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Wood among five NL pitchers left out of All-Star Game

Cubs' lone rep started Sunday night and hustled to NYC, enjoyed first experience

NEW YORK -- This was the first All-Star Game for Cubs left-hander Travis Wood, and as it turned out, he was one of five National League pitchers who didn't get into the 3-0 loss to the American League.

Wood was joined by Madison Bumgarner, Mark Melancon, Edward Mujica and Sergio Romo, who all remained in the bullpen on Tuesday night at Citi Field.

For Wood, it may have been just as well. After starting in a 10-6 loss to the Cardinals on Sunday night at Wrigley Field, he hopped a plane early on Monday morning with his wife, 2 1/2-year-old son, parents and some friends in tow so he wouldn't miss the media and workout day.

He arrived at 12:30 p.m. ET and scooted quickly from the hotel to the ballpark.

"I'm excited, for sure, for sure. It's going to be an outstanding experience," Wood said during Monday's media availability. "I'm the Cubs' representative here, and hopefully I can just do them some justice. Show them the quality of the Cubs, the type of team and players we have over there."

Wood had agreed to pitch, but it would have been on a limited basis. Tuesday was his regular day to throw on the side anyway. He had left the NL clubhouse almost immediately after the game and wasn't available to comment about his overall experience.

Wood had an outstanding first half. On a Chicago team that is 42-51 and 15 games behind the first-place Cardinals in the NL Central, Wood was 6-6 with a 2.79 ERA in 19 starts in the season's first half. But way beyond those numbers, Wood was only the fourth Cubs pitcher to ever record 17 quality starts prior to the All-Star break -- and first since Greg Maddux in 1988 -- although he didn't make it through the sixth inning on Sunday night.

"[Wood] can't pitch any better baseball," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "Besides throwing shutouts, you can't really pitch any better."

At 26 and an All-Star in only his fourth big league season, Wood was thrilled with the experience despite the fact that he didn't pitch in the game the first time he got here.

Barry M. Bloom is national reporter for and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter.
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