04/25/12 2:15 PM ET
Wood progressing, no timetable for return
By Carrie Muskat / MLB.com
"Everything's going good," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said Wednesday. "He feels a lot better. We'll just keep building that up. We're not putting any timetable on his return or anything. We'll just make sure he's ready to go when we activate him."
Wood, 34, was placed on the disabled list on April 20, retroactive to April 14. Sveum said he wants to make sure the right-hander can throw all his pitches before he's activated.
Shawn Camp and Rafael Dolis have taken over as the right-handed setup pitchers while Wood is sidelined.
Bowden realizes childhood dream with Cubs
CHICAGO -- For Michael Bowden, pitching at Wrigley Field was something he had only imagined as a kid. On Tuesday, he actually did it.
Bowden, 25, the newest Cubs pitcher, took over in the ninth inning against the Cardinals with the game tied at 2. He retired the first two batters, then gave up a double, walked the next two to load the bases and got Skip Schumaker to pop up and end the inning.
It wasn't pretty, but considering it was Bowden's first game action since April 10, he was happy.
"It was awesome taking the mound," said Bowden, who grew up a Cubs fan and is now with the team after the trade which sent Marlon Byrd to the Red Sox.
"[Pitching at Wrigley] is something I only dreamed of growing up," said Bowden, who was born in suburban Winfield, Ill., and now lives in Oswego. "My adrenaline was going, I was super excited. I went out there and enjoyed it."
He retired the first two batters he faced in efficient fashion.
"I was feeling good and then, obviously, I got a little erratic," he said. "It was the first time in a game in 14 days and I was sloppy, but I threw up a zero and we ended up winning the ballgame and that's all that matters."
Cubs manager Dale Sveum blamed nerves.
"He was probably nervous a little bit going out in front of his hometown for the first time, pitching with a new team," Sveum said. "He got out of it and hopefully that calms him down a little bit, pitching in a big game in a big situation. He got out of a jam."
Now that the first game is over, Bowden can relax.
"I was very anxious to get in there and get the first outing under my belt," he said. "Now I just have to get settled in and go out there and do my job."
Surprisingly, Bowden hasn't been inundated with ticket requests from friends and family in the Chicago area. His wife, mother, father-in-law and sister were at Tuesday's game to see his Cubs debut. That may change once the weather warms up.
You won't see Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio making many trips to the mound. The Cubs are trying to have their catchers keep an eye on the pitchers.
"You'll notice the catchers are going out more and doing that kind of thing," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "We're leaving it up to them. When we need to, we'll go out. For the most part, we leave it up to the catchers and see how that works out. So far, we've had some pretty good catchers meetings on the mound."
Right now, David DeJesus is batting first and Tony Campana is hitting second. Sveum likes that order because of Campana's bunting ability.
"DeJesus' on-base percentage has been good and he can drive the ball and hit doubles to where Campana can bunt him over as well as get a hit when he's bunting them over," Sveum said. "If he pulls off a good bunt, he's going to be safe."
Next up for the Cubs is a four-game series against the Phillies, who are fourth in the National League with a 2.93 ERA. After playing the defending world champion Cardinals six times in 12 games, the Cubs don't get much of a break.
"We knew going in, the first six weeks, with the teams we were going to play and the pitching we were going to face, would be a really tough stretch of games," Sveum said. "That's baseball. Every team is good, every team has more pitching than it had before. You see that by how runs are down in Major League Baseball.
"You take every game as if you're playing the world champions every day because baseball is baseball and [if] you put your guard down, you'll find yourself in a lot of trouble," he said.
The Cubs posted walk-off wins over the Cardinals Monday and Tuesday night. The last time they had two consecutive walk-off wins was last June 29-30 against the Giants.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.