Kerry Wood And The 15 Greatest Pitching Performances Since 1968

Kerry Wood

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It is hard to ever say a 14-year career in the big leagues was a disappointment. But considering how Kerry Wood burst onto the scene in 1998, there are a lot of people wondering “what could have been” about the kid that had one of the most electric arms of this generation.In just his fifth career start, Wood tied a Major League record by striking out 20 Houston Astros batters. But what made his start even more impressive, was that he did not walk a batter, and allowed just one hit.

Some say it is one of the greatest pitching performances ever.

On the next few pages, we will take a look at the top 15 pitching performances since the mound was lowered in 1968, based on Game Score, which evaluates an overall pitching performance (we limited this list to pitchers that pitched less than 11 innings, since no pitcher has pitched more than 10 innings in 20 years and Game Score tends to bias towards longer outings).

#9 (T) Erik Hanson, Seattle Mariners — 1990

Opponent: Oakland A's

Result: Lost, 1-0

Innings: 10

Hits: 2

Runs: 0

Walks: 0

Strikeouts: 11

Game Score: 99

#9 (T) Nolan Ryan, Texas Rangers — 1990

Opponent: Oakland A's

Result: Won 5-0

Innings: 9

Hits: 0

Runs: 0

Walks: 2

Strikeouts: 14

Game Score: 99

#9 (T) Bobby Witt, Oakland A's — 1994

Opponent: Kansas City Royals

Result: Won 4-0

Innings: 9

Hits: 1

Runs: 0

Walks: 0

Strikeouts: 14

Game Score: 99

#9 (T) Hideo Nomo, Boston Red Sox — 2001

Opponent: Toronto Blue Jays

Result: Won 4-0

Innings: 9

Hits: 1

Runs: 0

Walks: 0

Strikeouts: 14

Game Score: 99

#9 (T) Nolan Ryan, Texas Rangers — 1990

Opponent: Chicago White Sox

Result: Won 1-0

Innings: 9

Hits: 1

Runs: 0

Walks: 2

Strikeouts: 16

Game Score: 99

#9 (T) Roger Clemens, Toronto Blue Jays — 1998

Opponent: Kansas City Royals

Result: Won 3-0

Innings: 9

Hits: 3

Runs: 0

Walks: 0

Strikeouts: 18

Game Score: 99

#9 (T) David Cone, New York Mets — 1991

Opponent: Philadelphia Phillies

Result: Won 7-0

Innings: 9

Hits: 3

Runs: 0

Walks: 1

Strikeouts: 19

Game Score: 99

#4 (T) Randy Johnson, Arizona Diamondbacks — 2004

Opponent: Atlanta Braves

Result: Won 2-0

Innings: 9

Hits: 0

Runs: 0

Walks: 0

Strikeouts: 13

Game Score: 100

#4 (T) Nolan Ryan, California Angels — 1972

Opponent: Boston Red Sox

Result: Won 3-0

Innings: 9

Hits: 1

Runs: 0

Walks: 1

Strikeouts: 16

Game Score: 100

#4 (T) Nolan Ryan, California Angels — 1973

Opponent: Detroit Tigers

Result: Won 6-0

Innings: 9

Hits: 0

Runs: 0

Walks: 4

Strikeouts: 17

Game Score: 100

#4 (T) Curt Schilling, Arizona Diamondbacks — 2002

Opponent: Milwaukee Brewers

Result: Won 2-0

Innings: 9

Hits: 1

Runs: 0

Walks: 2

Strikeouts: 17

Game Score: 100

#4 (T) Brandon Morrow, Toronto Blue Jays — 2010

Opponent: Tampa Bay Rays

Result: Won 1-0

Innings: 9

Hits: 1

Runs: 0

Walks: 2

Strikeouts: 17

Game Score: 100

#2 (T) Nolan Ryan, Texas Rangers — 1990

Opponent: Chicago White Sox

Result: Won 1-0

Innings: 10

Hits: 3

Runs: 0

Walks: 0

Strikeouts: 15

Game Score: 101

#2 (T) Nolan Ryan, Texas Rangers — 1991

Opponent: Toronto Blue Jays

Result: Won 3-0

Innings: 9

Hits: 0

Runs: 0

Walks: 2

Strikeouts: 16

Game Score: 101

#1 Kerry Wood, Chicago Cubs — 1998

Opponent: Houston Astros

Result: Won 2-0

Innings: 9

Hits: 1

Runs: 0

Walks: 0

Strikeouts: 20

Game Score: 105

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