Maddon focused on Wada's mental approach

Manager says lefty fine mechanically, but making things too complicated

Maddon focused on Wada's mental approach

CHICAGO -- Joe Maddon says he's sticking with Tsuyoshi Wada in the Cubs' rotation. Now, the manager has to convince the left-hander that he can do the job.

Wada did not get a decision in the Cubs' 6-3 victory over the Reds on Thursday night. The lefty gave up three runs on four hits over a season-low three innings. He was lifted after serving up Chris Dominguez's leadoff homer in the fourth.

"I see him trying to be too complicated -- let's simplify this whole thing, trust your good stuff," Maddon said. "Trust your stuff, don't try to fool everybody, believe in what you're doing and you'll be much better."

Maddon planned on talking to Wada on Friday to hopefully work on making the mental adjustments. Mechanically, Maddon said, the lefty is fine.

"He needs to not give that much credit to the hitters," catcher Miguel Montero said of Wada. "He gives them credit, and then he falls behind. ... He needs to pitch more to contact. He's not a strikeout guy. He needs to throw more strikes and let us make the plays."

Travis Wood -- whom Montero called the "player of the game" -- picked up the win with 2 1/3 innings of relief. Wood was a starter last season, as was reliever Edwin Jackson, and are options for the rotation.

"I'm not even thinking that right now," Maddon said.

"Wada struggled tonight, and it's going to happen as a starter -- we've all been there," Wood said. "I was just happy to step up and eat some innings there and keep us with the lead. The rest of the bullpen did their job as well."

Wada said the problem was finding his rhythm.

"It wasn't as bad as the last game," he said of his 3 2/3 innings against the Nationals on June 5, when he gave up five runs on nine hits. "I just can't make the adjustment. It's not the way I pitch. I just can't find it right now."

Is he worried about being replaced in the rotation?

"It's not my decision," Wada said. "If you look at the results, it could be happening."

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.