Cubs News Roundup: Olt Hits, Wood’s Struggles Return

If you feel like the Cubs seemingly always lose to the Pirates, you’d be right.

Sunday’s loss completed the sweep for the Buccos, and the Cubs are now 4-12 against them. Combining those numbers with another Central Division opponent, the Cincinnati Reds, the Cubs have a combined record of 9-23 against the two clubs. These results likely will need to improve for the Cubs to make some noise in the division next year.

In Sunday’s series finale, Travis Wood couldn’t make it out of the 2nd inning, perhaps a low point in what has been a disappointing season for him. With a high volume of pitching options brought into the organization this year (Jacob Turner, Felix Doubront, Tsuyoshi Wada and Dan Straily), it will be interesting to see if the Cubs decide to stick with Wood next year in the rotation.

Wood is only a year removed from an all-star season, but with emerging minor leaguers  such as Kyle Hendricks and Dallas Beeler joining the aforementioned additions, the Cubs may go in a different direction.

Other notes

* Left-hander Eric Jokisch, making his major league debut, came in to relieve Wood on Sunday. He pitched 4.1 innings and held the Pirates to one run. Jokisch posted a 3.58 ERA over 158.1 innings for Triple-A Iowa, striking out 143 and walking only 31. In 2013, he pitched a no-hitter for Double-A Tennessee.

* One positive item from Sunday’s game: Mike Olt had three hits with a walk and no strikeouts. The three hits were a career high.

* The Kane County Cougars have advanced to the Midwest League Finals, after defeating the Cedar Rapids Kernels 4-2 on Sunday. Starting pitcher Paul Blackburn pitched 5 shutout innings, striking out 7 and walking none.

* Cubs rookies are dressing up as super heroes and other characters for the upcoming road trip. Matt Szczur, who was dressed as Spiderman, posted a picture of the group, which also featured Jorge Soler as Superman and Jokisch and Hendricks as Mario and Luigi. The Tampa Bay Rays are known for doing similar dress-up events for road trips, including Woodstock and formal themes this season.

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