2003_National_League_Division_Series

2003 National League Division Series

The National League Division Series (NLDS), the first round of the 2003 National League playoffs, began on Tuesday, September 30, and ended on Sunday, October 5, with the champions of the three NL divisions – along with a "wild card" team – participating in two best-of-five series. The teams were:

The higher seed (in parentheses) had the home field advantage (Games 1, 2 and 5 at home), which was determined by playing record. Although the team with the best record was normally intended to play the wild card team, the Braves played the Cubs, rather than the wild card Marlins, because the Braves and Marlins are in the same division.

The Cubs and Marlins went on to meet in the NL Championship Series, for the right to advance to the 2003 World Series against the American League champion New York Yankees.

Matchups

Atlanta Braves vs. Chicago Cubs

Chicago wins the series, 3-2
Game Score Date Location Attendance
1 Chicago Cubs - 4, Atlanta Braves - 2 September 30 Turner Field 52,043
2 Chicago Cubs - 3, Atlanta Braves - 5 October 1 Turner Field 52,743
3 Atlanta Braves - 1, Chicago Cubs - 3 October 3 Wrigley Field 39,982
4 Atlanta Braves - 6, Chicago Cubs - 4 October 4 Wrigley Field 39,983
5 Chicago Cubs - 5, Atlanta Braves - 1 October 5 Turner Field 54,357

San Francisco Giants vs. Florida Marlins

Florida wins the series, 3-1
Game Score Date Location Attendance
1 Florida Marlins - 0, San Francisco Giants - 2 September 30 Pacific Bell Park 43,704
2 Florida Marlins - 9, San Francisco Giants - 5 October 1 Pacific Bell Park 43,766
3 San Francisco Giants - 3, Florida Marlins - 4 (11 innings) October 3 Pro Player Stadium 61,488
4 San Francisco Giants - 6, Florida Marlins - 7 October 4 Pro Player Stadium 65,464

Atlanta vs. Chicago

Game 1, September 30

Turner Field in Atlanta, Georgia

In Game 1, Kerry Wood faced Russ Ortiz. Both pitchers were on their game and in the bottom of the 3rd the Braves struck first when Marcus Giles homered to make it 1-0 Braves. The score remained 1-0 until the top of the 6th. The Cubs would load the bases with three consecutive hits to lead off the inning. But Ortiz got the next two outs, with the last of the two being an RBI groundout by Paul Bako. But Wood would add insult to injury by doubling in two runs and then scoring on Kenny Lofton's single. That made it 4-1 Cubs. A forceout gave the Braves a run in the 8th by Joe Borowski closed the door in the 9th. Combined the Cubs bullpen allowed only three hits.

Game 2, October 1

Turner Field in Atlanta, Georgia

In Game 2, Carlos Zambrano faced Mike Hampton. Hampton immediately ran into trouble in the 1st when two leadoff walks put two men on for Sammy Sosa. Sosa would double in the first run of the game, then Moisés Alou would bring in a run on a fielder's choice. After Aramis Ramirez singled to load the bases, Hampton managed to save the inning and the game by striking out three consecutive batters to end the inning. The Braves would cut the lead in half when Chipper Jones forced Mark DeRosa, allowing Rafael Furcal to score in the bottom half of the 1st. Then Andruw Jones's RBI single tied the game in the 4th. In the bottom of the 6th, Marcus Giles would give the Braves the lead with an RBI hit to left field. A sacrifice fly by Tom Goodwin tied the game in the 8th. But Mark DeRosa's two run double put the Braves ahead 5-3 and John Smoltz would close the door in the 9th.

Game 3, October 3

Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois

In Game 3, Greg Maddux faced Mark Prior. In the bottom of the 1st, the Cubs put two runs on the board thanks to Randall Simon's two run single. But no one would be able to score off Maddux or Prior again until the 8th inning. A sacrifice fly by Marcus Giles cut the lead in half after Mark DeRosa doubled and moved to third on a ground out. But Aramis Ramirez would give Prior insurance with an RBI double in the bottom of the 8th. Prior would pitch go on to pitch a complete game two hit masterpiece. Game 3 would Maddux's last postseason start with the Braves.

Game 4, October 4

Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois

In Game 4, Russ Ortiz faced Matt Clement, hoping to end the series. Both pitchers held off the opposition until the Cubs broke through in the bottom of the 3rd. Moisés Alou would double in Sammy Sosa to give the Cubs a 1-0 lead. But Darren Bragg's forceout allowed Julio Franco to score to tie the game in the top of the 4th. Then Chipper Jones's two run homer gave the Braves a 3-1 lead in the 5th. Then Vinny Castilla would add another run later in the inning with an RBI single to make it 4-1. The Cubs would scratch out a run in the 6th, but Chipper Jones's second two run home run made it 6-2 Braves in the 8th. Eric Karros would give the Cubs a run in the bottom half with a solo homer and then in the 9th the Cubs would score again but John Smoltz would get the save and send the series back to Atlanta.

