The only blemish on the Chicago Cubs’ side of the May 6th, 1998 boxscore of game versus the Houston Astros was a infield single off the bat of Ricky Gutierrez. Although Kerry Wood threw a one-hitter against the Astros that afternoon, the amount of hits surrendered, or lack thereof, was secondary to number of batters rung up by the 21-year old right-hander. Kerry Wood tied a Major League record with 20 strikeouts in a 9-inning game that day, and it still stands as one of the most dominant pitching performances of the modern era.
Kerry Wood’s 20-strikeout game took place 15 years ago today. If you watched the iconic performance live, then this serves as your weekly dose of “hey, you’re getting old”. Wood threw 122 pitches to a Houston Astros lineup that featured the likes of Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, Moises Alou, and pre-worthless Derek Bell. This was an Astros team that won 102 games. This was not a case of < insert elite pitcher of the day > tuning the 2013 Houston Astros.
Sure, Wood appeared to benefit from a few generous calls, but he brought his best stuff that afternoon and it was downright unhittable. I mean, just look at this:
Happy anniversary, Kerry Wood’s 20-strikeout game.
h/t Eye on Baseball