Only two more weeks left of the 2013 season and year two of the Chicago Cubs rebuild. The week started off promising for the Cubs as they took two out of three from the playoff hopeful Cincinnati Reds. However, against the equally hopeful Pittsburgh Pirates, the club pulled off only one win in a four game series.
Monday saw the Cubs defeat the Cincinnati Reds 2-0 in a pitching duel between Reds veteran starter Bronson Arroyo and former Reds pitcher, Travis Wood. Wood had yet to defeat his former club, but finally broke through with a sterling outing, throwing seven innings and punching out seven.
The Cubs have have been awful against the Reds the last few seasons. Even after the Cubs took two of three from the Reds, their season record against Cincinnati is 5-14, showing how much farther the Cubs have to go in order to win in the NL Central.
On the other hand, the Cubs have not been as miserable against the Pittsburgh Pirates with a 5-7 record heading into a four game set. Unfortunately, the Cubs would leave Pittsburgh with a 6-10 record after losing three out of four to the Pirates.
The Cubs only managed four total runs in the three losses they had to Pittsburgh, while the Pirates scored a total of eight in those games. The Cubs seem to have had the starting pitching to win the series but the bats didn’t back up their starters, a frequent occurrence in the 2013 season.
Just as Travis Wood pitched well on Monday, he pitched almost equally as well against the Pirates in the series finale on Sunday. Wood surrendered only two earned runs but didn’t get the victory as Cubs reliever Pedro Strop surrendered the Pirates’ winning run in the eighth and the series victory.
Next week the Cubs finish off their 11-game road trip in Milwaukee for their final meeting against the Brewers for the season and then return home to play the Atlanta Braves in a weekend.