A good outing from Travis Wood Sunday can help the Chicago Cubs cement something they've failed to do since last July - win three consecutive series.
Wood, who has allowed a total of one run in winning his last two starts, will be on the mound this afternoon in the finale of a three-game set against the New York Mets at Wrigley Field. The left-hander limited Colorado to a pair of hits over seven innings in a 9-1 win on Monday and six days prior tossed 6 2/3 frames in a triumph over the Cardinals.
This will be Wood's fourth straight home start. He went 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA in two starts against the Mets last season.
Keeping the ball in the park has helped Wood immensely this season. In 2012, he was just 6-13 with a 4.27 ERA and gave up a career-high 25 home runs. He's surrendered only eight long balls in eight appearances, covering 53 1/3 innings, thus far this season. Wood has also limited left-handed hitters to a .211 average and righties to a .166 mark.
The mission for the Mets is also clear Sunday, as a victory would give them a series win at Wrigley Field for the first time since taking two of three, Aug. 3-5, 2007.
Dillon Gee, who was pelted for nine hits and six runs -- five earned -- over four innings in a 10-4 loss at St. Louis Tuesday, counters on the hill for the Mets. The right-hander has given up at least four runs in three of his last four starts.
Gee has had some success against the Cubs, as evidenced by his 2-1 mark and 4.26 ERA in three starts against them. He pitched eight frames and gave up seven hits and one run in a 3-1 win on July 7, 2012 at Citi Field versus the Cubs.
Yesterday, Scott Feldman pitched into the seventh inning and contributed two RBI as Chicago took an 8-2 win.
Feldman (4-3) scattered seven hits and a walk over 6 2/3 innings to win his fourth straight decision and added a two-run double in the fourth inning to help the Cubs win for a fifth time in seven games.
"He's not letting left-handers beat him and his cutter has been incredible," said Chicago manager Dale Sveum about Feldman. "He's able to bounce his curveball when he has to and throw it for a strike. Everything is working for him."
Nate Schierholtz and Anthony Rizzo each hit a solo home run in the win for Chicago, which is a victory away from winning three straight series for the first time since July 6-19 of last season.
Jeremy Hefner (0-5) gave up four runs on five hits in just four innings of work for the Mets, who had won their previous two after dropping six straight.
"I want to win and I want the team to win," said Hefner. "Obviously we didn't do that today and I need to make some adjustments out there to get back on track."
The Cubs won four of six games with the Mets in both 2011 and 2012. The Mets last won the season series, 4-3, in 2010. With this being the final road game against the Cubs, the Mets can win a season series at Wrigley Field for only the third time since 1996.