many lows from him this year. Even when things are going well for him, he doesn’t seem to get too excited. You know that when things going bad, it’s going to be the same way. You see those superstars throughout the league, and they all have that same demeanor. That’s a part of his game that’s going to help him the most — the attitude he brings to the field every day.”
- Jeff Samardzija, who starts today for the Cubs, says the rotation’s strength of late has been a self-reinforcing kind of thing. “When Paulie and Woody are throwing the way they’re throwing it makes our job easier as righties to come in and have a totally different look than what they showed,” Samardzija said. “Everybody is throwing well. We’re kind of riding each other right now. Nobody wants to be that guy that lets off the gas and lets a team get up on us. We’re having fun and having good competition between each other for sure.” Woody let off the gas last night, so we’ll see if Jeff can step back on it.
- Dale Sveum was eager to get Rafael Dolis and Jairo Ascencio work last night, so Wood’s early exit had a mild upside. So eager was Sveum, that the two relievers actually pitched in a simulated game before batting practice yesterday. The duo hadn’t appeared in a game since July 3.
- Bruce Miles looks at the possible rotation fill-ins if Ryan Dempster and/or Matt Garza are traded in the next two weeks. The options are … bleak.
- Ron Santo’s Hall of Fame induction is coming on Sunday.
- Anthony Rizzo and Tony Campana do some interviewing with each other, and – if you look to the right – there’s another video of Ron Swanson, Cubs Fan.
- MLBullets at BCB look at Ozzie Guillen’s return to Chicago, and his hurt feelings at the suggestion that the White Sox are better off without him.