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Bullpen an early challenge for Sveum

Bullpen an early challenge for Sveum

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Bullpen an early challenge for Sveum
CHICAGO -- Cubs manager Dale Sveum didn't see Kerry Wood throw his glove and cap into the stands after Tuesday's 3-1 loss to the Braves, but he understood why Wood did it.

"Do I care? Of course, I care," Sveum said Wednesday. "I don't condone it or wish it to happen all the time. We all know in this game that there's frustration that happens and sometimes we regret things we do. We're not perfect human beings. I missed the whole thing, so I didn't see any of that."

The game was tied at 1 in the eighth when Wood took over. He walked two batters and gave up two hits, including a the decisive two-run single by Dan Uggla. Has managing the bullpen been a challenge for Sveum?

"I guess you could say that," Sveum said. "We're always trying to be optimistic about the team. On the other hand, we've had some guys step up and do a great job."

He complimented James Russell and Shawn Camp and said rookie Rafael Dolis has done well in clutch situations.

"We've had a lot of bright spots, too," Sveum said. "A month in, you're dealing with situations and how to handle them and what roles. It's not that cut and dry, seventh, eighth and ninth guys, that's for sure."

Wood, 34, was making his second appearance since coming off the disabled list with right shoulder fatigue. He's now given up seven runs on six hits and six walks over 4 1/3 innings in six games this season.

"It's just a matter of getting comfortable and in a rhythm and -- bottom line -- throwing strikes and being able to use your fastball and getting back in counts," Sveum said. "He still has to be able to use that breaking ball. There's a lot of things to work on. Sometimes it just takes a few times on the mound."

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