All-Star selection looking good for Travis Wood
BY TONI GINNETTI firstname.lastname@example.org June 24, 2013 8:58PM
CHICAGO, IL- APRIL 9: Starting pitcher Travis Wood #37 of the Chicago Cubs delivers during the first inning against the Milwaukee Brewers on April 9, 2012 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Brian Kersey/Getty Images)
Updated: June 24, 2013 9:13PM
Left-hander Travis Wood is 5-6, but his major-league-leading 14 quality starts and his 2.85 ERA make him likely to be the lone Cubs representative in the All-Star Game on July 16 in New York.
Wood has held opposing hitters to a .198 average, but the Cubs haven’t given him much
‘‘When you’re throwing out [a 2.85 ERA] and you’re under .500, there’s a lot of reflection on things like run support or maybe your bullpen giving up your runs,’’ manager Dale Sveum said. ‘‘For the most part, our run production hasn’t been very good for these [starters] to take off.’’
Last season, shortstop Starlin Castro and first baseman Bryan LaHair were the Cubs’ All-Star representatives.
How it starts
Right-hander Jeff Samardzija has made 10 quality starts, including Sunday, when he allowed three earned runs in seven innings in a victory against the Houston Astros.
‘‘Just having him on the mound and his mentality, you love to play behind a guy like that,’’ Sveum said. ‘‘I think he’s still emerging [as a leader]. Establishment comes with complete success all the time; a consistency of being the same guy all the time, mentally and physically; not making mistakes later in the game; and finishing off games or [getting to] the eighth inning. He’s actually been pretty good at that when I send him back out [late in games].’’
The Cubs’ staff has made 45 quality starts, with the starters going 21-10 with 14 no-decisions in those games.
The 10-day, three-city road trip that begins Tuesday will be the Cubs’ last trip of the first half. It will be followed by a nine-game homestand leading into the All-Star break.
‘‘Milwaukee always plays us tough, and we’ll face three good pitchers,’’ Samardzija said. ‘‘Then Seattle and Oakland, where we’ll see nine hitters. Hopefully we can continue the momentum from [a 14-6 victory Sunday].’’