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Travis Wood is the New Carlos Zambrano and Other Bullets

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travis wood beardThere’s a fresh podcast episode coming later this morning, so stay tuned.

  • On Travis Wood’s grand slam yesterday, Jake Peavy made sure to emphasize that he wasn’t taking Wood too lightly. “I’ve seen every at-bat he had all year long,” Peavy said, per Cubs.com. “I watched him his last start. Homer Bailey struck him out, but he almost hit a ball out of the ballpark against Homer Bailey. He hit one on Waveland [Avenue]. I’ve seen every at-bat. We knew exactly what kind of athlete he was going in. We would never be caught unprepared like that. I just didn’t make pitches.” Wood is now hitting .292/.320/.583 on the year, and has already accumulated 0.5 WAR from his bat this year. The Crosstown Classic was missing Carlos Zambrano’s antics, but we all got to see his bat in action.
  • Alfonso Soriano told folks yesterday that, while he was happy the Cubs won the Crosstown Cup, it isn’t the trophy he wants. And to that I’d say, while I’m happy the Cubs won the Crosstown Cup, if Soriano wants a chance at a slightly more important trophy this year, he’s probably going to have to be traded to a contender.

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  • Does Dale Sveum see a scenario where Carlos Marmol becomes the closer again this year? “I hope not,” Sveum told the media. Of course, he didn’t mean that as a shot at Marmol. He meant only that he hopes Kevin Gregg, who has been excellent, continues to be excellent, and there’s no need to make a change.
  • Jon Greenberg offers parting thoughts on the Crosstown Classic, including this bit: “The Crosstown Cup, sans beer, will be on tour throughout the North Side for the next month and is available for Wrigley rooftop parties, bar mitzvahs and street festivals. Unless, of course, Theo Epstein flips it for a promising Class-A trophy with a broken handle. Stay tuned.” Oh, Jon.
  • Sveum is all about his starting catcher Welington Castillo, who he says is well on his way to becoming one of the elite backstops in the game. “Weli is becoming one of the better defensive catchers in the game,” Sveum told Bruce Levine. “We know about his ability to throw runners out and he has great mechanics hitting. It is just about getting those 500 to 1,000 at-bats. He is really close to becoming one of the elite catchers in the game if not already.”
  • The man who planted a backpack that he thought contained a bomb at Wrigley Field three years ago was sentenced to 23 years in prison.

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  • Cubs pitchers now have 19 RBI this month, an NL record. If Matt Garza can drive in a couple more today, they’ll break the MLB record.
  • Michael Bowden did accept his assignment to AAA Iowa, so he remains with the Cubs. That’s good.
  • How embarrassing: Jeff Samardzija lost a shootout to Paul Konerko at the Blackhawks game on Wednesday.

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Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor of Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation.

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