Wood just about ready for Game 2 of Cubs’ season
BY PATRICK FINLEY Staff Reporter March 16, 2014 7:40PM
Updated: March 16, 2014 7:43PM
MESA, Ariz. — Travis Wood was the Cubs’ lone All-Star last year, but he wasn’t surprised the team chose Jeff Samardzija to start Opening Day this season.
After all, the Notre Dame alum threw eight scoreless innings in the first game last season.
“I’m sure we’ll get more of the same,” Wood said Sunday after a dominant spring training start.
“Somebody’s gotta do it — It might as well be Jeff.
“Somebody’s gotta pitch the second day.
“After Opening Day, it doesn’t really matter. It’s the second guy’s Opening Day, it’s the third guy’s Opening Day.”
The Cubs’ lefty struck out eight and walked none Sunday, allowing two runs on four hits in five innings against the Indians. He was so crisp that he threw another 20 or so bullpen pitches afterward to reach the 85-pitch count coaches wanted to see.
“That magic number is big — to get these guys stretched out and get them ready to be able to give us six solid innings, possibly seven, once the season starts,” pitching coach Chris Bosio said.
Wood retired 10-straight at one point, but the split-squad Cubs lost, 3-2, to the Indians.
“I’m ready now,” Wood said. “Once it’s to this point of spring, you’re out there throwing five innings. You feel good, so I’ve got a few more to tune everything up before it actually gets going.”
Wood — whose next start will feature more than 90 pitches — seems already sharp enough for Game 2 of the season.
“Confidence is high, for sure,” he said. “Last year had a lot to do with it.
“I was able to have a pretty solid season through and through.
“Took that into spring, and it’s going well for me so far.”