It won't get any easier for Wood on Monday as he takes the mound for Chicago against Johan Santana and the Mets in the first of three games at Wrigley Field.
Wood, who was acquired from the Reds in an offseason trade involving reliever Sean Marshall, held the White Sox to one run over six innings his last time out. The lefty walked four and struck out five, improving to 1-3 with a 4.14 ERA in seven starts this season.
"My pitches were working well, the defense was behind me and we were hitting on all cylinders," Wood said after that game. "To get the first one, get the monkey off the back, hopefully we start rolling from here."
Wood's margin for error will likely be small as the Cubs face one of the best left-handers in the game. Santana rebounded from consecutive subpar starts by throwing six shutout innings against the Orioles in his last outing. The southpaw allowed only four hits, struck out five and walked two in the Mets' 5-0 win.
Mets manager Terry Collins said after the game that Santana's no-hitter against the Cardinals on June 1 took a good deal of energy out of him and may have contributed to the poor starts.
"He's kind of back in his routine," Collins said. "I think now he's back doing what he's got to do. We're going to see a lot of nights like tonight, where you're going to see some zeros on the board when he's out there."
Santana is 4-1 in his last five starts, including two shutouts, and is 5-3 with a 3.00 ERA on the season. On Monday, he'll face a Cubs offense that has scored only nine runs in its last five games.
Mets: Francisco sidelined
The Mets placed closer Frank Francisco on the 15-day disabled list on Sunday with a left oblique strain. Francisco underwent an MRI exam on Sunday and is not eligible to return until July 8, the day before the All-Star break.
"Even if it's a big thing, there's nothing you can do about it," Francisco said. "Just try to fix it and come back as soon as possible and do whatever you can do to keep fighting here."
The right-handed Francisco said the soreness in his oblique started after a 20-pitch save on Friday, but he didn't initially think it was anything out of the ordinary. He attempted to throw before Saturday's game but was scratched when the soreness failed to subside.
During Francisco's absence, the Mets will turn to Bobby Parnell to close games. Parnell has pitched well this season, posting a 3.30 ERA, but he blew three saves when New York gave him a shot as its closer last season. He threw a scoreless inning in a non-save situation during Sunday night's 6-5 loss to the Yankees.
"He's been throwing very, very well," Collins said. "I like [that] the velocity's starting to come up, still with good command of it. His breaking ball's still sharp. He's throwing it for strikes. I just like the fact that he can challenge hitters with that real good fastball and have some success with it."
Third baseman David Wright extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a single in the first inning on Sunday. Wright is batting .370 (20-for-54) with five doubles, a home run and eight RBIs during the streak. He's hitting .360 with eight homers and 41 RBIs on the season.
Cubs: Soriano's production no surprise to Sveum
With a solo home run, left fielder Alfonso Soriano produced the Cubs' only run in Sunday's loss to the D-backs. It was Soriano's 14th home run and increased his team-leading RBI total to 44. Soriano is hitting .269, which would be his highest batting average for a season since 2008.
But Soriano's success hasn't come as a surprise to manager Dale Sveum.
"He's not doing anything we didn't expect," Sveum said. "Those kind of guys, if they get enough at-bats, end up putting up the numbers they are supposed to."
Soriano is also the most productive Cubs player against the Mets. He is hitting .274 with 16 doubles, 12 home runs and 36 RBIs in 58 career games against New York.
Second baseman Darwin Barney went 2-for-3 on Sunday, recording his first multihit game since June 14. Barney entered Sunday's game just 4-for-27 (.148) in his previous eight games and is hitting .269 with three home runs and 22 RBIs on the season.
Santana is 3-0 with a 1.65 ERA in three career starts against the Cubs.
The Cubs were 4-2 against the Mets last season, including 2-1 at home.
Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada, who was activated from the DL prior to Sunday's game, is hitting .355 with a home run and five RBIs in nine career games against the Cubs.