When Travis Wood was announced as the Cubs lone All Star over a week ago, there was already talk from the organization that the lefty would not be able to appear in the game since he was scheduled to pitch against the Cardinals on the Sunday prior to the All Star break. Just a couple of days later, manager Dale Sveum mentioned that Wood could probably go an inning, citing that it could act as the pitcher’s side session in between starts. Wood of course proceeded to make the start on Sunday for the Cubs and went 5 2/3 innings, falling just one out short of another quality start. The lefty had given up 10 hits and three walks in the hot afternoon weather at Wrigley. Wood also threw 100 pitches in the heat and was pulled when Sveum felt his starter was showing signs of fatigue.
Despite the taxing effort, Wood mentioned after the game that he could go two innings at the All Star Game on Tuesday. Since it is Wood’s first time participating in the festivities, it would be a bit of a tough decision for the Cubs to demand that the lefty not get into the game. It should be noted that fellow All Star selection Adam Wainwright of the Cardinals will sit this one out, as he had matched up against Wood on Sunday in the series finale at Wrigley. For the sake of Wood’s health and the team’s best interest in mind, a win-win scenario may be to have the Cubs lefty come in to face a left handed hitter or two later in the game in relief. A “think outside of the box” approach could have been using Wood as a pinch hitter with the way he has welded the bat as well in 2013, but the All Star game will feature DHs despite being in the National League home ballpark of the New York Mets
Wood joins 11 other pitchers that will serve in relief, with host town sensation Matt Harvey being tabbed with the honors to start the game for the NL. The Cubs lefty also joins five other south paws on the NL All Star staff, giving manager Bruce Bochy plenty of flexibility when it comes to match ups as the game goes on. Regardless, dedicated Cubs fans will be tuning in to see their best starter of the first half represent the team’s colors on Tuesday night.