Travis Wood outduels Jake Peavy as Cubs knock White Sox out of first

Travis Wood outduels Jake Peavy as Cubs knock White Sox out of first

This was a much different game than yesterday.  After the Cubs bludgeoned the White Sox with 5 HRs and 15 hits, they struggled to get much going against RHP Jake Peavy, who retired 16 in a row at one point.  Travis Wood matched him almost pitch for pitch as the two engaged in an old-fashioned pitcher's duel.

On the Mound

Travis Wood had some mixed results.  He struck out 5 and gave up just the one run on 4 hits, but he also walked 4 batters.  He wasn't missing by a whole lot, however.  He was unable to get several borderline calls on inside pitches on RH batters.  Overall it was a very good performance -- and with Peavy dealing on the other end, it couldn't have come at a better time.  Wood earned his first win of the season, with emphasis on the word earned.

The Cubs mixed and matched Shawn Camp, James Russell, and Manny Corpas with varying degrees of success, but all 3 managed to hold the lead.

And then the Cubs brought in Carlos Marmol.

It wasn't pretty, but Marmol threw enough strikes to get out of the 9th inning to preserve the one run lead.  He did walk AJ Pierzynski to bring the winning run to the plate, but retired Orlando Hudson on a weak ground ball to first to get th save.

At the Plate

The Cubs mounted one rally and it was in the 3rd inning.  It started on an odd play in which 3B Orlando Hudson fielded a groundball hit by Geovany Soto and threw wide to first.  1B Paul Konerko attempted to swipe Soto with the tag but missed.  In his effort to evade the tag, Soto ran to the right of first base without touching it, then had to scramble back and dive as Konerko was unable to tag him out for the second time.

Tony Campana (2 for 3) then hit an infield single off to put runners on first and second.  After both players advanced on a wild pitch, David DeJesus (2 for 4) singled them both home for all the runs the Cubs would need.

The Lowdown

The Cubs knocked the Sox out of first place and clinched the series victory with the win and go for the sweep tomorrow.  Randy Wells pitches in place of Ryan Dempster, who was recently placed on the DL.  He is opposed by Gavin Floyd.  Both pitchers have struggled this season, so I'm not expecting a repeat of today's game.

The game also featured some good defensive plays. Wood snagged a sharp ground ball to his glove side, while Darwin Barney made a leaping snare on a line drive.

And then there was this circus catch by Starlin Castro...

Filed under: Game Recap

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    I had to quit watching after Sveum pulled Wood out of the game. I couldn't have taken seeing the bullpen blow it. I thought Wood did pitch very well, and the 4 walks did come mostly from borderline calls that didn't go his way. I also loved the way the defense backed him up tonight.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Agreed. It was a pretty good game for the Cubs, even if it wasn't a real comfortable one. Cubs couldn't do much at the plate, but helped themselves in the field..while the Sox hurt themselves. It was almost as if the roles were reversed. The better team found a way to lose.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Even had the Cubs lost this one, it would be encouraging about Wood. It might just be that we have 3 solid SPs (assuming we keep Garza) to build on and IF we are kept in the game 3/5 games, on average, that bodes well, imo. We have the makings of better run production in the not too distant future, so the good days may not be as far off as some think.

  • Did anyone see the replay of Campana being picked off?

    Was he out? From his reaction on the one replay I saw which didn't actually show the tag it seemed he was pretty sure he should have been called safe. Sounds like the umpiring was less than optimal for the game....

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    In reply to Northside Neuman:

    Hard to tell from the only angle I saw.

    It was nice to see Peavy lose.

  • In reply to Just Win:

    My wife is a huge Sox fan and she cannot stand Peavy.

  • In reply to Northside Neuman:

    I thought he was safe. Tag was at his waist and ump thought otherwise. Ump was wrong about that part, but it was close.

  • It's hard to tell if he was out. Did anyone catch Marmol after he recorded the last out? He had harsh expletive laced remarks toward Pierczynski. He's such an irritant. He's consistently voted the most disliked player in MLB. I am so glad the Cubs don't get those types of players. Reinsdorf seems to have a penchant for employing those types of players.