Game 5, October 5

Turner Field in Atlanta, Georgia

In Game 5, Kerry Wood this time faced Mike Hampton. Hampton would once again give up early runs when the Cubs took a 1-0 lead in the 1st with a Moisés Alou RBI single. Then Álex González's leadoff homer gave the Cubs a 2-0 lead. Then Aramis Ramirez's two run homer silenced the crowd in the 6th. That made it 4-0 Chicago. An RBI forceout by Gary Sheffield gave the Braves their only run of the night in the 6th. But the Cubs would add a run in the 9th thanks to an error by Vinny Castilla to take a commanding 5-1 lead. The Braves would be sent down 1-2-3 in the 9th and the Cubs' win in Game 5 gave the Cubs their first postseason series win since the 1908 World Series.

Composite Box

2003 NLDS (3-2): Chicago Cubs over Atlanta Braves

San Francisco vs. Florida

The Florida Marlins completed their second winning season in franchise history. The San Francisco Giants were the defending NL Champions and making their second straight postseason appearance.

Game 1, September 30

Pacific Bell Park in San Francisco, California

In Game 1, Josh Beckett faced Jason Schmidt and a classic pitcher's duel began. The game remained scoreless until the bottom of the 4th. Two walks to start the inning spelled doom for Beckett, as an error by Miguel Cabrera allowed a run to score to make it 1-0 Giants. Both pitchers kept the game close and Beckett would allow only two hits. Schmidt allowed only three hits. Then Edgardo Alfonzo's RBI double in the 8th insured Schmidt's complete game victory.

Game 2, October 1

Pacific Bell Park in San Francisco, California

In Game 2, Brad Penny faced Sidney Ponson. The game would feature six pitching changes for each team as both starters would last less than half the game. An RBI groundout in the top of the first gave the Marlins their first lead in the series. But Barry Bonds would tie the game with a double in the bottom half. The game remained quiet until the bottom of the 4th when Edgardo Alfonzo doubled in two runs and then would score on Marquis Grissom's groundout. The Giants now had a 4-1 lead. But the Marlins would tie the game in the next inning, a rally capped by Pudge's RBI single that scored Juan Pierre. But the Giants would recapture the lead with an RBI hit by J.T. Snow in the bottom of the 5th. But Juan Encarnacion would homer with one out to tie the game in the 6th. Then Pierre's go-ahead two run double later in the inning made it 7-5 Marlins. Two more errors allowed two more runs to score and the Marlins would go on to win Game 2 9-5.

Game 3, October 3

Pro Player Stadium in Miami, Florida

In Game 3, Kirk Rueter faced Mark Redman. Eventual NLCS MVP Iván Rodríguez got the scoring started with a two run homer in the bottom of the 1st. The game remained quiet with Redman and Rueter dueling until the 6th. The Giants would tie the game thanks to a forceout and a pinch hit RBI single by Pedro Feliz. The game would move to extra innings and the Giants would take the lead in the 11th thanks to an error by Álex González. But the Marlins would strike back in the bottom half. An error and a walk put two men on with nobody out. Then a sacrifice bunt moved the runners over. Luis Castillo would forceout a runner at the plate but Pudge would respond with a game winning hit to right field that scored two runs.

Game 4, October 4

Pro Player Stadium in Miami, Florida

In Game 4, Jerome Williams faced Dontrelle Willis. In the top of the 2nd, a sacrifice fly put the Giants out in front 1-0. But Rich Aurilia's error allowed Miguel Cabrera to score to tie the game in the bottom half. A double by Iván Rodríguez gave the Marlins the lead in the 3rd. Then Derrek Lee would single home Rodriguez to make it 3-1. That marked the end of the day for Williams. In the 4th, the Marlins took a commanding 5-1 lead on Cabrera's two run single. But Willis would run into trouble in the top of the 6th. Three straight hits to begin the inning made it 5-2. Then Barry Bonds's sac fly made it 5-3. Then Edgardo Alfonzo would double in a run to make it a one run game. Willis was finished as well and Brad Penny came on in relief. He would get the second out but would relinquish the lead when J.T. Snow singled home Alfonzo to tie the game. Both bullpens would keep the game quiet until the bottom of the 8th. Félix Rodríguez came on in relief for the Giants and immediately ran into trouble after he got two quick outs. He allowed a base hit and hit a batter to put two men on for Cabrera. Cabrera would then single in two runs, thanks to an error by the Giants. They now had a 7-5 lead going into the ninth. With Ugueth Urbina coming on to close, the Giants put together a quick rally. A leadoff double and a base hit by Snow made it 7-6. Then Urbina got the next two outs. But Urbina hit a batter to put Snow in scoring position. Then, Snow tried to score on a single to left. Jeff Conine's throw was on target, and Rodriguez tagged Snow at the plate as Snow barrelled into him. Rodriguez fell backwards and, as he rose, showed that he held on to the ball preserving the Marlins win. The Marlins won the series 3 games to 1. For the first time in postseason history, a series ended with the potential tying run thrown out at the plate, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Composite Box

2003 NLDS (3-1): Florida Marlins over San Francisco Giants

Quotes

"You have waited 95 years Chicago, it's time to celebrate, The Chicago Cubs advance to the NLCS." - Thom Brennaman calling the Chicago Cubs first series win since 1908.

Notes

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