To the Editor:
“ [Kerry] Wood twirls during his most dominant inning, a 12-pitch fifth in which he struck out all three batterslooking." That says it all, but here is the overview. It was 20 years ago, May 6, 1998, when the rookie Cubs pitcher, Kerry Wood took the mound against the Astros and with only 122 pitches and a record tying 20 strike outs shut-out the eventual National League Central champions. And, despite that phenomenal performance, no, the Cubs did not win the World series that year.
As many of you know, two others have pitched comparable 20 Ks, in 9 innings games (Roger Clemens and Max Scherzer), but there is wide agreement that Wood’s win was something special.
Though Wood went on to a great career, that day was not to be repeated. Steve Stone summed it up: “The saddest part is you had seen the overwhelming talent. And then his body would just not allow him to bring it to fruition. It was his body. It wasn’t his competitiveness. It wasn’t his desire”. Finally, as one person put it: “They didn’t win the World Series with him. That alone brings some level of disappointment. But it’s also part of what makes that 20-strikeout game all the more special. Because we did have that day. And he did throw the greatest game ever pitched”. (Quotes from the Chicago Tribuneof May 6, 2018)
Rev. Bob Dell