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Kerry Wood: A diamond in the rough, a closer in the seventh

Dustin Moseley pitched five innings of mediocre baseball in Wednesday night’s 9-5 win over Detroit, leaving a lot of the game in the hands of the bullpen.

Boone Logan began the seventh and got one out, but left two on for Kerry Wood. Wood gave up a single to Austin Jackson that loaded the bases.

Then the former closer bared down, as the saying goes.

He burned Ramon Santiago on a called third strike, a slider on the outside corner. Then he finished the inning by getting Ryan Raburn to swing over a low-and-outside heater, igniting a long and thunderous outburst of cheers from what seemed like the entire stadium and anyone standing on River Avenue.

Wood saved 62 games for the Cubs and Indians combined since converting to a reliever in 2008 and his mentality as a middle reliever for the Yankees has been on display since he joined the club.

In seven appearances since being acquired by the Yankees on July 31, he has allowed seven hits and one earned run in nine innings pitched. Impressively he has struck out 13 batters in those nine innings, including the 1,500th of his career Wednesday night.

The bullpen has been outstanding in general. Yankees relievers have held opponents scoreless in 17 of their last 22 games since July 26, combining for a 1.21 ERA (59 2/3 IP, 8 ER) during the stretch with 55 strikeouts. The bullpen went four innings in relief of Moseley and allowed one earned run.

David Robertson has not allowed a run in his last 18 appearances since July 4 and has 22 strikeouts in 17 2/3 innings. Boone Logan has retired 27 of his last 33 batters faced.

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