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Game 41: Indians 6, Royals 5

Kerry Wood came to the mound tonight a day after completely imploding. The Indians had signed Wood to a big contract to help settle their bullpen down; after all, with the ninth taken care of, the rest of the relievers would fall into place. The rest of the bullpen did not fall in line, taking away many would-be save opportunities from Wood. So blown saves like last night's were especially devastating, for rarely have games gotten to that point. And Wood didn't lose on bloop hits, either; he gave up two home runs, a walk, and a triple in that inning.

But good closers, in addition to having the requisite stuff, have to be able to forget past failures. Little did we know that Wood would have to employ amnesia in the midst of an inning. Last night, he couldn't throw his off-speed pitches for strikes; tonight he couldn't throw anything in the strike zone. He walked the bases loaded, the last two coming with one out. That third walk could have easily been the last batter he faced, for Matt Herges was ready in the bullpen if needed. But Eric Wedge left Wood in the game, a rather courageous move, all things considered. And just a quickly as Wood lost the strike zone, he regained it against Mark Teahen and David DeJesus. And it wasn't just his fastball that was in the zone, it his curves and changeups as well. It was an impressive turnaround, especially for a pitcher who'd blown a game spectacularly the night before, and had no idea where his pitches were going.

Next Up: Pavano vs. Agent 0.60, 2:10 PM.



Highest WPA Lowest WPA
Mark DeRosa .347 Ryan Garko -.231
Kerry Wood .209 Fausto Carmona -.151
Rafael Betancourt .151 Victor Martinez -.129