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Game balls: NLCS Game 2
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10/08/2003 11:43 PM ET 
Game balls: NLCS Game 2
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Holy cow, did we miss Harry Caray in this one. With the game out of hand in the early innings, the loose-lipped broadcasting legend would have been in rare form as the Cubs rolled to a rout over the Marlins in Game 2 of the NLCS. In his honor, we award up to five "Harry Carays" to the best and worst of the Cubs, and fish for the floundering Marlins.

Marlins

Five fish: Whale of a performance
Four fish: Starfish
Three fish: Happy as a clam
Two fish: Nice minnow
One fish: Sorry, Charlie


Derrek Lee and Miguel Cabrera: Down 11-0, they got their team on the board with solo home runs in the sixth inning, the first postseason home run for both guys. Cabrera is only 20 years old -- also his uniform number -- and will be remembered as the rookie who played so well he kept Mike Lowell on the bench.


Marlins relievers: After Brad Penny was knocked around for seven runs in two innings, his relief corps stepped in and ate up some innings. Carl Pavano and Michael Tejera held the Cubs scoreless on two hits to close out the game, and Tejera provided some much-needed laughs in the Marlins dugout when his first pitch found its way there in the bottom of the eighth.


Jeff Conine: Florida is finally rallying, and Conine is doubled off first base on a lineout to left field, ending the sixth. Bad baserunning, but give him a few fish for aggressiveness and his three-hit performance.

Cubs

Five Harry Carays: Holy Cow!
Four Harry Carays: Like a long fly ball onto Waveland
Three Harry Carays: Careful -- Cubs fans are fickle
Two Harry Caray: Stuck in traffic on Lakeshore Dr.
One Harry Caray: Throw it back!


Sammy Sosa and Alex Gonzalez: How to distinguish yourself in a game with more home runs than a weekend at Coors Field: Hit one of the most massive shots in postseason memory (like Sosa), or club a pair of homers (like the red-hot Gonzalez). Sosa is notorious for going on hot streaks, and through two games of the NLCS it looks like he is on one. Will spacious Pro Player Stadium in Miami be able to hold him?


Dave Littlefield: Why is the Pittsburgh Pirates general manager on this list? He's the one who dealt Kenny Lofton, Aramis Ramirez and Randall Simon to the North Side, a difference-down-the-stretch-making trio that finished 8-for-13 with three runs scored and five RBIs in Game 2. Simon put the Cubs on the board with a two-run single in the first inning, Ramirez homered in the third and Lofton was the first Cub with four hits in a postseason game since Stan Hack in the 1945 World Series.


Mark Prior: Not as dominant as he was in the NLDS, but the young co-ace more than got the job done. In seven-plus innings, Prior allowed two earned runs and threw 116 pitches -- an outing that left Cubs manager Dusty Baker with a fresh bullpen while Marlins manager Jack McKeon was forced to tax his own. Prior averaged more pitches per start than anyone in the league, so it will be interesting to see where he stands in 2004.

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.





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