Monday, May 6, 2013

On This Day, May 6, 1998...

By the time this post comes out, it will be 15 years to the day that Kerry Wood struck out 20 hitters, leading the Cubs to a 2-0 victory over the Houston Astros.

1999 Topps #204 Kerry Wood Season Highlights

Wood struck out every batter in the Astros lineup at least once, fanning the 3-4-5 hitters (Jeff Bagwell, Jack Howell, and Moises Alou) three times each. Even the lone pinch-hitter, Bill Spiers, took a seat (not after fouling off several pitches to stay alive). The only Houston player to get a hit was Ricky Gutierrez, who singled to lead off the third inning. Wood also struck out the side in the first, fifth, seventh, and eighth innings.

Not to be outdone, Shane Reynolds, who was the starting pitcher for Houston, struck out 10 Cubs batters, and matched Kerry out for out in the first inning, striking out the side (all in swinging fashion) in the first inning. He is also credited with a complete game, allowing 2 runs, one earned, in his 8 innings of work.

The 20 K's tied the MLB record for most strikeouts in a nine-inning game (set by Roger Clemens, April 29, 1986; tied by Clemens, September 18, 1996; and Randy Johnson, May 8, 2001...although he left after the ninth inning and his game went into extras), and broke the NL record (19 by David Cone, October 6, 1991) and the record for most strikeouts by a rookie (18 by Bill Gullickson, September 10, 1980).

The Cubs went on a 21-9 run after the game, which helped get them into playoffs (albeit via a play-in game) for the first time since the 1989.


JayBee Anama

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