On a day that both DeRosa and Wood made their returns to Wrigley Field as opponents for the first time since leaving the Cubs organization in the offseason, their Cleveland Indians came up just short in an 8-7 defeat in 10 innings.
Still, each enjoyed a warm reception from the 40,155 fans in attendance, who stuck around after an 86-minute rain delay.
"It makes you feel good," said DeRosa, who finished the game 1-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored. "It makes you feel like they appreciated the way you played and went about your business. Like I've said, I didn't choose to leave. I'm glad they feel that way towards me and appreciate the way I played, and I feel the same way about them. The feeling is mutual."
DeRosa appeared in 298 regular-season games with the Cubs in 2007 and '08, which included a career year in '08 when he hit 21 home runs with 87 RBIs. In each season, the Cubs made the postseason, only to lose in the National League Divisional Series.
Then, in a move that surprised DeRosa, he was traded to Cleveland on Dec. 31, 2008, for three Minor League pitching prospects.
Before the game, DeRosa said he held no animosity towards the Cubs for their decision.
"It was out of my control," DeRosa said. "I didn't agree with the trade at the time and it was disappointing because I felt like I had become really comfortable being on this team and playing in front of the fans. We had an awesome group of guys over there, but I'm part of this organization now and have committed myself fully to that."
Wood spent the first 10 years of his Major League career with the Cubs, going 77-61. He earned National League Rookie of the Year honors as a starting pitcher in 1998 and made All-Star Game appearances in '03 and '08.
Wood signed a two-year, $20.5 million deal with Cleveland to be the team's closer just two weeks earlier than DeRosa's trade.
Wood entered in a save situation in the ninth inning on Friday but surrendered the game-tying home run to Derrek Lee on a fastball.
Afterward, Wood said Lee's familiarity with Wood might have had something to do the homer.
But the standing ovation Wood received as he entered from the visiting bullpen up the right-field line certainly didn't.
"It wasn't really as bad as I thought it was going to be as far as adrenaline and being able to control that," Wood said.
Wood said he heard the fans applauding him.
"But I didn't want it to last too long so I tried to get on the mound as quick as I could."
Wood is 2-2 with a 4.81 ERA and eight saves in 11 opportunities this season for the Indians, while DeRosa is hitting .281 with a team-high 13 home runs and 49 RBIs.
Indians starter Cliff Lee was in line for the victory before Wood's blown save. Ryan Theriot then smacked the game-winning single to right in the 10th, scoring Alfonso Soriano and spoiling DeRosa and Wood's return.
"I enjoyed every minute of it until the final Theriot base hit," DeRosa said. "It's good to be back. I would've liked to have helped Cliffy out a little bit and gotten the W, but for me personally, the fans were awesome to me so I tip my hat to them."
Jesse Temple is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.