ST. LOUIS -- There can't be nights much worse than what left-hander Travis Wood and the Cubs experienced during Friday night's 7-0 loss that enabled St. Louis to secure the National League Central title.
Wood, one of the few bright spots in an otherwise dismal season, was one out away from reaching the 200-inning mark in his young career after sprinting from the mound to make a catch of Carlos Beltran's pop near the first base dugout with nobody on base.
But seven batters later, Wood was still looking for that final out that got him to the 200-inning mark.
"I might have even pressed too much after making the catch on the run," Wood said. "I kind of felt like I've got it, and then things unraveled and I wasn't able to get back to being me and getting an out."
The three runs off Wood inflated his ERA from 2.98 to 3.11, costing him a chance to become the first Cubs' left-hander to pitch 200 innings and post a sub-3.00 ERA since Dick Ellsworth in 1963.
"It was a shame," manager Dale Sveum said. "It kind of makes you want to throw up. Two outs, nobody on, and all that happens. It was too bad."
Wood said he supported the staff's decision to pull him after one inning. That decision was made a few days ago to keep him healthy.
"When they just said one inning, the way they approached me and brought it about, you can't argue about it," Wood said.
Wood, 26, could be in line to receive an extension. President Theo Epstein said that multi-year contracts to specific players would be addressed later this off-season.
"I haven't thought about it at all," Wood said. "I just wanted to see the season play out and go into the off-season. I wish it was on a high note."
There also was a clumsy moment in the sixth after catcher Dioner Navarro was struck on the right arm after nearly getting hit in the head by a pitch from St. Louis pitcher Lance Lynn in which warnings were issued to both teams.
"It was an accident by the umpires," said Sveum, who questioned the warning. "One of the umpires was waving no swing. And the head umpire (crew chief Gerry Davis) was saying to give a warming. It was a misunderstanding."
Sveum tried to get the warnings lifted, but "they couldn't renege on it."
The coup de grace to the Cubs' night occurred when Darwin Barney made the final out that enabled the Cardinals to become the third National League team to celebrate either a playoff berth or division title against them.
"You get tired of it, but at this time of year, somebody has to clinch against somebody," Wood said. "And unfortunately it's been against us a few times. And hat's off to them. Everyone who has clinched has been outstanding.
Sveum already has talked to some players about watching celebrations and playing for moments like those.
"(But) I've already seen it and don't like watching celebrations if I'm not involved in," Sveum said.
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