Kerry Wood's 20 strikeout game

Kerry Wood may not have ever reached the ridiculous potential he showed in this game (and in his entire rookie year), but this game is still one of my greatest memories as a Cubs fan. This video doesn't do him justice, as it's just the 20 actual strikeout pitches. You have to watch the whole game to truly appreciate just how good he was that day. But this does give you an idea, from the velocity, to the nasty movement on his breaking pitches, to the frustrated and helpless reactions of the Astros hitters.

It still gives me chills...

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  • It seems like Wood was getting the calls on the outside corner against RH batters early in the game. Certainly helped him later on.

  • In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    They were close, some borderline ones there.

  • It is, in a way, better to hear it from the other side's announcers.

  • In reply to bruno14:

    It was. The first time I heard it from their perspective.

  • Fitting that Wood's last appearance is a 1-2-3 K. Swinging, no less.

  • In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    Couldn't have scripted better. He was nasty for one more batter.

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    My greatest sports memory ever: my dad and I played hooky from our respective schools that day (he's a principal of a high school), and we went to Wrigley for an afternoon game. Lo and behold, it turned out to be one of the greatest single-game pitching performances ever. My dad and I are very fortunate to have witnessed this game. For that and many other reasons, Kerry is and will remain my favorite Cub for some time.

  • In reply to Chris Trengove:

    Wow...that is awesome. Thanks for sharing it, you're one of the lucky ones to catch that game in person.

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    I was only 13 1/2 years old, but I knew we were all watching something special - one of the most amazing pitching performances ever, to be sure.

    I can still recall the reaction to the 20th strikeout like it was yesterday. We were all less than surprised to see Craig Biggio "beat" Wood by grounding out the previous at bat. So all that remained to tie the record and reach magical #20 was to strike out Derek Bell. Myself, my dad, and those around us were in utter tension during the windup and delivery, only to explode in euphoria as Bell struck out swinging. We were hugging total strangers, screaming, and jumping up and down; the atmosphere was comparable to one of the '03 playoff victories.

    His favored status in my mind's eye has never bent since. It only strengthened the more loyal he became. For me, his status as a true Cub was solidified when he offered to return to Chicago for 2011 for only $1.5m.

    That's what baseball (and sports, in general) is all about. The memories. So, in that respect, thank you, Kerry, for the wonderful memory you gave to me and my father.

  • In reply to Chris Trengove:

    Well said, Chris

  • John, do you think Kevin Orie should've been given an error on the only "hit" of the game. It's been awhile since I've seen the footage but I can remember thinking at the time that it was a play he should've made.

  • In reply to Larry H:

    I've thought about that. It was a tough play but I think nobody would have complained if it was called an error.

    Whether it's one-hit, no-hit., it's still the best pitched game I've ever seen. I'm not the only one who said says that either. Goldstein said it today as well. It will be more remembered than a lot of no-hitters and even perfect games.

  • Waiting this makes me realize how may young Cub players I've
    seen in by life. I hope I'm around to see the next batch of young
    exciting players. This performance is the best I ever seen.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    Agreed...I know you've been watching since the mid 70s like I have. There have been a lot of great pitchers come and go. The only games that compare were those thrown by greats like Nolan Ryan, Roger Clemens, and Randy Johnson -- not that he had their careers, but early Kerry Wood had as good of stuff as anyone in baseball -- and that particular game was the best stuff I've ever seen.

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    We may have been biased, but everyone in the stadium sure thought it was an error

  • Whenever a pitcher has great game they always get the breaks near the end of the game. Missed calls, an error instead of a hit

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