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  • - [Chip Caray] We have a treat for you today. Youngster from Texas will take the mound.

  • He is Kerry Wood.

  • - [Pat] His name starts with a K, and you're going to see a lot of Ks

  • in the score book.

  • - [Jim Riggleman] Everybody was just in awe of what they were watching.

  • - [David Kaplan] "You've got to turn this game on." Because we were seeing history.

  • - [Pat] I'm just happy that I got to see it.

  • - [Chip Caray] The 0-2. Got it. He's tied the record.

  • - Those of you lucky enough to have witnessed this have seen something

  • you might not see again.

  • ♪ [music] ♪

  • - [Chip Caray] As Chicago natives would say, it was a typically beautiful early

  • May day. It was cloudy. It was gray. It was misty. It was raw.

  • - [Brian Garza] It was a weekday game in May, so you're not expecting a huge crowd

  • inside the ballpark.

  • - [Joe Mantegna] And in a way it's perfect that it was only about 15,000 people and it was kind

  • of a rainy day. It was like, this is hardcore Cub fan day.

  • We went out on the field before the game. Because of bleacher bums,

  • I got to know some of the Cubs pretty well, like Santo, like Billy Williams.

  • Some of...especially the old guard. And Billy was out there. He said to me,

  • he says, "Well, you'd better watch this young boy pitching today, this Kerry Wood.

  • He's something. He's got some fire today."

  • - [Chip Caray] Big day today. The gunslinger Kerry Wood takes the mound.

  • - [Carrie Muskat] First round pick, hard-throwing kid. There was always hype

  • every time Woody would start.

  • - [Ron Santo] Been around baseball a long time, and haven't seen a kid like this come

  • up to the big leagues.

  • - [Terry Adams] We were struggling a little bit and needed a guy, and they brought him up.

  • - [Broadcaster] Three-two pitch. Struck him out.

  • - [Terry Adams] Of course, you know, everybody was keeping tabs on this,

  • game-to-game basis.

  • - If you did have butterflies, you didn't show it outwardly.

  • - [Kerry Wood] I guess I pitch a little better on nerves, I guess. The media attention,

  • as a 20-year-old, it was uncomfortable. I mean, my comfort zone was on the field

  • and on the mound. So it was a little bit overwhelming.

  • - [Caray] I think that when a young guy comes up, you wonder, "Okay, just how good is

  • his stuff?" And hitters usually tell you pretty quickly how good his stuff is.

  • - [Broadcaster] His dad schooled him to be like Nolan Ryan in the leg kick and that whole thing,

  • and he's followed Roger Clemens as well.

  • - [Jim Deshaies] The whole Texas angle. But no one...Clemens had been pitching

  • against the Astros. It was, like, a storybook kind of theme.

  • - [Caray] Houston leading the Central Division with a record of 20 and 11.

  • Here is Larry Dierker starting lineup.

  • - These were the killer bees. I mean, this was a team that

  • everybody heard about.

  • - [David Kaplan] He's got to face Bagwell, and Biggio, and Derek Bell,

  • and that team is loaded.

  • - [Broadcaster] And they can hit. They can hit for power. They can run.

  • The Houston Astros probably are the toughest task for any starting pitcher.

  • - [Wood] I knew who they were, for sure. I just didn't know what that lineup

  • together was capable of doing, which was probably a good thing.

  • - [Broadcaster] Last night they ran at will. Today may be a different story.

  • Sandy Martinez in the lineup today.

  • - [Caray] He's one of the great trivia questions of all time. Who was the catcher that

  • caught Kerry Wood's 20-strikeout game? It wasn't Scott Servais,

  • but it was Sandy Martinez.

  • - [Kevin Orie] Anything, coming off the bench in baseball is probably the hardest thing,

  • I think, in any sport, to do.

  • - [Wood] I was the young guy. He was, you know, the backup catcher. Our starting catcher

  • probably got the top of the rotation guy.

  • - [Kaplan] Usually you're looking for chemistry with your battery mate,

  • and they think alike, and, "Hey, we've got to face this guy,

  • and we both know how we're going to get him out." They had never really done

  • anything like that.

  • - [Wood] Got out to the bullpen and started warming up for the game,

  • and I don't think I threw one strike in my 40-something warm-up pitches.

  • I grabbed the ball, and then turned to Phil Regan and flipped him the ball

  • and said, "I mean, it can't get any worse."

  • - [Caray] Jerry Meals, the home plate umpire, he may be a key man in this ball game

  • for Kerry Wood. You talked about that a bit last night.

  • - [Steve Stone] Well, I think it really depends on just exactly what strike zone Kerry Wood is

  • going to get.

  • - [Wood] I'd warmed up, like I said before, and didn't throw any strikes.

  • And I figured I wasn't going to lay one in there. Just threw it as hard as I could.

  • - [Caray] And the first pitch.

