Cubs have eight extra-base hits in 9-1 rout over Rockies
BY TONI GINNETTI firstname.lastname@example.org May 13, 2013 10:01PM
CHICAGO, IL - MAY 13: Anthony Rizzo (L) of the Chicago Cubs and Starlin Castro #13 score during the seventh inning against the Colorado Rockies on May 13, 2013 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
Updated: May 13, 2013 10:52PM
Cubs pitcher Travis Wood may not be in the same star realm as teammate Anthony Rizzo and his new multi-year $41 million contract.
But the two have something in common for now: they’ve come a long way in less than a year.
For Rizzo, 23, it’s been about getting a foothold in the majors after being in Class AAA a year ago.
For Wood, who pitched his eighth straight quality start in Monday’s 9-1 victory over Colorado, it’s been about living up to his potential after he, too, was starting the season in the minors a year ago.
``You got a taste of the character he had after the spring training he had [last year] and how he held himself accountable,’’ manager Dale Sveum said. ``He learned how to pitch instead of doing things by the seat of his pants.’’
Last season, Wood didn’t make the major league club out of spring training after being acquired in a trade with Cincinnati for reliever Sean Marshall. He wasn’t called up for good until the end of May.
This year, he leads the majors in quality starts, with his latest a effort Monday a seven-inning outing of shutout ball and only two hits against a Rockies team that ``crushes lefthanded pitchers,’’ Sveum said.
``I’ve been able to have good command and the team has played good behind me,’’ said Wood, who improved to 4-2 and even had two of the Cubs’ 14 hits, including one of the six doubles.
Wood is only the second Cubs lefthander to start a season with eight straight quality starts (at least six innings with no more than three earned runs allows). The other was Hippo Vaughn in 1919.
Catcher Welington Castillo has said Wood’s strides since last season have been impressive.
``But Weli is a different guy, too, to be honest,’’ Wood said.
``He’s helped me tremendously.’’
``We’ve been working together and we’ve been successful,’’ Castillo said. ``We’re on the same page.’’
Wood, 26, would like to be on the same page as Rizzo and Starlin Castro as someone considered an important ``core’’ player for the Cubs future.
``I would love to be here a long time with the Cubs, but it’s out of my hands,’’ Wood said.
``As far as I’m concerned, he’s put himself there,’’ Sveum said. ``With what he’s done since spring training a year ago, over some 30 starts, it’s impressive.’’
Wood limited the Rockies to only two hits through seven innings. Their only run came on their third hit—a ninth inning home run by Josh Rutledge off Carlos Marmol.
The Cubs had eight extra bases hits, improving their National League-best total to 131. It included Alfonso Soriano’s first inning two-run homer, the 376th of his career tying him with Carlton Fisk for 69th on the all-time list.
Nate Schierholtz had a triple and the Cubs had six doubles, including from Soriano, Wood, David DeJesus, Castro and two from Castillo.
They matched their season high in runs and won their third straight overall, matching their season best.