Cubs lefty now tied with Giants southpaw Bumgarner for most in MLB
CHICAGO -- There have been more than a few times when Cubs manager Rick Renteria was asked if he'd consider batting Travis Wood somewhere higher than ninth because of the pitcher's ability to hit. On Friday, Wood matched his single-season high with his third home run of the year, connecting in the fourth against the Cardinals' Joe Kelly.
It was the ninth home run of Wood's career, and he now has 10 RBIs this season, becoming the first Cubs pitcher to drive in that many since Carlos Zambrano totaled 11 RBIs in 2009.
Zambrano finished with 24 career home runs and is tied for seventh on the all-time list of pitchers. Wes Ferrell leads the field with 38 home runs, followed by Bob Lemon (37) and Warren Spahn (35).
How good a hitter is Wood? Renteria did use the lefty as a pinch-hitter on June 16 in the 13th inning against the Marlins, and he delivered a game-winning RBI double. He was the first Cubs pitcher in nearly 25 years to drive in the game-winning run in extra innings since Les Lancaster did so on July 20, 1989.
Wood is now tied with the Giants' Madison Bumgarner for most home runs this season by a pitcher. Bumgarner does have more RBIs (12).