Former teammate Ramirez lauds Cubs' Wood

Former teammate Ramirez lauds Cubs' Wood

Former teammate Ramirez lauds Cubs' Wood
MILWAUKEE -- Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez watched on a clubhouse television at Miller Park as one of his favorite former teammates left baseball with a flourish.

Cubs right-hander Kerry Wood, who burst onto the scene with a 20-strikeout game in 1998 before injuries forced him into relief, struck out the only batter he faced Friday on three pitches and then called it a career.

Wood walked off the mound at Wrigley Field to a standing ovation.

"If you're going to go out, you go out like that," Ramirez said. "It's the White Sox, with a full house. It was great. It was emotional just to watch. He was my teammate for a while in Chicago, seven, eight years, and you can't find a better teammate."

Kerry Wood
Kerry Wood calls it a career

Wood struck out 1,582 batters in 1,380 career innings. His 10.32 strikeouts per nine innings is second-best in baseball history among pitchers who worked at least 1,000 innings, trailing only Randy Johnson.

"When healthy, he was one of the toughest pitchers in the game," Ramirez said. "The numbers back that up. He could have done a lot more things if he would have stayed healthy. He was on the [disabled list] a lot.

"That's one of the reasons he is going out right now. I don't think he's feeling well, even though he threw the ball well today. His arm is bothering him. It's just time. Your body tells you when it's time to go on, and I guess his body couldn't hold up anymore."

Ramirez had 27 career at-bats against Wood, mostly when Ramirez was breaking into the Majors with the Pirates.

"That wasn't fun, facing him back then," Ramirez said.