Coming after a day of the big retirement news from Kerry Wood, the injury to Geo Soto, and the demotion of Chris Volstad, the Cubs-Sox game almost seemed like an afterthought.
This may not be the kind of year he had hoped for, but Wood went out in style. For a moment, he looked like that 20 year old kid we remembered back in May of 1998. He threw 95 mph gas, striking out Dayan Viciedo on three pitches. Viciedo went down swinging on a nasty, vintage Kerry Wood curve.
It was strikeout number 1582.
He then left the mound for the last time to the deafening roar of the crowd, hugged his son, and sat back into the dugout. While he may not have been the Kerry Wood we remember this season, I'll remember him for those flashes of greatness, that immense talent, and as that the guy who grew from a raw, flame-throwing kid to the team leader on and off the field.
Oh yeah..then there was the game...
The game didn't let us down, either. It was eventful to say the least.
It started on an ominous note as notorious Cubs killer Paul Konerko did it again, leading off the game with a rocket HR into the LF bleachers off a Jeff Samardzija 95 mph fastball. On his next AB, Samardzija let a splitter get away from him and hit Konerko in the head, somewhere near his left eye.
It was obviously not intentional and we all hope Konerko is okay. The Sox, however, retaliated anyway -- throwing one behind Bryan LaHair's back that was a little too high for comfort. What's worse, Sox announcer Hawk Harrelson was calling for the Sox to throw it high and tight to Samardzija.
Not a whole lot of class from the Sox on a day that featured the retirement of one of the classiest players in baseball.
The Cubs answered right away with a sac fly by Starlin Castro to drive in David DeJesus, who had doubled.
The game featured another terrible call by a base umpire. David DeJesus stretched an apparent single into a double, only to have Gordon Beckham shove him off the bag and tag him "out". The umpire Eric Cooper apparently thought tackling was perfectly legal in baseball.
The game remained 2-1 until the 7th, when the Cubs put men on 2nd and 3rd with one out -- then inexplicably let Samardzija bat when the Cubs so badly needed a run.
But acting manager Jamie Quirk proved most of us wrong when Samardzija singled in the tying run. Unfortunately, consecutive pop-ups by David DeJesus and Tony Campana prevented the Cubs from taking the lead.
The next inning, 2B Gordon Beckham put the Sox on top with a wind-blown HR that barely left the yard.
The Cubs had one final hope when Alex Rios dropped an easy flyball by Darwin Barney, who hustled to make it a gift double. Unfortunately, Reed Johnson came in and struck out to end the game as the Cubs lost 3-2.
But the biggest story of the day was Kerry Wood. Here's the video if you missed it...