10/01/2003 2:07 AM ET
Pressure is on Braves in Game 2
Chicago Cubs at Atlanta Braves, 7 p.m. ET
ATLANTA -- To the Atlanta Braves, Game 2 of the National League Division Series isn't a must-win, but it's the next worst thing. The Braves, who trail in the series after losing 4-2 to Chicago in the series opener Tuesday night at Turner Field, will send lefty Mike Hampton to the hill against Chicago right-hander Carlos Zambrano.
By Jim Molony / MLB.com
"It's obviously not a must-win, but in a five-game series, nobody wants to go down 2-0, so we're gonna have the same approach tomorrow," Atlanta second baseman Marcus Giles said.
"We're a team here, we pick each other up, we've got a game tomorrow," Braves first baseman Robert Fick said. "We're not the best team in baseball for nothing. We'll see what happens. Nobody on this team is scared. We ran into a stud pitcher. He's been doing it to everybody all year. You've just got to tip your cap to him."
The Cubs need to win two of the next four games to advance to the National League Championship Series, and two of those games would be played at Wrigley Field.
"Winning the first game is huge for us, especially since it's on the road," Cubs first baseman Eric Karros said. "We've got our work cut out for us going against a guy like Hampton, but (Zambrano) has done a great job for us."
Another Atlanta loss would put Bobby Cox's club in the unenviable position of having to head to Chicago for two games facing elimination in this best-of-five series.
"We're human, we're not supermen," Atlanta center fielder Andruw Jones said. "Every day we're not gonna get 10 runs on the board or get 15 hits."
Jim Molony is a writer for MLB.com based in Houston. This story was not subject to approval by Major League Baseball or its clubs.