2003 National League Division Series
The 2003 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:
- (1) Atlanta Braves (Eastern Division champion, 101–61) vs. (3) Chicago Cubs (Central Division champion, 88–74): Cubs win series, 3–2.
- (2) San Francisco Giants (Western Division champion, 100–61) vs. (4) Florida Marlins (Wild Card, 91–71): Marlins win series, 3–1.
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.
Atlanta Braves vs. Chicago Cubs
Chicago won the series, 3–2.
|1||September 30||Chicago Cubs – 4, Atlanta Braves – 2||Turner Field||3:21||52,043|
|2||October 1||Chicago Cubs – 3, Atlanta Braves – 5||Turner Field||3:07||52,743|
|3||October 3||Atlanta Braves – 1, Chicago Cubs – 3||Wrigley Field||2:43||39,982|
|4||October 4||Atlanta Braves – 6, Chicago Cubs – 4||Wrigley Field||3:40||39,983|
|5||October 5||Chicago Cubs – 5, Atlanta Braves – 1||Turner Field||2:50||54,357|
San Francisco Giants vs. Florida Marlins
Florida won the series, 3–1.
|1||September 30||Florida Marlins – 0, San Francisco Giants – 2||Pacific Bell Park||2:33||43,704|
|2||October 1||Florida Marlins – 9, San Francisco Giants – 5||Pacific Bell Park||3:06||43,766|
|3||October 3||San Francisco Giants – 3, Florida Marlins – 4 (11 innings)||Pro Player Stadium||4:11||61,488|
|4||October 4||San Francisco Giants – 6, Florida Marlins – 7||Pro Player Stadium||3:19||65,464|
Atlanta vs. Chicago
Game 1, September 30
| WP: Kerry Wood (1–0) LP: Russ Ortiz (0–1) Sv: Joe Borowski (1)|
ATL: Marcus Giles (1)
In Game 1, Kerry Wood faced Russ Ortiz. Both pitchers were on their game and in the bottom of the third the Braves struck first when Marcus Giles homered to make it 1–0 Braves. The score remained 1–0 until the top of the sixth. 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 eighth but Joe Borowski closed the door in the ninth. Combined the Cubs bullpen allowed only one hit, a ninth-inning single by Vinny Castilla.
This was the Cubs' first road postseason victory since Game 3 of the 1945 World Series
Game 2, October 1
|WP: John Smoltz (1–0) LP: Dave Veres (0–1)|
In Game 2, Carlos Zambrano faced Mike Hampton. Hampton immediately ran into trouble in the first 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 Ramírez singled to load the bases, Hampton recovered to strikeout six consecutive batters. Hampton struck out Eric Karros, Ramón Martínez and Damian Miller to end the first. He then struck out Carlos Zambrano, Kenny Lofton and Mark Grudzielanek in the second. Sosa led-off the third with a single to end the streak. Hampton's six consecutive strikeouts set a Division Series record and tied an overall postseason record held by three other pitchers: Todd Worrell in 1985, Moe Drabowski in 1966 and Hod Eller in 1919. The Braves would cut the lead in half when Chipper Jones forced Mark DeRosa out at second, allowing Rafael Furcal to score in the bottom half of the first. Then Andruw Jones's RBI single tied the game in the fourth. In the bottom of the sixth, Marcus Giles would give the Braves the lead with an RBI single to left field. A sacrifice fly by Tom Goodwin tied the game in the eighth. But Mark DeRosa's clutch two-out, two-run double put the Braves ahead 5–3 and John Smoltz would finish it with a perfect ninth.
Game 3, October 3
|WP: Mark Prior (1–0) LP: Greg Maddux (0–1)|
In Game 3, Greg Maddux faced Mark Prior. In the bottom of the first, 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 eighth 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 Ramírez would give Prior insurance with an RBI double in the bottom of the eighth. Prior would go on to pitch a complete game two-hit masterpiece. Game 3 would prove to be Maddux's final game with the Braves after 11 seasons, as he returned to the Cubs as a free agent in 2004.
