10/15/2003 9:41 PM ET
Wood brings back Cubs with his bat
CHICAGO -- Get on my back, boys.
By Matthew Leach / MLB.com
Just like he did in Game 1 of the National League Division Series, Kerry Wood is taking it upon himself to provide his own offense in Game 7 of the NLCS. Wood tomahawked a Mark Redman pitch into the bleachers in left field with two out in the second inning, pulling his Cubs back into a tie with the Marlins.
Wrigley Field literally shook as Wood paraded around the bases, as a crowd of approximately 40,000 was given new hope. Wood had fallen behind 3-0 on a Miguel Cabrera home run in the first inning, but settled down to pitch a scoreless second. Damian Miller's RBI groundout and Wood's homer in the bottom of the second tied things up. By the third, Wood was absolutely rolling, striking out the Marlins' two hottest hitters -- Ivan Rodriguez and Miguel Cabrera -- on consecutive at-bats.
Wood is the fourth pitcher to go deep in the history of the NLCS, and the first in nearly 20 years. The last? Another Cubs ace, Rick Sutcliffe, who did so in Game 1 of the 1984 series. Chicago won that game, but went on to lose the series, three games to two.
The hard-throwing Texan is one of the game's better hitters. He's a lifetime .175 hitter in the regular season with six home runs. The homer was his third hit in nine at-bats, including a crucial two-run double in Chicago's playoff opener at Atlanta.
Aramis Ramirez popped up to open the second, and Eric Karros singled to right. Alex Gonzalez's double moved Karros to third, and Miller drove in a run with a ground ball to third. The second out took Wood out of a bunting situation, and that was certainly to the Cubs' benefit. Wood worked a 3-2 count, and on the seventh pitch of the at-bat, he took Redman deep into the bleachers.
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to approval by Major League Baseball or its clubs.