WOOD’S SCARY SEPTEMBER
Lately Kerry Wood has been doing his best Rod Beck impression. You know, makes things interesting when they don’t need to be. Last night a bit of bad baserunning saved him from blowing a save, and so far it has been a brutal September for the Cubs closer.
Wood came in with 3-2 lead to start the ninth and served up a double to light-hitting pinch-hitter Brendan Ryan. Cesar Izturis was the next hitter and he laid down a bunt. Ryan appeared to be safe at third but slid past the bag and was tagged out by Aramis Ramirez. Disaster was averted as Wood closed out the game after allowing another hit.
Wood is definitely one of the better stories in baseball this season, but he’s penning a rather scary ending. Piniella brought him in for the ninth in game 2 of the series, even though Ted Lilly was cruising and had only thrown 90 pitches through 8 innings. Lilly has no complete games this year. If there ever was a time for him to go the distance it was then. But with the power, right-handed bats coming up for the Cards, Piniella went to his closer.
Wood proceeded to almost blow the game by allowing a double to Pujols and a homerun to Ludwick. He finally closed it out for his 29th save and Lilly recorded win number 14.
But it’s hard not to be concerned about Wood. He has 2 losses, a blown save and too many narrow escapes this month. The stats read ugly: 3 1/3, 7 hits, 7 runs, 3 walks and 2 homers. His ERA since the All-Star game is over 5.
The postponement of the Friday & Saturday games will give all the Cubs a chance to regroup. No Cub needs it more right now than Wood.