Before blowing out his elbow Kerry Wood threw a ton of pitches as a 21-year-old rookie

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People have been writing about Kerry Wood’s rookie pitch counts for more than a decade now, so I’m not exactly breaking new ground here, but now that he’s retiring it’s worth noting again just how hard the Cubs and then-manager Jim Riggleman worked their 21-year-old phenom in 1998.

Wood made a total of 26 starts as a rookie and topped 100 pitches in 21 of them, including the following pitch counts: 133, 129, 128, 123, 123, 122, 122, 121, 118, 118, 117, 116, 115.

Seriously.

I can’t even imagine a 21-year-old stud prospect being allowed to come anywhere near that workload now and yet Wood did it just 14 seasons ago. He then blew out his elbow, missed the entire next season, and didn’t start a game after age 29.

Wood had a helluva career, but I’d love to go back in time and tell Riggleman to loosen the reins a bit just to see what could have been.

Video: Clint Frazier loses go-ahead home run to Tropicana Field speaker

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Yankees pinch-hitter Clint Frazier hit what appeared to be a go-ahead solo home run off of Vidal Nuño in the top of the ninth inning of Sunday afternoon’s game against the Rays. Tropicana Field had other ideas. The ball struck a speaker hanging from the ceiling, then was caught in shallow left field by shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria.

That’s a tough break.

The Yankees went on to lose 7-6 when Jake Bauers hit a walk-off solo home run off of Chasen Shreve in the bottom of the 12th inning. The Rays swept the Yankees in their three-game home series over the weekend. They’re still 14 games behind the Yankees in the AL East, however.