No Gray Area: 22 Years Ago Clemens Tied MLB Record with 20 Ks for 1st of 2 Times
On May 6th, 1998, Chicago Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood pitched one of the all-time best games in baseball history, striking out 20 Houston Astros batters while allowing just one hit. Even more impressive, it was just Wood's fifth career major league start. It is two more strikeouts than Jon Gray struck out on Sept. 17, 2016 for the Rockies franchise record.
Take a look at the Wood's night, thanks to Sports Illustrated:
Wood equaled the record set by Roger Clemens with the Red sox on April 29, 1986. Since Wood, there have been three other 20-strikeout games, including a second for Clemens as well as efforts by Randy Johnson and Max Scherzer.
Gray's game was the most impressive effort in Rockies history. He struck out 16 in nine innings, but even more impressive, Gray threw 113 pitches, 78 for strikes, and did not walk a batter in an 8-0 win against the Padres at Coors Field. He broke the record of 14 strikeouts set by the late Darryl Kile against Montreal on Aug. 20, 1998. Kile worked seven innings in the game.
Gray also struck out 12 in a game twice, equaling the sixth highest strikeout total in franchise history. He went seven innings both times -- against the Padres on June 5, 20126, and the Marlins on June 22, 2018. Kile also had a 12-strikeout game against the Cubs on Aug. 30, 1998.