10/08/2003 9:32 PM ET
Marlins stirred, but not shaken
Cubs break out the bats to draw even in the series
CHICAGO -- So the Marlins got stirred by the Cubs on Wednesday night. But you can be sure they are not shaken.
By Tom Singer / MLB.com
However, the universe may be a bit shaken now that the Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox have won simultaneous postseason games.
That may be an occurrence with the frequency of passes by Haley's Comet, but a 12-3 defeat is familiar territory for the Marlins.
They've been on the very gloomy end of a laugher, only to rebound and laugh last, handling humility as well as they normally do a deficit.
Florida's last eight postseason wins, as a matter of remarkable fact, have all been come-from-behind, including Tuesday night's recovery from a four-run deficit for a 9-8 extra-inning win.
So when the Cubbies jumped into a 2-0 lead in the first inning Wednesday night, then made it 5-0 in the second, helped by an impressive Sammy Sosa homer, it all seemed part of a master plan.
Except this time the Cubs kept jumping, to knot the National League Championship Series at a game apiece.
While the Cubs continued a win-lose-win-lose postseason pattern reverting eight games to the 1998 NLDS, the Marlins cling to a couple of positives.
One is the NLCS' shift to Miami's Pro Player Stadium, following Thursday's travel off-day, where Florida is 55-29, including the Division Series.
The other is that Marlins thing for turning the other cheek by turning on the opposition. Such as after a 25-8 loss to Boston on June 27; they came back to take the Red Sox in the last two games of that series. Or after a 16-2 loss to the Cubs on July 20; came back from that to win eight of nine.
Wednesday night's time-out from a suspenseful postseason resulted from Florida starter Brad Penny's early ineffectiveness, which forced manager Jack McKeon to empty the back of his bullpen (Nate Bump, Rick Helling and Michael Tejera).
Penny allowed seven runs and seven hits in two-plus innings. He threw 54 pitches, 33 for strikes, 21 for balls and two for 870 feet.
Sosa's two-run blow in the second off the center-field camera hut claimed 495 of those feet. Aramis Ramirez followed the next inning with a baby shot of 375 feet.
Chicago's Alex S. Gonzalez's two homers, and shots by Derrek Lee and Miguel Cabrera off an otherwise smooth Mark Prior, raised the tally to six for the night and a cool baker's dozen for the two-game-old series.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to approval by Major League Baseball or its clubs.