EVANSTON--Fearing that he wasn't getting enough production from his right-handed fireballer, Dusty Baker decided on Wednesday to have Kerry Wood start on three days rest from his hospital bed in the recovery ward of Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Wood, having had arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder the day before, was in uniform when "Fire Dusty Baker!" caught up to him. Catching up was not difficult, as Wood was under strict orders from his doctor to move as little as possible, or to at least ice his shoulder after his 178-pitch outing.
Wood said that the difficult part of the outing was not pitching from a slight incline, as has hospital bed was mechanically raised so that Wood could read the signs from catcher Michael Barrett. "That wasn't too bad," said Wood. "The really hard part was throwing strikes from Evanston to Wrigley."
Wood was in good spirits after his 12-0, complete game victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers of Los Angeles Wednesday.
Wood gave up six hits, three walks, and no runs in his nine-inning outing. The Cubs scored twelve runs for Wood in the first inning, but Baker decided to stick with Wood for the entire outing. "Woody's been the guy for us, you know?" Baker inquired. "Dude, I'd take a half-healthy Woody on his back pitching from Evanston over a lot of guys in the league. You know?"
Baker did not make a single call to the bullpen during the 12-0 blowout. Baker did, however, make one mound visit during the eighth inning, via the CTA Purple Line. He also called for Wood to drag bunt during every single one of Wood's at-bats, which Wood was helicoptered in to take. Wood succesfully reached first twice on the bunts, at which time Baker had him steal second and third base. "I guess I was a little tired out there. And I was a little sick from the helicopter rides. That's a bumpy ride! But, Dusty's the manager, and you have to stand behind his decisions," Wood grimaced. Standing behind Baker's decisions might be a good idea for Wood, as standing in front of Baker's train wreck of decision-making is far more dangerous.
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