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Ten years ago today, Kerry Wood tied the major league record for K's in a single game by striking out 20 Astros and shutting them out 2-0 on one hit with no walks. It is arguably the most dominating single-game pitching performance in baseball history.
Bruce Miles has today written a personal memoir of the 20-K game, including some details I had not heard before:
On his first pitch of the game, Wood hit home-plate umpire Jerry Meals in the face mask. It was a ball that catcher Sandy Martinez couldn't quite reach. With Wood having uncorked that pitch, it's difficult to believe he didn't walk a single batter that day.
"First pitch," Wood said as he leaned against his clubhouse folding chair and chuckled. "I threw a fastball. Sandy didn't get it; it just barely nicked his glove, and it hit him in the mask. First pitch of the game."
I asked Wood if he ever talked with Meals about that pitch.
"No, but I remember kind of thinking, 'That's probably not the way I want to start the game off, hitting the umpire in the face with the first pitch,'" he said. "When you see it later on, when you see it on the replay, it's, 'Oh, yeah, I forgot about that.' It was kind of funny."
Wood also told Paul Sullivan that:"I think I've met everybody at the game," Wood said facetiously. "I've probably met about 26,000 of them. I've met all of them. Every last one."I know he's kidding, but I was there, sitting through the drizzle that lasted a couple of innings and the excitement you could feel in the crowd. I've never met Kerry Wood. Someday, I'd like to, if only to thank him for this memorable day and for his classiness as a major league player. Who would have guessed that ten years later, he'd be closing for the Cubs?
I hope he closes out tonight's game by striking out the side.
|Today's Starting Pitchers|
|2008 - Carlos Zambrano||4-1||7||7||0||0||0||0||47.0||44||11||11||3||11||35||2.11||1.17|
|2008 - Aaron Harang||1-4||7||7||0||0||0||0||48.1||41||18||16||5||11||41||2.98||1.08|
I'm opening this game thread early because you guys have been real chatty in the recap thread from last night's game and with over 300 comments at 1 pm CDT, it's likely to start running slow.
This is a matchup you don't often see these days -- ace vs. ace. Z has been outstanding this year, and has already beaten the Reds once, throwing 7 strong innings on April 16. And the day before that, the Cubs beat up on Harang, with D-Lee and Mark DeRosa homering off him. That was Lee's 5th career HR off Harang; he's 13-for-38 (.342) lifetime against him.
The Reds usually hit Z pretty well, especially Dunn (6 career HR) and Griffey (.364/.447/.697). Dunn homered in the April 16 game, but off Kevin Hart. If Z keeps the ball down as he has been this year, the Cubs will break their two-game losing streak.
Today's game is on cable in Chicago and Cincinnati and at theMLB.com Mediacenter.
MLB.com Gameday (2007 version)
MLB.com Gameday (2008 version)
Today's overflow comment thread will post at 7:45 pm CT.
Discuss amongst yourselves.