ST. LOUIS – The irony of the Chicago Cubs' offensive output Monday night against the St. Louis Cardinals wasn’t lost on winning pitcher Travis Wood. He was the beneficiary of a season-high 20 hits and 17 runs, numbers rotation-mate Jeff Samardzija can only dream of.
Despite a miniscule 1.45 ERA through eight starts, Samardzija has yet to win a game, and the Cubs are 1-7 in those contests. He’s getting an average of 1.88 runs every time he takes the mound. His teammates know he deserves better than a 0-3 record.
The Cubs have scored a total of 15 runs in Samardzija’s eight starts, prompting some sympathy from Wood.
“I instantly came in here [the clubhouse] and gave Samardzija a hug and said ‘Sorry,’” Wood said after Monday’s game. “It’s tough for Jeff. He’s out there giving us everything he’s got, throwing outstanding baseball. We’re going to do everything we can to get him a win, for sure.”
Per the Elias Sports Bureau, Samardzija is already the first pitcher since at least 1900 to begin the season with eight consecutive starts while giving up three runs or fewer without earning a victory. He’s due to get his next chance Thursday against the Cardinals.
Beanballs: Wood hit two Cardinals batters in the fifth inning Monday, then got hit himself the very next inning.
“The one to [Jhonny] Peralta, [I was] just going cutter in and I just pulled it a bit,” Wood explained. “But the [Greg] Garcia can’t happen. It’s almost like I forgot how to throw a baseball for a second.”
Wood led off the top of the sixth and was immediately plunked by pitcher Eric Fornataro. The intent was pretty obvious.
“I guess that’s the limit,” Wood said. “Hit two guys and you have to get hit yourself. We ended up getting two runs out of it.”