So the Cubs, with the worst road record in the national league and starting a pitcher who has a road ERA over 7 and BA against over .300 go in to Philadelphia and just slam the door on the down trodden Phillies. That, my friends is why they play the games. On a beautiful day in front of some miserable Philadelphia fans, the Cubs went to work. Before Phillie fans could mutter their first "boo" of the afternoon, Anthony Rizzo deposited an A.J. Burnett fastball into the right field bleachers…or are they seats? whatever. Ball deposited. The Cubs would add two more. One in the third when Starlin Castro singled home Justin Ruggiano, and Castro would feel the sensation of running across home plate when he would score on a Nate Schierholtz single in the 6th inning. Meanwhile Travis Wood had his best outing of the year and kept the over priced, overrated Phillie bats at bay. Another series to the mighty, mighty Cubs. Let's go somewhere nice…..which means going to New Jersey.
THE PITCHER WHO
Well that was vintage 2013 Travis Wood who took the mound today. 8 innings, 3 hits, no runs, 3 walks while striking out 6. The Phillies were helpless. Was it a video session? A side session where Travis rediscovered his release point. A swift kick in the ass speech by a teammate or pitching coach? Who knows and who cares as long as these are the results. Very good job. Neil Ramirez closed out the game for the Cubs.
ONE OR THE OTHER
It's no coincidence that when the Cubs win, either Rizzo or Castro is the offensive star of the game. Today it was both, Did you know Rizzo leads the NL in home runs on the road. Meanwhile Castro is looking dead red, finding dead red and hitting dead red. Hopefully it keeps going.
I liked Hector Rondon as a closer. I LOVE Neil Ramirez as a closer. Guy has just been nails. Philly batters went up against him more defeated than the previous guy. Just felt like a formality. Needs entrance music and probably a nickname. But lets get a few more save opportunities first.
So nice to leave Philly. Even nicer to be leaving Philly with a winning series under our belt. Off to sweaty, silly Miami and Tax Fraud stadium for a a 3 game set against the Marlins. Jason Hammel will take the bump in what might be his last Cub start. Then Shark pitches in what sounds like could be his last start….. Well, if these are farewells, here's hoping they go out with a bang. Should be air-conditioned, should be somewhat interesting, and should definitely make you thankful not to be in Miami in the Middle of June. Good times. Onwards.