Wood flat again in first start since break

July, 24, 2013
7/24/13
1:50
AM CT
Levine By Bruce Levine
ESPNChicago.com
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PHOENIX -- After waiting eight days to pitch, Travis Wood appeared to run out of gas in the sixth inning of his start in a 10-4 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday.

The Chicago Cubs’ lone All-Star was only able to get through 5⅔ innings before leaving in the midst of a three-run rally by the Diamondbacks.

[+] EnlargeTravis Wood
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Travis Wood had 17 quality starts in his first 19 appearances. His last two have been different stories, as he has failed to get through the sixth inning on both occasions.

“We were rolling pretty good,” Wood said after his second straight subpar outing. “Through the first five it looked pretty good. They figured me out in the sixth and put up three.”

Wood had 17 quality starts in his first 19 appearances but has had two in a row during which he has failed to get through the sixth inning. He allowed three earned runs on 10 hits over 5 2/3 innings in a no-decision against the St. Louis Cardinals on July 14.

The Cubs pitcher did not use the long layoff as an excuse.

“I don’t feel like that is [the reason], but it will be nice to get back on a routine every five days,” he said.

Cubs manager Dale Sveum, who was ejected in the third inning for defending Cody Ransom in a dispute with home plate umpire Dana Demuth, felt Wood certainly was strong through five before unraveling.

“He did not use a lot of cutters inside,” Sveum said. “Using his four-seam [fastball] got him in trouble there.”

Wood and Jeff Samardzija must take on some of the leadership role left behind after Matt Garza was dealt to Texas.

“When you lose a piece like Garza, hopefully we can take over and do what we can,” Wood said. “We need to keep grinding. We just need to prove to ourselves and everybody else we are the pitchers we claim to be."

Wood fell to 6-7 with a 2.95 ERA.

Bruce Levine | email

Chicago baseball beat reporter
Bruce Levine has covered sports in Chicago for over 28 years and hosts "Talkin' Baseball," heard Saturday mornings on ESPN 1000.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Starlin Castro
BA HR RBI R
.292 14 65 58
OTHER LEADERS
HRA. Rizzo 32
RBIA. Rizzo 78
RA. Rizzo 89
OPSA. Rizzo .913
WJ. Arrieta 10
ERAT. Wood 5.03
SOJ. Arrieta 167