Like the flame that burns the candle. Cubs 3 Phillies Squa-doosh.

Like the flame that burns the candle. Cubs 3 Phillies Squa-doosh.

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.

CLOSING TIME

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.

Boxscore.

Comments

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  • That's 8-6, .571 for June and 15-13, .536 for the past month. Not too shabby for a team everyone seems to think is on the way to the top draft pick in 2015.

  • Nicely pitched game by Wood,.... and just enough offense to win,....

    Kind of the refrain for most of the last month as go our Cubs when they do win.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    I turned on the game in the 6th and JD said that the ump wasn't calling any low strikes. Makes Wood's outing sound even better.

  • I'll probably get some flack for asking this, but what the hell: is there any reason why Renteria shouldn't bat Wood either 8th (or maybe even 7th) when he's pitching? He's a far superior hitter to either Baker or Whiteside and also better than Barney. I'm not trying to be the 2nd coming of LaRussa, but Wood is such a good hitter (and the other guys are so bad) that I'm not sure why this doesn't happen. Just an ego thing?

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    In reply to Pura Vida:

    Ego about sums it up. It is considered highly insulting to a position player to have the pitcher bat before him.

    That being said I agree with you about batting him higher in the order for the very reasons you listed. I also wouldn't mind batting Lake after him and telling Lake "You are a second lead off hitter" and then maybe occasionally present some RBI opportunities to Valbuena in the lead-off spot.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    I would suggest that if Baker or Barney were to be thin-skinned about the move that Renteria simply say, "Then f***ing hit better." I'm not sure why anyone hitting .192 (Barney), .145 (Baker) or .053 (Whiteside) should have a big ego anyway.

  • In reply to Pura Vida:

    Agreed. I was at the game and showed up a little bit late. I got to see Barney and Whiteside lead off the second inning. Between some other struggles on the team, I thought to myself "Well, it looks like we're batting with half a team today..."

  • You may have coined it. Nails?

  • In reply to TheMightyGin:

    I like it. "Nails" Ramirez.

  • Ha ha.

    Nails isn't terrible. But We'll keep the suggestion booth open a little while longer.

  • In reply to felzz:

    Well as long as you're asking...

    Drop a letter from his name and you get "Nil."
    or
    In keeping with his surname, "Nada."

    But I still think I like "Nails."

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Nicknames just evolve. Birth names are given.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Neil Ramirez is simply "The Beast"

  • In reply to brightfuture14:

    I think that one suits Kris Bryant more. From The Sandlot: “Whatever goes over that fence… stays there. It becomes the property of The Beast… Forever.”

  • Did the Cubs sign Martarano? I think the signing site says so, but it is hard to tell with it being over-bandwidth

  • In reply to springs:

    I just checked the CCDT website and it did indeed have Martarano as signed. It also had Carson Sands signed.

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    In reply to John57:

    Martarano said on his twitter account today that he was going to Mesa to play baseball

  • In reply to John57:

    That really is awesome. I think, after Schwarber, the best four players we drafted (in terms of potential/ceiling) are Cease, Gilliam, Sands and Martarano.

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    This is off topic, but I don't think the Cubs will miss Bonifacio. He was still in the line-up every day because of his crazy hot start to the season, but I just checked his split stats: he's hitting .215 since May 1 (.214 in May, .216 in June), with OBP's of .256 (May) and .257 (June). So, he was consistent, but terrible. Sadly, he was still better than a few other guys getting regular playing time, though... But definitely not the guy who hit everything for the first 2 weeks of the season.

    Too bad AA isn't quite ready to step in to take his place

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    Just did a bit more math. He went 19 for 38 over his first 8 games. Since then he's hit .222

  • In reply to brober34:

    i've said it numerous times before, players have eight game hot/cold streaks all of the time - they are just exacerbated by the first week of the season. if a player ended the year with a .250 average, would anybody care if he had an eight game hot streak in august?

  • In reply to brober34:

    Yeah, that production can be replaced even by a healthy Sweeney getting back to where he was last season, so pretty easily. I like Bonifacio, but he's replaceable. There's a reason players are still available in February. The things that this team might miss are the versatility and speed.

  • Ranirez has excellent stuff. From what Ive seen Vizcaiano might even have better stuff. Now if we can get a lefty who makes other teams nervous......

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