  • - [Stone] That knocked the mask right off the head of Jerry Meals.

  • - Sandy just misses it. - [Caray] Wow. That is some heat, folks.

  • - [Jerry Meals] I was like, "What just happened?" You know,

  • I was running through my head at the time, "What happened yesterday?

  • Did something happen on the field that the Cubs are upset with me or something?"

  • You know, I'm running it through my mind, "Do I need to run this guy?"

  • - [Wood] I don't think Meals was looking for, you know, 98 off the face on the first

  • pitch of the game. It kind of caught everybody off-guard.

  • - [Deshaies] Oh, that is not going to endear Sandy Martinez to Jerry Meals. What a start.

  • - [Billy Williams] The ball went all the way to the backstop. That ball went all the way

  • to the backstop. And I said, "Man, he's throwing hard today."

  • - [Caray] Two strikes. Got him with the heat.

  • - [Stone] And Biggio swinging way late, and that's one of the worst swings

  • you'll see him take.

  • - [Caray] As the day, it continues, and he changes speed, so Bell strikes out.

  • - The gunslinger ready, the two-two. Strike, three tall. He punched out

  • the order in the first. That will do it for the Astros.

  • - [Wood] So, even though I struck out a side in the first inning, I sat down and was like,

  • "How did I just strike out a side?" Like, "What just happened?

  • I didn't throw a strike in the first last 30 minutes, and I just struck out a side

  • the first inning."

  • - [Hughes] What an opening inning for Kerry Wood, striking out the side. Wow.

  • - The fans still kind of buzzing after Kerry Wood banned Biggio, Bell,

  • and Bagwell in the top of the first.

  • - [Matt Erickson] I was one of the first ones into the bleachers that day.

  • And this guy showed up. He's got this stack of Ks on the back of,

  • you know, poster board, and ridiculously energetic,

  • and kind of asking, "Who wants to hold up K signs and watch this kid make history?"

  • You didn't have to follow the Cubs too closely to think, "Well,

  • you're crazy, dude." But that's how I met Tom.

  • - [Kim Corning] "Kerry, you have a tremendous career ahead of you,

  • not only as a pitcher but as an influence on kids all over Chicagoland.

  • Thanks for your time, Tom Bujnowski. P.S., I will have the K signs in the bleachers

  • for your next home start." And he really did,

  • but he didn't have enough.

  • - [Jake Bujnowski] The Ks definitely were for Kerry. As a rational 24-year-old now, yeah,

  • it's crazy that he made the signs for this one guy when he wasn't proven yet,

  • you know? It was just, there was hope that he

  • was going to be good.

  • - [Broadcaster] Jack Howell is going to try to become the first man to make contact

  • in this game.

  • - [Erickson] I was the fourth K in the bleachers that day, and at that point I'm going,

  • "This is fantastic. I'm going to get to hold one of these up

  • without question," right? I mean, Jack Howell was my guy,

  • the clean-up guy that day.

  • - [Hughes] Here's the wind-up and the one-two, and Howell strikes out swinging.

  • That's four in a row.

  • - [Erickson] From the first out in the second inning all the way onward for the rest

  • of the game, I was getting a workout.

  • - [Hughes] Ronnie, we were wondering who has the record for the most strikeouts to start

  • a game, consecutive strikeouts. Well, the Major League record's set by a guy

  • in the press box today, Jim Deshaies.

  • - [Santo] I'll be darned. - For the Astros.

  • - [Broadcaster] Well, Jim's going to think this one over a little bit now. He's got seven.

  • He's working on eight in a row to get this ballgame underway. This is amazing.

  • Eight consecutive strikeouts. Every player is up on the railing

  • applauding along with the crowd. Look at them, everybody.

  • - [Deshaies] For a lot of folks, it was more of a curiosity. It was, you know,

  • "How did that happen?"

  • My fastball doesn't really record.

  • It's not a, you know, real high, 90-plus fastball. But as long as it's

  • working for me, I don't care what the number is.

  • So, I started with eight in a row to start the ballgame. I finished with 10.

  • I mean, you expend a lot of energy. So, you know, I went the whole game,

  • but I only struck out 10. To maintain that stuff and to dominate

  • hitters for nine innings the way he did, there's no comparison. You know,

  • mine was kind of a neat thing and something I could always hang on to,

  • and I had a real nice game. His is, you know, probably the most dominant game

  • ever pitched.

  • - [Broadcaster] Whoa, and he comes up and in for his fifth consecutive strikeout.

  • - [Deshaies] That's one of the few times this year we've seen Moises Alou get beat

  • by a fastball.

  • - [Ricky Gutierrez] Moises was hitting in front of me. Always gauged my...a guy that I knew

  • had good stuff and threw hard, I always gauged, you know, went to him.

  • That day was probably the only day I've ever seen a fastball dominate him.

  • - [Stone] And yet another strikeout. Five in a row.