  • In reply to Greg Shuey:

    I wonder if it was the cocky way AJ flipped his bat after he walked. It would have irritated me.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I'm pretty sure that's what it was. After he did that, I was like, "The hell? Just take your base, fool."

  • In reply to Ricardo:

    Agreed. Or some creative, R-rated version of that.

  • My ire was raised when the Trib staff wrote all the stories about how playing the Cubs gave the Sox this big advantage over the Tigers and Indians, and how a 6-0 City Series was a foregone conclusion.

    I wish I could laugh the smarky laugh like the one kid in The Simpsons.

  • In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rX7wtNOkuHo

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Thanx! ;^]

  • Mistake putting Marmol back in the closer's role. He's looking better, but still walks too many peeps and just isn't suited there. It basically comes down to the other team's advanced scouting. If it reads "Don't swing," he's gonna blow the lead.

    And I gotta admit, though people were high on Stewart's defense at third, I never saw it. He constantly dropped balls taking them out of his mitt and constantly over dove balls. I see it with Valbuena though. Consistent double plays with him in there.

  • In reply to Carne Harris:

    Valbuena also has a pretty nice arm over there. Much better than I expected. I knew he had good hands and good enough range to play SS.

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    Random observation..... did anybody else think after he pitched out of ninth Peavy thought for a moment he had won and started walking towards Pierzynski or am I mistaken in this observation?

  • In reply to James Knott:

    Ha! I didn't notice that. Maybe Peavy was quite proud of his performance and felt he deserved a victory despite being on the short end of the scoreboard.

  • Man I hate watching Cubs' games on WGN and having to listen to H. Harrelson. He is SO freaking annoying. I can't stand his "He Gone" calls after someone on the opposing team strikes out...he thinks all the umps are biased against the White Sox. He goes on terrible rants about how unfair and unlucky the White Sox have been. I seriously dislike him, almost to the level of hate. Most of the time I could care less about anything White Sox-related like any good Cubs' fan, but I can't stand "The Hawk".

    I loved listening to my favorite Cubs' commentator, the late, great Ron Santo. Yes, he was biased and he occasionally would become too invested in the games, but the frustration he felt was real and you could empathize with him. He was so loyal and so invested in the Cubs' that you understood where he is coming from. "The Hawk" just rubs me as that "drunk uncle" at family functions who is slightly racist, hates Obama and thinks the whole world is against him. Seriously, listen to the way he calls games. He calls the White Sox the "good guys". There are no 'bad guys' or 'good guys' in baseball. WTH?

    So unprofessional and so biased...Thank The Big Guy Upstairs I'm not a White Sox fan. Also, S. Stone rubs me the wrong way too now, but compared to 'The Hawk' it's like a mild annoying dog yelping.

  • In reply to I miss Ron Santo:

    I couldn't agree more with your comments. His "you can put it on the board, yes!" is hokey, to say the least.

  • In reply to cubs1969:

    Hokey is the word I would use as well...good choice.

  • In reply to I miss Ron Santo:

    Haha...love the rant. I'm no fan of Harrelson either and I suspect many non-Sox fans don't like him as well. So you're definitely not alone there.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I agree with all three (cubs1969, John & I miss Ron Santo)! Santo was a homer but I never remember him discrediting the opponent or disrespecting the opponent. He would give credit to an opponent's skills. He'd say, "You can't do that! You can't pitch that there! He's too good of a hitter!"

    Conversely, when the Harrelson does games, when they are losing to the "bad guys" it's because the Sox did it to themselves, Sox allowed the beatdown and offers no credit to the opponent. When the Sox are winning, he credits the opponent. Why? He's trying to convince his listeners that's how good the Sox are.

