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In honor of actor Andy Garcia and his (unintentionally) hilarious reaction to Sofia (Mary Corleone) Coppola's death scene in "The Godfather, Part III."
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May 2,1971

Posted 07-22-2017 at 03:45 PM by TommyJohn
Updated 06-25-2018 at 09:54 PM by TommyJohn

May 2,1971
vs. Washington Senators
at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium
Washington, D.C.

Joel Horlen injured his knee in the final spring game vs. the Cubs on April 4. New pitching coach Johnny Sain's solution was to promote reliever Wilbur Wood to the starting rotation.

Woodie wasn't so hot on the idea when it was presented to him. He was quite satisfied in the bullpen, thank you very much. A pep talk from Chuck and Johnny convinced Wood to take one for the team, and he decided to step into the rotation until Horlen was off the disabled list.

Wood's first start since 1968 was on April 12 vs. California and resulted in a one run loss. Four no-decisons quickly followed until this game against the Senators.

Jay Johnstone gave Wood a 1-0 lead in the 3rd, but the Senators came back to tie it in the 5th.

It remained tied until the top of the 9th, when another newcomer, Rick Reichardt, snapped it with a 2 run homer.

Wood got two quick outs in the 9th before yielding singles to Mike Epstein and Paul Casanova. This brought out Chuck Tanner, who summoned Vicente Romo to retire ex-Sox Tommy McCraw for the final out.

Wood had his first win for 1971 and was off and running for the next four years as one of baseball's top pitchers.

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