  • - [Gutierrez] That day when I asked him, "How's he throwing?"

  • He just gave me a look, like... Then he said, "Good luck."

  • - [Broadcaster] Six consecutive outs for Kerry Wood,

  • but Clark kept the ball in play. Nothing-nothing.

  • - [Caray] People who think pitching performances or pitchers' duels are boring,

  • watch this game. You had Shane Reynolds matching Kerry Wood pitch for pitch.

  • No quarter given, no quarter taken. I mean, these guys just went

  • after each other, and it was unbelievable.

  • - [Riggleman] Reynolds, I managed, you know, clubs against him in the minor leagues.

  • I had a lot of history with him, and he was an extremely tough pitcher,

  • and he was tough on us that day. But we scratched out one early.

  • - [Caray] That's deep enough to score the run.

  • Tagging from third is Grace. Cubs lead it one to nothing.

  • - [Riggleman] Kerry just...he made that enough.

  • - [Deshaies] He's given up an unearned run and probably thinks he can't allow too much

  • more the way things are going.

  • - And I'm sure Wood's thinking the same thing watching Shane Reynolds pitch,

  • realizing that he's got to be at the top of his game to compete with Shane.

  • - [Wood] It really kept me from getting caught up and focusing on the strikeouts,

  • and it was a one to nothing game until the eighth inning. I would have hated

  • to have been, you know, in his shoes that day, to have, you know,

  • have a gem like that go to waste and get an L for it. But he was definitely

  • locked in, too.

  • - [Caray] An unearned run the difference so far. The Cubs lead it one to nothing.

  • Ricky Gutierrez will lead off the Astro third. And he finally makes contact.

  • - [Gutierrez] I was just trying to put the ball in play, you know? I had two strikes,

  • so I was just trying to make contact, you know? Either fight off a fastball or,

  • you know, and he was...he happened to throw a curveball at me.

  • Probably the worst pitch of the game.

  • - [Wood] It was a backup, bad breaking ball and just a dumb pitch.

  • - [Caray] Long outing for it. To the left side, off Orie's glove into left field for

  • a base hit.

  • - [Wood] And it wasn't a good swing, and it wasn't a hard hit.

  • It just found the hole, and... but, base hit all the way.

  • - [Kaplan] And that turns out to be, like, "Oh my goodness, he could have had

  • a no-hitter." And that one moment in time will always be linked to this

  • 20-strikeout performance.

  • - [Gutierrez] The two years I was there, I always gave him crap about it.

  • I once told him, I said, "You'll remember me for the rest

  • of your life." I said, "You'll remember that name,

  • Ricky Gutierrez, for the rest of your life." He would just tell me,

  • "Get outta here."

  • - [Wood] He brought it up to me every day. Every day. Every time he walked by me,

  • he would say something. I can't repeat it here,

  • but he would say something.

  • - [Gutierrez] It's always nice to go down in, you know, history with a guy pitching

  • a great performance like that and you mess it up.

  • - [Broadcaster] I'm not sure he got his glove on it. On that replay, it didn't appear that

  • he did. At first I thought he had.

  • - [Deshaies] Yeah, I thought he did. I'm surprised that's not an error.

  • - [Orie] I thought I should have made that play. If I would have been, like, maybe,

  • in a comfortable spot defensively to get that little extra angle or just commit

  • to the dive right away. And worst case, you get up, you try to throw him out

  • to be safe, and then you might have somebody say, "Why did he dive?'

  • - [Erickson] I don't know where they got the poster board from, but the E-5 was really almost

  • a lobbying to the official scorekeeper thinking, "God, if he sees this,

  • maybe he'll change it."

  • - [Orie] I came right in to the clubhouse. The media was everywhere.

  • Right away I just said, "Hey, just give me an error.

  • Let's just make this simple." They didn't. And so, so here we are.

  • - [Wood] You know, I could tell he was physically...not emotional,

  • but he was a little distraught and worried that it was going to be the only hit,

  • and then when it happened, he was apologetic and wanted the error.

  • You know, for him to come out and say "Yeah," you know, like,

  • "Give me the error, give me... I want to..." You know, he should do that.

  • But that's...it was a hit all the way.

  • - [Stone] There's no doubt that Sandy Martinez is the best-throwing of the Cub catchers.

  • He's got a quick release. He's normally very accurate.

  • - [Caray] Got him swinging. Snap throw to first.

  • - [Muskat] The guy who deserves some credit is Sandy Martinez. Here's a guy who hadn't

  • caught him that much, and he's part of history.

  • - [Hughes] You can hear Sandy Martinez's glove popping all the way upstairs.

  • - Sandy did an excellent job behind the plate. Kerry obviously felt comfortable

  • working with him.

  • - [Wood] I liked his visual. I liked throwing to Sandy.

  • I liked his energy. I liked the way he was... You know, there's a game

  • between...there's a game within the game, as most people know.