10/11/2003 1:02 AM ET
NLCS Game 3: Game balls
It started fast, ended with a bizarre play on the bases and included a little bit of everything in between. Up to five "Harry Carays" to the best and worst of the Cubs from Game 3 of the NLCS, and fish for the Marlins.
By Adam McCalvy / MLB.com
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!
Randall Simon and Doug Glanville: Two huge swipes at the baseball. One huge, go-ahead, two-run home run in the eighth inning for Simon and one huge, pinch-hit, game-winning RBI triple in the 11th by Glanville. One huge momentum shift in the series.
Joe Borowski: The blue-collar stopper was worth rooting for even before his gutsy, 2 1/3-inning, two-hit performance to keep the Cubs in it. The Marlins tied the game with Borowski on the mound, but he settled in for his longest stint since going three scoreless innings way back on April 2 at Shea Stadium against the Mets.
Sammy Sosa: The Cubs were 61-29 in the regular season when they scored first, and Sosa put them right on track. His RBI single in the first inning gave the Cubs a quick, 1-0, lead.
Five fish: Whale of a performance
Kenny Lofton: His six consecutive hits tied Paul Molitor's League Championship Series record from 1993. And he scored the Cubs' first and last runs for a big, 2-1 series lead.
Four fish: Starfish
Three fish: Happy as a clam
Two fish: Nice minnow
One fish: Sorry, Charlie
Ivan Rodriguez: He cost the Marlins $10 million for one year, and with every huge hit in these playoffs it looks like money well spent. His RBI single in the seventh gave the Marlins a short-lived lead, and when he came up with the winning run at second base in the bottom of the ninth, Cubs manager Dusty Baker had but one choice: raise four fingers and walk him. Pudge has 12 RBIs in seven games this postseason.
Juan Pierre and Luis Castillo: They say winning in the playoffs is all about the little things, and the littlest Marlins came up real big. With two on and no outs in the seventh, Pierre dropped a sacrifice bunt to move the tying and go-ahead runs into scoring position, and Castillo made it a tie game with a sacrifice fly. In the bottom of the ninth, Pierre bunted for a hit and Castillo bunted him over, but the rally fizzled.
Alex Gonzalez: The Cubs' shortstop Alex Gonzalez was having all the fun after clubbing a pair of home runs in Game 2. So the Marlins shortstop by the same name stepped up in Game 3, delivering an RBI double off Kerry Wood to cut the deficit to 2-1. It was his first hit of the series.
Chad Fox: His right elbow has been cut more than an 80s "best of" album in P Diddy's CD player. Yet Fox, a castaway from the Red Sox bullpen by committee earlier this season, struck out Eric Karros with the bases loaded in the seventh inning to preserve a one-run game. Cowboy up. Then he served up Randall Simon's go-ahead homer in the eighth. Cowboy down.
Mark Redman: There was a chance that Kenny Lofton's first-inning shot to Redman's jaw was going to knock some hitting into the Marlins' soft-tossing lefty. No such luck. With the tying and go-ahead runs in scoring position after Gonzalez's double, Redman hit a tapper back to the mound and finished 0-for-1 with a walk -- equalling his season total. Redman ranked 783rd in the Majors with an .016 (1-for-61) batting average in the regular season, lowest of any player with at least one hit. Ironically, second-worst was the Mets' Al Leiter at .019 (1-for-53), an analyst for FOX during this series.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.