07/15/2003 11:56 PM ET
Wood gives NL scoreless inning
Prior doesn't pitch in first All-Star Game
By Carrie Muskat / MLB.com
CHICAGO -- Kerry Wood is used to having four days between starts. On Tuesday, he had four innings to get ready.
The Chicago Cubs pitcher came on in relief in the fourth inning for the National League team in the All-Star Game and threw one scoreless inning.
Wood gave up a single to Anaheim's Garret Anderson on the second pitch then struck out Seattle's Edgar Martinez on a called third strike. Wood got the Yankees' Hideki Matsui to ground into a fielder's choice, forcing Anderson at second, and then fanned Anaheim's Troy Glaus to end the inning.
It was an easy night's work for the Major League strikeout leader. Sixteen pitches, 11 strikes. He was in line for the win as the National League opened a 5-1 lead, but the American League rallied for a 7-6 victory on Hank Blalock's two-run homer in the eighth.
"A loss is a loss. You hate to lose," Wood said.
Wood and teammate Mark Prior, both first-time All-Stars, were designated relievers Tuesday night at U.S. Cellular Field. And they knew what side of town they were on. Both were booed during the player introductions by the crowd. This is the South Side of Chicago.
Prior actually stayed in the dugout for the entire game. He was not expected to pitch after bruising his right shoulder in a collision Friday with Atlanta's Marcus Giles at Wrigley Field.
"After what happened (Friday), I felt I was a guy who was like the emergency guy," Prior said. "I'm not upset that I didn't get in the game. I had a great time just sitting there watching."
The closest Prior came to a game ball was when Atlanta shortstop Rafael Furcal's errant throw sailed into the dugout and came close to clipping Prior.
"That came close," Prior said. "Marcus put out a bounty on my head. It was pretty close. It came in pretty hot. I got out of the way in a hurry. It was real close. About a foot."
He did stay on his workout schedule Tuesday. Part of his cardio work included running up the steps in the stands at U.S. Cellular Field about five hours before the first pitch.
"I'll just play catch before the game, long toss and then hang out and wait for the phone to ring," Prior said before the game. "I think that's what they do down there. I have to learn the bullpen thing."
Cubs catcher Damian Miller had prepped both Wood and Prior about the All-Star thing. Miller gave the pair some advance notice regarding the amount of items they had to autograph.
"I expected it," Wood said. "Damian gave me a crash course the other day. Everybody wants to get stuff signed."
Including Wood, who had made certain he had a jersey autographed by all of the National League All-Stars. He plans on framing it.
Milwaukee's Richie Sexson asked Wood to sign a cap.
"It's because he strikes me out every (darn) time," Sexson said.
Wood also was excited about the goodies he received from the various corporate sponsors, including a video game that he played until 2 a.m. Monday. He also got a radar gun -- "I can gauge the dog running around the backyard," he said -- and a cooler with his name on it.
The All-Star experience has been just that, an experience. Prior went to Fan Fest Tuesday.
"I'm having a good time," Prior said. "There are a lot of great players here. It's been a blast."
With one exception.
"The Home Run Derby is great and all but I don't like seeing the ball go out of the ballpark a whole lot," said Prior, sounding just like a pitcher. "Just getting a chance to meet everybody and having a good time is a blast."
"It seems like it's gone fast forward," Wood said.
The event marked the first time Prior came face-to-face with Barry Bonds since hitting him with a pitch May 1. Bonds took a few steps toward Prior but Miller had intercepted the slugger before he could get to the young pitcher. Did Prior say anything to Bonds?
"I said hello," Prior said.
Wood has plenty of familiar faces around. Cubs manager Dusty Baker brought his coaching staff, including pitching coach Larry Rothschild and bullpen catcher Benny Cadahia. Baker gave the National League players a pep talk before the game.
"He congratulated everybody," Wood said. "He said, 'Don't get hurt' and that we're all here to win the game."
It's been really cool.
"I could make a habit out of this," Wood said.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to approval by Major League Baseball or its clubs.