Kerry Wood will be forever remembered for his 20-strikeout performance as a rookie for the Chicago Cubs in '98, and electric stuff, but it was injuries that prevented him from becoming the celebrity ace his talent said he had.
In 8 1/3 innings this season with the Cubs, Wood had an 8.64 ERA with 11 walks and 5 stirkeouts. He will finish his career with an 86-75 record and 3.67 ERA in 13 big league seasons.
Solid. Not spectacular. And a bit too bad considering his immense talent.
Along with Mark Prior, Wood was a starter for the last good Cubs team; the one that reached the NLCS against the Marlins and led that series 3-2 before "Bartman" happened. Wood hit a home run in Game 7 of that series, but was the losing pitcher of record.
As good as Wood was, watching him retire inspires thoughts of what should have been. When Wood was right he was over powering. But he wasn't right very often, which was why he became a full-time reliever in 2006, and why he is retiring now.
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