Game 4, October 4
| WP: Russ Ortiz (1–1) LP: Matt Clement (0–1) Sv: John Smoltz (1)|
ATL: Chipper Jones 2 (2)
CHC: Eric Karros 2 (2)
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 third. 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 fourth. Then Chipper Jones's two-run homer gave the Braves a 3–1 lead in the fifth. 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 sixth, but Chipper Jones's second two-run home run made it 6–2 Braves in the eighth. Eric Karros would give the Cubs a run in the bottom half with a solo homer and then in the ninth the Cubs would score again but John Smoltz would get the save and send the series back to Atlanta.
Game 5, October 5
| WP: Kerry Wood (2–0) LP: Mike Hampton (0–1)|
CHC: Alex S. Gonzalez (1), Aramis Ramírez (1)
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 first with a Moisés Alou RBI single. Then Alex S. Gonzalez's leadoff homer gave the Cubs a 2–0 lead. Then Aramis Ramírez's two-run homer silenced the crowd in the sixth. That made it 4–0 Chicago. An RBI forceout by Gary Sheffield gave the Braves their only run of the night in the sixth. But the Cubs would add a run in the ninth 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 ninth and the Cubs' win in Game 5 gave the Cubs their first postseason series win since the 1908 World Series.
|Total attendance: 239,108 Average attendance: 47,822|
San Francisco vs. Florida
Game 1, September 30
|WP: Jason Schmidt (1–0) LP: Josh Beckett (0–1)|
In Game 1, Josh Beckett faced Jason Schmidt and a classic pitcher's duel began. The game remained scoreless until the bottom of the fourth. 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 eighth insured Schmidt's complete game victory.
Game 2, October 1
| WP: Carl Pavano (1–0) LP: Joe Nathan (0–1)|
FLA: Juan Encarnación (1)
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 fourth 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. The Giants would recapture the lead with an RBI hit by J. T. Snow in the bottom of the fifth. But Juan Encarnación would homer with one out to tie the game in the sixth. 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
| WP: Braden Looper (1–0) LP: Tim Worrell (0–1)|
FLA: Iván Rodríguez (1)
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 first. The game remained quiet with Redman and Rueter dueling until the sixth. 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 eleventh thanks to an error by Álex González. But the Marlins would strike back in the bottom half. An error by Gold Glove right fielder José Cruz, Jr. 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
|WP: Carl Pavano (2–0) LP: Félix Rodríguez (0–1) Sv: Ugueth Urbina (1)|
In Game 4, Jerome Williams faced Dontrelle Willis. In the top of the second, 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 third. Then Derrek Lee would single home Rodriguez to make it 3–1. That marked the end of the day for Williams. In the fourth, 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 sixth. 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 eighth. 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 three games to one. 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.
|San Francisco Giants||1||1||0||4||1||6||0||1||1||0||1||16||32||7|
|Total attendance: 214,422 Average attendance: 53,606|
- "2003 NLDS – Chicago Cubs vs. Atlanta Braves – Game 1". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
- "2003 NLDS – Chicago Cubs vs. Atlanta Braves – Game 2". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
- "2003 NLDS – Atlanta Braves vs. Chicago Cubs – Game 3". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
- "2003 NLDS – Atlanta Braves vs. Chicago Cubs – Game 4". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
- "2003 NLDS – Chicago Cubs vs. Atlanta Braves – Game 5". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
- "2003 NLDS – Florida Marlins vs. San Francisco Giants – Game 1". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
- "2003 NLDS – Florida Marlins vs. San Francisco Giants – Game 2". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
- "2003 NLDS – San Francisco Giants vs. Florida Marlins – Game 3". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
- "2003 NLDS – San Francisco Giants vs. Florida Marlins – Game 4". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.