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Wood takes Game 7 loss hard
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10/16/2003 12:28 AM ET 
Wood takes Game 7 loss hard
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Kerry Wood allowed seven runs on seven hits in 5/23 innings. (Anny Ryan/AP)
CHICAGO -- The only one disappointed in Kerry Wood's outing Wednesday night was Wood himself. And he took it hard.

Wood took the loss in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series as the Florida Marlins snuffed the Chicago Cubs' bid to get to the World Series with a 9-6 win.

The Marlins will face either the New York Yankees or Boston Red Sox. Wood and the Cubs started packing their bags after Wednesday's game. They'll head home Thursday.

No one expected the Cubs to get to the World Series. Asked if he could see a silver lining in the season, Wood said no. Does this make him hungrier for next year?

"You guys have to understand -- about 30 minutes ago, I choked," Wood said. "That's the bottom line, I choked. That's about all I've got right now."

And then he disappeared into the Cubs clubhouse.

    Kerry Wood   /   P
Height: 6'5"
Weight: 220
Bats/Throws: R/R

More info:
Player page
Stats
Splits
Cubs site

Wood gave up seven runs on seven hits and four walks over 5 2/3 innings. The Major League strikeout leader, he fanned six and also hit a two-run homer in the second that tied the game at 3.

In Wood's three previous postseason starts, he gave up a total of six earned runs over 22 innings.

Moises Alou's two-run homer in the third gave Chicago a 5-3 lead, but it was short-lived as the Marlins rallied, led by series MVP Ivan Rodriguez.

"Give them credit, [Miguel Cabrera] hit a home run on a pitch that he shouldn't have," Wood said of the rookie's three-run blast in the first. "I felt like I hit his bat. We're down 3-0 but that wasn't the problem. We rallied back from that and we just gave it up.

"They hit the ball -- they put the ball in play and made something happen," Wood said of the Marlins. "Down by two runs, they had some great at-bats and they didn't give up.

"I let my teammates down, I let the organization down and I let the city of Chicago down."

His teammates were much more forgiving than Wood might think.

    Mark Prior   /   P
Height: 6'5"
Weight: 220
Bats/Throws: R/R

More info:
Player page
Stats
Splits
Cubs site

"He has no reason to hang his head," teammate Mark Prior said. "I think everybody did a great job this year. We just came up short. We'll go home and get back to work in February."

"We win as a team, we lose as a team," Cubs catcher Damian Miller said. "There's really no blame. We really played hard and it just didn't work out. All you can do is tip your cap and move on."

Wood said he didn't have his good slider but tried to stay aggressive.

"They managed to put the ball in play and make something happen," he said of the Marlins. "They put together good at-bats. They don't give up."

"You could tell he didn't have his good stuff tonight," Miller said. "He couldn't find his slider. He gave it all he had. He should have no regrets about his effort and that's what matters. I think it's just a good-hitting team over there that capitalized on his mistakes."

  Matt Clement   /   P
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 195
Bats/Throws: R/R

More info:
Player page
Stats
Splits
cubs.com

Cubs pitcher Matt Clement could sympathize with Wood's frustration.

"He's taking it hard. The bottom line is without him, we wouldn't be where we're at," Clement said of Wood. "Of all the teammates that I've had in my life, I'd want Mark Prior and Kerry Wood out there pitching."

The Marlins were able to beat Prior and Wood in back-to-back games and overcome a 3-1 deficit in the best-of-seven series. That's a tough task.

"You would think the odds would be on our side," Cubs shortstop Alex Gonzalez said. "They gave everything we asked of them. They went out there and battled their butts off. They have no reason to hold their heads down."

"I wasn't disappointed in [Wood's] performance and I don't think I left him in too long either," Cubs manager Dusty Baker said. "He was still throwing the ball well. What hurt was the fact that they got three or four two-out RBI hits. And we couldn't stop them from adding on at the end. If we could've stopped them, I think we could have caught them and passed them.

"The way the game was, you can't trade runs with them," Baker said. "You've got to give them credit. They hit us and they played a great series."

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to approval by Major League Baseball or its clubs.



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