Off the Mound with Ryan Dempster

Kerry Wood on most surreal moment: 20 strikeouts or HR in Game 7 of 2003 NLCS?

4 years agoStaff Report

Former Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood joined Ryan Dempster on Off The Mound to discuss which moment was more surreal: his 20-strikeout game or the Game 7 home run in the 2003 NLCS. 

Wood accomplished a lot while wearing a Cubs uniform, but those two moments stood out the most to Dempster. So, he asked Wood which of the memories Wood found the most surreal.

“No question the Game 7 home run because I knew that happened,” Wood said. “The 20-strikeout game, I finished the game but I didn’t know what was going on. All my teammates are mouthing me I’m like ‘Are they happy because I didn’t walk anybody?'”

Wood went on in detail about his approach at the plate and what he was thinking. 

“I remember sitting on the bench thinking OK, stop scouting and thinking of myself out of all the guys, I’m the 9th hitter. I’m like ‘Guys, he’s throwing a change up, maybe we sit on that,'” Wood said. “I sat change up for the next three pitches, he threw three change ups that were balls. He was throwing 87-88 because I didn’t think he was throwing hard enough to get fastballs by me. So I sat change up with two strikes until I got to 3-2. When I got to 3-2, I was thinking ‘All right, he’s not going to be walking the pitcher in a playoff game with a guy on base and the leadoff hitter coming up. So I’m getting a fastball.’ And I guessed right.”

As soon as Wood hit the home run to tie that game in Game 7, Wood remembered how insane the Wrigley Field crowd was in the moment.

“When I hit first base and I turned and I was running toward second, when I saw the bleachers just erupting in beer and whatever liquid they could find and throw in the air, I ran so slow around the bases because I thought my legs would give out. I thought they were jello,” Wood added. 

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