Cubs vs. Reds: LHP Travis Wood vs. RHP Johnny Cueto


Chicago Cubs (58-72) vs. Cincinnati Reds (63-68)

LHP Travis Wood (7-11, 4.91 ERA, 1.52 WHIP, .274 OAV) vs. RHP Johnny Cueto (15-7, 2.20 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, .188 OAV)

Tuesday, August 26, 2014: 7:10 p.m. at Great American Ball Park

Coming off of what was an All-Star campaign back in 2013, Travis Wood has suffered from a case of the league getting familiar with the crafty left-hander. Having pitched in the same division his entire career, with this being Wood’s fifth season up over 100 innings pitched, teams have begun to catch a beat on Wood.

His only start against Cincinnati this year came back on July 8 in what was the first game of the day-night doubleheader the two teams participated in. Wood would last just 5.1 innings while allowing four runs on eight hits, leaving him on the hook for the loss.

The last time Travis Wood won a game was all the way back on June 15. Not having missed a turn in the rotation, this means his streak is all the way up to 12 consecutive starts without a victory. In those 12 starts, only three have been quality starts, and with the struggles the Cubs offense has endured in 2014, it has been difficult enough to win even when pitching well.

Here is the lineup he will face via the team’s Twitter account:

CF – Billy Hamilton (2-for-3, 1 2B)

1B – Todd Frazier (6-for-20, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 3 BB’s, 4 K’s)

RF – Jay Bruce (5-for-20, 3 HR, 4 RBI, 4 K’s)

2B – Brandon Phillips (6-for-23, 1 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI)

LF – Ryan Ludwick (4-for-17, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 3 K’s)

3B – Kristopher Negron (yet to face Wood)

C – Brayan Pena (yet to face Wood)

SS – Zack Cozart (2-for-21, 2 2B, 1 RBI, 9 K’s)

P – Johnny Cueto (0-for-2, 2 K’s)

The last time out for Johnny Cueto against the St. Louis Cardinals was the first time in which he had allowed more than three runs in a single start since all the way back on June 6 at home against the Philadelphia Phillies.

With Clayton Kershaw leaving the competition in the dust for the National League Cy Young Award, Cueto can concentrate on attempting to carry his team to an unlikely Postseason berth over his remaining six starts. Having pitched as well as he has in 2014, it is not beyond the realm of possibility for Cueto to get the win in at least five of those games and reach the elusive 20-win plateau.

If this matchup looks familiar, it is because these two started against one another during the opening game of the July 8 doubleheader. Cueto came out victorious on the back of 6.1 innings pitched with two runs allowed, an average night by Cueto’s standards.

Outside of the Pittsburgh Pirates, no other team is more familiar with Johnny. Unfortunately for the Cubs, they have not been very successful with Cueto posting a career ERA of 2.90 in 20 career starts. Having far and away his most wins against Pittsburgh (16), Chicago comes in second with Johnny Beisbol having been the victor nine times before.

Here is the lineup he will face via the team’s Twitter account:

LF – Chris Coghlan (1-for-8, 1 HR, 1 RBI)

2B – Javier Baez (yet to face Cueto)

1B – Anthony Rizzo (1-for-15, 1 2B, 4 K’s)

SS – Starlin Castro (7-for-33, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 RBI, 4 K’s)

3B – Luis Valbuena (3-for-14, 2 2B’s, 2 RBI, 2 BB’s)

RF – Ryan Sweeney (2-for-3, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K)

CF – Arismendy Alcantara (yet to face Cueto)

C – Welington Castillo (2-for-8, 1 BB, 2 K’s)

P – Travis Wood (0-for-1, 1 K)

Riding a two-game winning streak entering Tuesday evening’s contest, the Reds are still being mentioned as dark horse Wild Card contenders. If they are to make this magical run, it must all begin with Johnny Cueto dominating each of the final six times he takes to the mound in 2014.

It is Wood v. Cueto for the second time this year, and it gets underway at 7:10 p.m.