Back in the long-ago times when the Cubs occasionally wore blue alternate jerseys for home games at Wrigley Field, Kerry Wood was wearing one of those when he accomplished the feat headlined here: Four strikeouts in an inning.
This one happened in the second game of a doubleheader against the Brewers.
Of all the Cubs pitchers who did the 4-K feat, Wood’s is unique because he allowed two runners to reach base on strikeouts, one on a throwing error by Todd Hundley, the other on a wild pitch. Thus Wood might have had a chance to strike out five batters in an inning, but the other out was recorded on a groundout. The Cubs won the game 17-4; in addition to the K mark, Wood hit one of five Cubs home runs in this game.
The 4-K inning was the top of the fifth. It began with the groundout, hit into by former Cub Matt Stairs. Then Bill Hall struck out and Hundley’s error allowed him to get all the way to third. Wood then struck out Ryan Thompson and another future Cub, Paul Bako. But Bako also reached base, that one on a wild pitch, but Hall held at third. The next batter was a former Cub, Brewers pitcher Andrew Lorraine, and Wood struck him out to end the inning.
It all happened at Wrigley Field 20 years ago today, Monday, September 2, 2002. There’s another one of these 4-K innings we’ll celebrate a “decade” anniversary for, later this month. I’ll keep you guessing as to who that pitcher is.