CHICAGO — Not only do the Chicago Cubs have the best rotation in the majors, but their bullpen isn’t too shabby either. One of the Cubs’ relievers was called upon when Jason Hammel left Monday’s 2-0 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers with cramping after just two innings.
Lefty Travis Wood is the longest tenured Cub, and all he did after Hammel left was retire 12 straight hitters to help extend the Cubs’ win streak to six games. Wood struck out four and threw 35 of his 43 pitches for strikes.
It helped that the Dodgers had stacked their lineup with lefties in anticipation of Hammel’s outing. Hammel threw two shutout innings, with one hit and one walk, before he sat down behind the mound with cramping in his right hamstring just before the third. Hammel gave up a bloop single in the first inning, then he, along with Wood and three other relievers, shut down the Dodgers for the rest of the game. The bullpen threw a perfect seven innings and retired the final 21 Dodgers. In total, the Cubs retired 25 in a row after the Dodgers’ lone hit.
Ben Zobrist extended his hit streak to 16 games and his on-base streak to 35 straight starts, and the Cubs improved to 35-14.