Kerry Wood didn’t expect to pick up two blown save opportunities in his return to Chicago. The Indians closer took the loss Saturday in the Cubs’ 6-5, 13-inning win.
“You have mixed feelings about that,” Lou Piniella said about watching Wood. “Obviously, you’d like to beat the Cleveland club. Woody did a lot of nice things here in the two years I was here and for this organization in the past. Whoever is out there, we’re trying to win a baseball game.”
Said Ted Lilly: “Certainly, you don’t want to see that happen. Those two guys [Wood and Mark DeRosa] were a special part of our team the last couple years and you hope they have great healthy years. When we’re playing them, if they’re going to have a rough day it might as well be here.”
Derrek Lee hit a game-tying homer off Wood in the ninth inning on Friday. He watched as Wood took the loss Saturday.
“It’s tough, but that’s the life of a closer,” Lee said. “He’s out there with the game on the line. He’s either going to get all the praise or he’s the last guy getting the loss. He’s going to be fine. He’s definitely going to close out more of those than he loses.”
Kevin Gregg replaced Wood as the Cubs closer this year. He knows exactly what Wood is going through.
“We’re all baseball players, we all can relate,” Gregg said. “There’s a lot of pressure on him coming back here, coming to Chicago. That’s some weird stuff that’s happened to him the last couple days. He’s head strong, he’s going to be fine. He’ll put his nose down and get through it, I’m sure.”
— Carrie Muskat