    As far as Stone, the oldest age in the book applies, "Follow the money." When he worked for the Cubs, he told us help was on the way in minors. Players were better than what they appeared, the Cubs were about to turn the tide. He would tell us that we were enjoying chicken salad but it was really chicken excretion. Now that he's not on payroll, he runs them into the ground. I've lost a lot of respect for him. His loyalty is to the dollar not to sincere values. He's a sellout.

  • In reply to Greg Shuey:

    Hawk is just awful, but it is fun to watch sometimes when the Sox are losing and he leaves dead air for like a minute or more. As for Stone, he used to be honest in his analysis of the Cubs and all teams when he was working for the Cubs. Since he left the Cubs, he is always negative about the Cubs and never tells it like it is about the Sox at all. Sold out to Reinsdorf. In 2008, he was analyzing for 670am and just listening to him without knowing the teams records you would have thought Sox had the best record in the league and Cubs were also fans.

  • In reply to Teddy KGB:

    Should say Cubs were awful, damn autocorrect

  • I thought Marmol looked good. Quite a few first pitch strikes. Sure he walked AJ, but that was mostly due to a good plate approach and then overthrowing a fastball. He was on the plate last night and mixing it up nicely. He wasn't overthrowing his slider. Not sure what there is to complain about.

  • In reply to Cubswin4harry:

    Not a whole lot to complain about, just the walk and, like always, it takes him a lot of pitches because he fills up the count...but other than that he was fine. It's something you have to live with when it comes to Marmol though, good approach or not, he's going to walk a guy here or there and he's just not going to have a lot of 2 or 3 pitch outs.

  • Nice to win a road series against anyone....a little nicer to win one against the Sox.

    Thought the defensive subs at the end of the game were a bit odd. Ended the game with Campana in LF, DJ in CF and Reed in RF with Clevenger at 1B. Not sure why Dale didn't move Reed to LF (where he's played more), Campana to CF (where his range is a bigger factor) and DJ back to RF (where he's most comfortable) and LaHair to 1B to keep his bat in the line-up for extras. In the end it worked out just fine, but I just didn't seem like the best defensive team was on the field given the circumstances.

  • In reply to cowboy2024:

    Maybe since DeJesus will soon be the everyday CF, Dale wanted to let him know that he trusts him there defensively. That's all I could think of.

  • In reply to Cubswin4harry:

    I can buy that...and I guess I understand leaving Clevenger at 1B since he's the back-up catcher.

  • Wow, I am down here in Southern Illinois, so I have rarely heard the White Sox announcers before. What a bunch of whiners. They are right up there with the Cardinals announcers.
    Travis Wood is an exciting player in terms of his upside. His ball was really alive last night, and his command is getting much better. Too think he is only 25 years old, tremendous potential. Theo and Jed have a great eye for talent. And he is making the minimum, and only hitting pre abitration next season, while it would have taken 5 or 6 million a year to retain Marshall. Trade is looking astute.

  • Although Im not sold on Wood yet, you are right on the "money". I know that there has been a lot of consternation about why the Cubs are so concerned with every dollar since they are a big-market team (trading Marshall, leaving Rizzo down until his service date, etc). But what I hope we all realize is that every dollar saved by these transactions will likely go to wise free agent investments down the road.

    You don't want millions tied up in long term bullpen contracts. Or paid to a young player a year earlier than needed. Trading Marshall and waiting on Rizzo will likely turn into 15-20mm in savings. This can be invested in a proven ace in 2014, for example.

    Ideally a team has only a few top end contracts. A proven ace, an outfield slugger, and an All-Star caliber infielder or two. The rest should be pre-arb or arb-eligible types and mid-range vets like DeJesus. It looks like that's what the FO is setting the table for.

  • In reply to Cubswin4harry:

    Agreed Cw4H! Nice analysis.

  • I like Wood as well. He's a tremendous athlete and I think he's going to be one of those late-blooming lefties and has chance to be in the Cubs rotation for years to come. He's starting to show flashes of it, just needs to be more consistent.

  • Reminds me a lot of a younger CJ Wilson. He learns to hit that inside corner against right handers, look out.

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