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#pounditTuesday, February 27, 2024

Joe Maddon has great reaction after bold Travis Wood move works to perfection

Joe Maddon

Joe Maddon had a splendid reaction Sunday after one of his unconventional managerial maneuvers produced magical results.

Maddon went to his bullpen early after the Seattle Mariners scored six runs over the first three innings off Cubs starter Brian Matusz. In the sixth, he had Travis Wood relieve Joe Nathan, who had put runners on second and third with nobody out. Wood walked the first batter he faced before getting two strikeouts and a popup to escape the bases loaded jam without allowing a run.

After Wood did his job in the sixth, Maddon decided to pitch Pedro Strop in the seventh, but he did not remove Wood from the game. Instead, he had Wood play left field. The move worked out perfectly when Wood made a brilliant catch on a ball hit by Franklin Gutierrez with one out:

Maddon’s reaction was perfect:

And how well did Wood track that ball? Let’s just say much better than someone like Kyle Schwarber probably would have.

But the story doesn’t end there. Maddon brought Wood back in to pitch with two outs in the top of the eighth. Wood picked off the runner at first to end the inning. He was finally removed from the game when Mike Montgomery came in to pitch the ninth.

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