Chicago Cubs: The Heroes of Wrigley Series presents Kerry Wood

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6 Jun 2001: Kerry Wood #34 of the Chicago Cubs pulls back to pitch during the game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Cubs defeated the Cardinals 4-1.Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Daniel /Allsport
6 Jun 2001: Kerry Wood #34 of the Chicago Cubs pulls back to pitch during the game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Cubs defeated the Cardinals 4-1.Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Daniel /Allsport /
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(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Wood pitches the Cubs through an unforgettable October

Wood had a breakout year in 2003, earning his first All-Star team selection and, for the second consecutive year, tossed over 200 innings (211).  He struck out a career-high 266 batters on his way to a 14-11 record a 3.20 ERA.

Wood was a part of a lethal one-two punch for the Cubs, alongside Cy Young runner-up Mark Prior.  Together, the combo made up one of the more menacing pitching staffs in all of baseball.  The Cubs won the National League Central Division in one of the most memorable seasons ever.

After numerous injury-riddled seasons, Wood finally got a chance to showcase his comeback in the postseason.  He won two games in the National League Division Series against the Atlanta Braves, which included a clutch RBI double to help his own cause.  With Wood leading the way, the Cubs won their first playoff series since 1908.

The Cubs advanced to face the Florida Marlins in the National League Championship Series.  With the series tied 1-1, Wood took the mound in Game 3 in Miami.  He pitched 6 2/3 innings in a no-decision win to take the lead in the series.

After blowing a 3-1 series lead, the series shifted back to Chicago for a deciding game with Wood, once again, taking the mound.  The Marlins jumped out to an early 3-1 lead when Wood, like he’d done all postseason long, came in clutch with a game-tying two-run home run.

The Marlins eventually won the game, en route to a World Series championship and ended Chicago’s magical and promising season, but Wood showed the league that, when healthy, he was among the best in the game.

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