Cubs' Wood makes ivy-crashing catch in left

Cubs' Wood makes ivy-crashing catch in left

CHICAGO -- Travis Wood showed he can pitch and he can play left field.

In a crazy 7-6, 12-inning win over the Mariners on Sunday, Wood did double duty. The Cubs' reliever replaced Joe Nathan on the mound in the sixth inning with two on and nobody out, and walked the first batter he faced. Wood then settled down and retired the next three.

Wood batted for himself in the bottom of the inning, and in the seventh, moved to left field so right-hander Pedro Strop could pitch.

With one out and a runner at first, Franklin Gutierrez launched a fly ball to left that Wood backed up and caught on the warning track, slamming into the ivy covered outfield wall. The crowd of 40,952 gave the left-hander a standing ovation.

"Someone asked me how many left fielders would make that play? Not many because they would've been afraid," Jason Heyward said.

Wood greeted by teammates

"It doesn't surprise me with [Wood]," Cubs manager Joe Maddon. "He's a really good athlete. What surprised me was the wall."

Wood didn't seem to be bothered by it.

"I didn't feel it," he said. "I know it's hard. I've done it in [batting practice] and stuff. Maybe I'll feel it tomorrow."

On June 28 in Cincinnati, Wood also played left field, but didn't have a ball hit to him.

"Last time I went out there, I didn't get to make an out," Wood said. "I was hoping it would be less dramatic."

What was the reaction by his teammates after the catch?

"[They told me] 'Hit the cutoff man,'" Wood said. "I was torn between trying to throw to first because I saw him rounding second, and I ended up going in between."

Must C: Wood meets the ivy

Wood wasn't done. He went back out to left field for the eighth and had to chase down Mike Zunino's leadoff double. With two outs and one on, Maddon called upon Wood to pitch again, and he combined with first baseman Anthony Rizzo to throw out Shawn O'Malley trying to steal to end the inning.

Wood was one of five Cubs to play left on Sunday, including Willson Contreras, who moved out there after catching nine innings. He also made a nice catch of Robinson Cano's ball to end the 11th.

"We all have fun," Wood said. "We have fun every day."

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. 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.