You never will hear Kerry Wood complain about the unbalanced schedule.
If Wood had his way, the Cubs would face the Reds 117 times, not the 17 times this season's schedule dictates.
The 24-year-old right-hander improved to 6-0 lifetime against Cincinnati when the Cubs beat the Reds 10-3 Wednesday night. Wood is also 5-0 at Cinergy Field.
"It's a good mound to throw from," he said. "The backdrop looks good and I feel close to the hitter."
Todd Hundley and Sammy Sosa led the charge with two-run homers, but Corey Patterson was even more impressive.
He went 3-for-4 with a career-high four RBIs. He has reached base eight times in 10 trips to the plate this season.
Wood started the game with eight consecutive strikesall fastballsbefore missing inside to Ken Griffey Jr. and eventually walking him on a 3-2 pitch.
Wood remained untouchable for much of his outing. Only nine of the 22 batters he faced put the ball in play. With the temperatures dipping into the high 30s, Wood struck out 10, walked four and allowed just three hits.
"If you're a hitter in this weather, Kerry Wood's not the guy you want to face," manager Don Baylor said.
Still, Wood barely lasted long enough to qualify for the victory.
He crossed the 100-pitch threshold with a runner on and Sean Casey at the plate in the fifth inning. Wood ended the threat by painting the inside corner with a 94 m.p.h. fastball.
Wood's 10th strikeout gave him 20 double-digit strikeout games in his 78 career starts. He has whiffed 71 Cincinnati batters in 47 innings.
Hundley put the Cubs ahead 3-2 in the fourth inning with his opposite-field two-run homer. The switch-hitting catcher is making good on his promise to respond to his boost in playing time. He's 3-for-7 this season with three RBIs.
The Cubs broke open the game in the sixth. After Mark Bellhorn and Chris Stynes led off with singles and Delino DeShields advanced them with a bunt, Patterson ripped a two-run single to center.
Sosa followed with a towering drive that barely cleared the wall in right field for his first home run of 2002.
The Cubs had some extra exercise in the ninth when Reds right-hander Luis Pineda hit Roosevelt Brown and Hundley. The benches cleared, with the Cubs believing Pineda's hitting of Hundley was no accident.
"I don't know what these guys are thinking in that situation," Baylor said. "We play them a few more times. That's uncalled for."
Hundley, who took a fastball off his right thigh, began walking toward the mound until plate umpire Mike Everitt interceded and ejected Pineda.
Asked if he would have gone after Pineda, Hundley shook his head.
"I couldn't move, you know?" he said. "It felt like a cramp."
Reds manager Bob Boone was hardly apologetic.
"Didn't [Jeff] Fassero hit our guys three times last night and not get thrown out?" he asked.
Yes and no.
Fassero did hit three batters, but it happened Monday afternoon.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times