Travis Wood is indeed going to the All-Star Game.
Wood started Sunday night's 10-6 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field and worked 52⁄3 innings in getting a no-decision. Because the All-Star Game is Tuesday, it was up to Wood whether he wanted to pitch. He said yes, and after the game, was on his way to New York.
The Cubs will need a few more all-star caliber players if they're going to get back to respectability.
They played another entertaining game Sunday night, but the bullpen gave up 7 runs over the final three innings, and some questionable judgment on defense also cost them.
Darwin Barney's 3-run homer in the bottom of the sixth gave the Cubs a short-lived 4-3 lead. But relievers Matt Guerrier, James Russell, Blake Parker and Kevin Gregg all combined to help the potent-hitting Cardinals cruise past them.
On top of that, first baseman Anthony Rizzo cut off a ball headed toward the plate in the eighth inning on a play where the Cubs might have thrown a runner out.
"There was some interesting things, obviously, that went on for a pretty exciting ballgame," said manager Dale Sveum, whose team enters the all-star break 42-51. "It's some pretty interesting defensive plays."
Sveum didn't want to address Rizzo's play, when he cut off the throw home on Matt Adams' double in the eighth. The Cubs looked like they had a play on baserunner David Freese.
"You'll have to ask him," Sveum said. "That's not really protocol in our playbook."
Rizzo took the blame.
"I usually peek over there," he said. "I took for granted he was going to be safe. I just wanted to minimize it. It would have been a close play. We probably would have had him. It was a fun game to be a part of. We didn't get the outcome, but we fought the entire way."
The Cubs were more inclined to give credit to the Cardinals, who got 21 hits. Yadier Molina crushed a 3-run homer off Gregg (2-2) in the Cardinals' 3-run ninth.
"I don't think we had that many mental errors," Barney said. "You almost have to tip your cap to them. They kept coming at us after we came back. If you're talking about Rizzo cutting that ball, it's just a situation that won't happen again. That didn't lose the game for us. I don't think that kind of thing was the difference in the game. I think they swung the bats a little better than we did."
But once again, the Cubs couldn't close the deal.
"We do some young things, some of the young guys still doing some young things," Svuem said. "We're still not able to close games out. We're not able to get those outs to finish it up. You see other teams or whatever close games out, but that's the way it is, hitting with men in scoring position and things like that. We had our chances early in the game to do some things and didn't get them done."Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.