|1||Florida Marlins - 5, Atlanta Braves - 3||October 7||Turner Field||49,244|
|2||Florida Marlins - 1, Atlanta Braves - 7||October 8||Turner Field||48,933|
|3||Atlanta Braves - 2, Florida Marlins - 5||October 10||Pro Player Stadium||53,857|
|4||Atlanta Braves - 4, Florida Marlins - 0||October 11||Pro Player Stadium||54,890|
|5||Atlanta Braves - 1, Florida Marlins - 2||October 12||Pro Player Stadium||51,982|
|6||Florida Marlins - 7, Atlanta Braves - 4||October 14||Turner Field||50,446|
The Marlins scored three unearned runs in the first inning off Greg Maddux, thanks to a Fred McGriff error, when Moisés Alou hit a bases-clearing double to left. Atlanta got a run back in the bottom of the inning off Florida starter Kevin Brown, but the Marlins were handed two more unearned runs in the third after an error by center fielder Kenny Lofton and went ahead 5-1. Home runs by Chipper Jones and Ryan Klesko drew Atlanta to 5-3 but the Florida bullpen held the Braves hitless over the final three innings. Brown, who went six innings, got the win.
The Braves rallied from their sloppy Game 1 and routed pitcher Alex Fernandez, chasing him after 2 2/3 innings. A first inning home run by Ryan Klesko and a third inning homer by Chipper Jones helped Atlanta build a 5-0 lead. Starter Tom Glavine was excellent, giving up just one run in 7 2/3 innings. The Braves poured on two more runs in the seventh as they won 7-1. It was learned after the game that Fernandez had been unknowingly pitching with a rotator cuff injury, and would be done for the series.
With the series shifting south to Miami, Game 3 began as a close game with the score 1-1 after five innings, but was put to bed in the Marlins' half of the sixth, when they scored four runs to finish John Smoltz's night. The big blow came on a three-run double by light-hitting catcher Charles Johnson. Floria starter Tony Saunders did his best to hold the Braves, allowing just two earned runs before Liván Hernández took over. Hernández would get the win as the Marlins took the game 5-2.
The Marlins only had one home run in the entire six-game series (by Gary Sheffield in Game 3).
Denny Neagle stepped up and pitched a complete game, four-hit shutout of the Marlins in Game 4. The Braves offense, meanwhile, chipped away at Al Leiter, plating runs in the first and third innings. In the fifth Jeff Blauser launched a solo home run and Fred McGriff doubled in another run, putting the Braves on top 4-0 as Neagle mowed down the Marlins. The win evened the series at 2-2, and with Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine scheduled to start Games 5 and 6 and the Florida pitching staff in apparent disarray, the advantage clearly fell with the Braves.
After Neagle's gem in Game 4, Game 5 was clearly the pivotal game of the series. If the Marlins lost, the Braves would be up three games to two and going home with an almost certain NL pennant in sight. Liván Hernández replaced Kevin Brown, who had fallen ill that day. Florida scored a run in the first off Greg Maddux, but the Braves evened the game with a Michael Tucker home run in the third. The score remained tied at 1-1 as Maddux and Hernández traded scoreless innings. Bobby Bonilla doubled and scored on a single by Jeff Conine to break the tie in the bottom of the seventh. Hernández pitched a complete game, three-hit, 15 strikeout masterpiece to reclaim a series lead for the Marlins
This particular game is remembered for the controversy surrounding an unusually wide strike zone by umpire Eric Gregg. Though Gregg had long had a wide strike zone, Hernández benefitted greatly by striking out numerous Braves with pitches well off the plate, including a pitch that appeared to be nearly a foot off the plate to Fred McGriff, one of Atlanta's long ball threats, to win the game.
Liván Hernández pitched a record for most strikeouts in a National League Championship Series game with 15 in Game 5; Earlier on the same day, Mike Mussina of the Baltimore Orioles would strike out 15 in the American League Championship Series against the Indians in Game 3.
Back at Turner Field with a World Series appearance looming, the Marlins went back to their ace, Kevin Brown. Facing Tom Glavine, the Marlins scored four runs in the first as they batted around. The Braves closed to within one run in the second inning, but Glavine allowed three more runs in the sixth, making it 7-3. Brown was asked to leave the game towards the ninth, but he told Jim Leyland he wanted to continue. The Braves were able to score one in the ninth, but Chipper Jones forced Keith Lockhart at second to give Brown a complete game victory and the first pennant for the Florida Marlins. It was the first pennant for a wild card team in Major League Baseball history.
By [Kevin] Brown, scooped up by [Craig] Counsell, to [Edgar] Renteria, and it's over! - Bob Costas, calling the final out in Game 6.
It would be sweet in any case, but how much sweeter is it that, for the first time in a long a distinguished as a Major League manager, Jim Leyland is on his way to the World Series. - Bob Costas.