How it happened: The Cubs did a lot of their damage in the first two innings, jumping on Rockies starter Juan Nicasio. Alfonso Soriano hit a ball onto Waveland Ave. for a two-run, first-inning home run, then doubles by Travis Wood and Starlin Castro brought home three more in the second. They added on in the seventh on a Nate Schierholtz triple as Castro and Anthony Rizzo came around to score. Then David DeJesus drove in two with an eighth-inning single. Wood pitched magnificently, giving up very few hard hit balls. He lasted seven innings, giving up just two hits while walking three. The Rockies never mounted a serious threat to him though they had two on and two out in the seventh before Wood got Todd Helton to fly out to center. Carlos Marmol gave up a solo home run to Josh Rutledge in the ninth to end the shutout bid.
What it means: Wood lowered his team-leading ERA among starters to a miniscule 2.03. He got 12 outs via fly balls and nearly none were dangerous when they left the bat. He’s taken advantage of pitching in cold weather as the average temperature in his Wrigley starts has been 47 degrees. It was 49 at game time on Monday. And he’s thrown a quality start in each of his eight games this season, tying a 94 year-old team record to begin a season set by Hippo Vaughn. Of many surprises among the Cubs starters he might be the biggest. The Cubs have won three in a row, playing solid baseball in all aspects.
Outside the box: Matt Garza will make another rehab start at Triple-A Iowa on Thursday then the Cubs will evaluate if he’s ready to join the team. “We’ll evaluate after that start, Thursday in Iowa. He had a great bullpen today,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. ... Infielder Luis Valbuena is healing from an injured left hand. He didn’t start on Monday but was available to play the field or pinch-hit.