Injuries are again threatening to derail the Chicago Cubs’ season.
They’ll finish up a four-game series in Cincinnati hoping Kerry Wood’s sore shoulder doesn’t land him back on the disabled list.
Wood gave up three solo homers, then left the game after only three innings with a sore right shoulder Wednesday, adding to the Cubs’ woes after a 9-3 loss to the Reds.
“The last thing we need right now is for him to go down,” catcher Michael Barrett said.
Wood couldn’t get loose on a warm, muggy night, an ominous development for a pitcher who has already tangled twice with shoulder problems this season. He was limited to three spring training starts because of bursitis, and was on the disabled list from May 3 to June 29 with a strained shoulder.
The Cubs, who lost for only the second time in 10 games, are back in contention for the NL wild card. But Wood’s latest injury could cut into the team’s renewed optimism.
“It’s a concern, but you don’t want to jump to conclusions yet,” manager Dusty Baker said. “We took him out more as a precaution than anything. His velocity was down.”
Wood and Mark Prior have both had extended stints on the disabled list this year.
Chicago will send 39-year-old right-hander Greg Maddux to the mound Thursday as they try to take three of four from Cincinnati. Maddux, who has lost three of his last four decisions, is 8-7 with a 4.51 ERA—his highest mark since 1987.
Maddux will try to keep the Reds from launching more balls into the stands at hitter-friendly Great American Ball Park.
Griffey’s broke a tie with Willy McCovey and Ted Williams to move into 14th place on the all-time list with 522 home runs.