Travis Wood took matters into his own hands.
The All-Star lefty didn’t have to stomach another no-decision or hard-luck loss. He pounded the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday night at Wrigley Field, throwing seven innings and driving in four runs to lead the Cubs to a 5-1 victory.
“He was a one-man wrecking crew,” manager Rick Renteria said.
Dating back to the start of last season, the Cubs had averaged 2.81 runs while Wood was on the mound. That was the lowest mark among big-league starting pitchers during that time.
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After a rain delay that lasted 61 minutes, Wood came out and limited the Diamondbacks (5-17) to one run while putting up nine strikeouts against zero walks. He also crushed a three-run homer into the left-field bleachers and drove a two-out RBI double to deep center off Arizona starter Bronson Arroyo.
It got to the point where Arizona manager Kirk Gibson pulled Arroyo with the bases loaded in the sixth inning, bringing in J.J. Putz to face Wood, who looked like he was trying to hit one onto Waveland Avenue and bounced into an inning-ending double play.
“It feels good that they kind of respect you up there and you know you’re doing your job,” said Wood, who has seven career home runs.
Wood is a man of few words who lets his all-around game do the talking for him. He’s 1-2 with a 2.52 ERA through four starts, building off last year’s breakthrough season and looking like a core piece for the Cubs (6-12).
“Anything I can do to help the team and help myself out,” Wood said. “I’m not just out there in the nine-hole to fill a spot. You got to try to be the best you can be.”