Against the Philadelphia Phillies, the Chicago Cubs held their 2014 home opener, and also began the 100th Anniversary season of Wrigley Field. In a losing effort, the Cubs received another good performance from the day’s starting pitcher. This time, it was Travis Wood posting a good starting effort, and in 2014, the starting rotation will need to be the anchor for the Cubs to have success.
In very difficult conditions, the Cubs got a good outing from their All-Star Wood. With the wind gusting at times of 30 miles per hour, Wood provided a quality start of 6.1 innings giving up three earned runs, with one walk and eight strikeouts. Wood’s lone mistake was a home run surrendered into the wind by Chase Utley.
Through four games, the Cubs may only have one victory, but the starting rotation has been doing their part. Combined, the starters have posted 25.1 innings pitched and have allowed only five earned runs. Jeff Samardzija, Edwin Jackson, Jason Hammel and Wood have certainly done their job in getting off to a good start for the Cubs.
Last season, the Cubs did rank toward the top of the league in quality starts. With little room for error within a difficult NL Central division, they will need to repeat that performance in 2014. Once Jake Arrieta returns to the rotation, Chicago will have five quality starters to run out each day and compete.
With the bullpen struggling to finds its form this first week, the Cubs will need to continue to lean on the starting rotation. Through the first four games, the staff has posted a 1.79 ERA with just one win to show for it. But if the starting five can continue to be the anchor for the Cubs, the rest of the club can feed off of them for momentum going forward.