Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Chris De Luca and Gordon Wittenmyer

Wood wins battle of lefties

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Cubs left hander Travis Wood has pitched against Cy Young Award winners Justin Verlander, Jake Peavy and Barry Zito, only beating Peavy in his last outing at U.S. Cellular Field.
On Monday, it was another former Cy Young winner, Mets lefty Johan Santana, as his opponent but Wood emerged the star again.
His seven scoreless innings of five-hit ball paced the Cubs 6-1 victory, ending a four-game losing streak for the team and giving him a second straight W.
``Impressive,'' manager Dale Sveum said. ``That was about as good as you can get. He had life on his fastball. Guys who are fastball hitters he was beating all night. It was the kind of life I saw a few times last year in Milwaukee on the other side [when Wood pitched for Cincinnati.]''
Wood walked one and struck out six in pitching in his fourth quality start in June. He has a 2.27 ERA in June after a 5.94 ERA in three starts in May.
``He's handled things well,'' Joe Mather said of Wood (2-3), who was sent to the minors after spring training. ``He went down after spring and didn't complain and battled to come back.''
Mather was the hitting hero with a two-run homer off Santana (5-4) in the fourth. The Cubs added four unearned runs in the seventh when the Mets committed three errors, including back-to-back three-base miscues by third baseman David Wright and right fielder Lucas Duda.
``I don't think I've ever seen two like that,'' Sveum said. ``One [by pinch hitter Adrian Cardenas] was only two feet from home plate [that Wright couldn't handle.]''
Wood has allowed three or fewer runs in seven of his eight starts while often drawing the best opposing pitchers.
``It's a sign of a guy who competes and doesn't worry about who he's competing against,' Sveum said.
``I felt going down was useful,'' said Wood, who was acquired from the Reds for left hander Sean Marshall. ``My confidence absolutely is high right now.
``I try to say it doesn't matter who I'm going against, although you know against guys like Johan, you have to bring it.'
After the game, the Cubs announced Cardenas would be optioned back to Class AAA Iowa to make room for Anthony Rizzo, who arrives Tuesday.

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This page contains a single entry by Toni Ginnetti published on June 25, 2012 10:27 PM.

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