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March 18, 2014 6:00 am
Sam rewatches a wondrous start to figure out what made it so special: Was it the start or the story?
The greatest nine-inning game by any starter was thrown by a 20-year-old who entered the outing with a 5.89 ERA in his four career starts, a career minor-league walk rate of 6.8 per nine, a career minor-league ERA of 3.91, and no complete games at any professional level. It came against the league’s best offense. The game was called by a catcher who had never caught the pitcher before, it was nearly interrupted by a rain delay that would have ended the pitcher’s afternoon in the seventh, it is infamous for a third-inning decision by the official scorer, and it’s notorious for the deleterious effect that its cumulative toll might have had on the pitcher who threw it. It also might very nearly have cost an umpire his life, though thankfully it didn’t.
Ben and Sam do a grab-bag episode on an assortment of topics, including Kenley Jansen's hidden perfect game, Phillies outfielder updates, teams that own other teams, and a comment by Kerry Wood.
From Wrigley Field on Friday, Bradford bids goodbye to the Cubs' fragile former phenom, Kerry Wood.
Orson Welles used to say the key to playing a larger-than-life character was to give him plenty of advance billing before he actually appears on the stage or screen. Harry Lime becomes the most interesting character in The Third Man more than 50 minutes before Welles makes his dramatic entrance in the film. It was a little like that with Kerry Wood, whose ridiculous velocity, strapping build, and Texas background had him pegged as the heir to Nolan Ryan and Roger Clemens before we ever saw him in Chicago.
Wood was the fourth pick of the 1995 draft, taken behind Darin Erstad, Ben Davis, and Jose Cruz Jr., and almost immediately there were problems. Less than a week after the Cubs drafted him, Mike McGilvray, his high school coach back in Grand Prairie, Texas, used him in both ends of a doubleheader in the state quarterfinals. Wood threw 145 pitches in the first game and 32 more in the nightcap. Grand Prairie won both games.
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February 26, 2003 6:20 pm
Of the million things Cubs fans can blame when they look back on why 2003 wasn't the year they finally won the World Series, health won't be one of them.