Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Sports

July 11, 2013

Let Wood pitch

Cubs lefty should appear in Tuesday All-Star Game

For all the assertionss that the MLB All-Star Game "counts" and "matters", I've never really cared much for the game itself.

It's a fun exercise to see who's had the best half season and who people think has had the best half season, but the game has never drawn me in.

As a fan of the suffering, forlorn, fourth-place Chicago Cubs, there is one thing I hope happens in this year's All-Star Game that's far from a certainty: I want to see Travis Wood pitch in Tuesday's Midsummer Classic.

To set up the situation, Wood was the only Cub selected by either the fans or Bruce Bochy, manager of the San Francisco Giants and thus manager of this year's NL All-Star team.Wood currently sits with a 6-6 record, a 2.69 ERA and 85 strikeouts in 117 innings pitched this season. He is also scheduled to pitch Sunday night's national television game against the St. Louis Cardinals on ESPN.

Some thought was given to scratching Wood from the start and making sure he was fresh for the All-Star Game, but Cubs manager Dale Sveum feels it's a big showcase for the 26-year-old lefty against the Cubs' biggest rival.

In years past, that would have disqualified Wood from being on the roster next Tuesday night. Now, it's up to Bochy to decide whether or not to use him. Sveum said he is fine with the Giants skipper using Wood.

"Bochy can use him for a left-handed hitter," Sveum said in an interview with Cubs.com. "It's going to be a side day anyway. I've got no problem with him pitching one inning, or 2O pitches. He goes all out on his side days anyways."

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