10/11/2003 3:16 AM ET
Redman delivers quality start
Recovers from collision in first, holds Cubs at bay
MIAMI -- Two pitches into the game, the Marlins' hope for winning Game 3 of the National League Championship Series was laying in the dirt by the first base bag.
By Tom Singer / MLB.com
Mike Redman had so looked forward to being back in Pro Player Stadium.
After only two pitches, the left-hander didn't know where he was.
Running over to cover first base to take a feed that never came, Redman took Kenny Lofton's left shoulder on his jaw and saw every color of the rainbow but teal.
"That sent me down. I was kinda dizzy," Redman said, after four hours, 16 minutes and 11 innings of thrills ended in the Cubs' 5-4 victory. "I wasn't sure what happened. It caught me by surprise.
"You take a shot like that, it's going to ring your bell a bit. I was caught off-guard. I definitely wasn't 100 percent after that.
"By the time I got back to the mound, I was seeing only one Pudge [catcher Ivan Rodriguez], but you get hit like that, it jars your face and leaves you with a headache."
Redman picked himself up, then picked all of the Marlins up.
Lofton's bad-hop single led to a first-inning Chicago run. The Cubs picked up another run in the second -- when they could've had a lot more had Redman not steeled.
Then he went on to post five zeroes, giving the Marlins a chance to work up to their usual comeback heroics.
"After I got my bearings back from getting knocked down, it was fun," said the left-hander.
It had to be all he expected, and maybe more. It looked like textbook Marlins. Redman got so tough, the Cubs had fewer baserunners across the final 4 2/3 innings of his stint than they had the first two.
And right on cue, the Marlins rallied for two runs and a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the seventh.
"That's what you're going to see from me," said the soft-spoken 29-year-old. "I'll give up a couple of runs. I don't throw too many shutouts.
"I'm a guy who throws a lot of pitches, I never give in. I'll give the team a chance to win."
That he did, restoring honor to a Florida rotation that had seen its first two starters get rocked for 13 runs and 15 hits in eight innings in the first two games.
Redman yielded two runs, and eight hits, in 6 2/3 innings.
"Yeah, well, that's Wrigley Field," Redman said, qualifying Josh Beckett's and Brad Penny's efforts. "I felt good just coming into Miami, pitching for our fans in a bigger ballpark. The dimensions are a little kinder here.
"But you always have to make good pitches, no matter where you're pitching. I don't give in. I hit my location, and if I miss, I miss proper, not over the plate. That's the style of pitcher I am, because I don't throw 97 mph."
Although Redman recovered from Lofton's first-inning shot, the Marlins, in a very real sense, did not.
Even after the 11 action-packed innings, one thing was certain: If Lofton's ball doesn't attack first baseman Derrek Lee, the Marlins win this game, 4-3, in regulation.
"I don't know what that ball hit," said Lee, a vacuum at first base, "but it bounced straight up and hit me on the collarbone."
Mark Grudzielanek followed with a sacrifice bunt, and Sammy Sosa's single scored Lofton before Moises Alou ground into a double play to end the rally.
Take away one bad hop, and there is no rally.
"You can look at it that way," said Redman, smiling weakly, "but that's the game of baseball. You can also say that we win if I don't give up that run in the second."
It was a miracle that was all he gave up.
This was still the bearing-less Redman: The Cubs loaded the bases with one out on Eric Karros' single and walks to Alex Gonzalez and Damian Miller.
After Kerry Wood's sacrifice fly, a legitimate single by Lofton re-loaded the bases. But Grudzielanek's soft fly to left ended the inning.
At that point, Redman had made 45 pitches. Wood had yet to throw his 12th.
Yet the Florida left-hander recovered so thoroughly that, at the end of their days, both pitchers put in 6 2/3 innings, and Redman had to make only 12 more pitches than Wood.
When Redman walked off the mound, 65,115 waved their white hankies, Marlins fans in salute and the considerable Cubs fans contingent in mockery.
Handkerchiefs are one of the trendy favorites these days to promote crowd solidarity. The other choice to emulate would've been those Thunder Stix noisemakers popularized last October in Anaheim.
Of course, here they would've been called Fish Stix.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to approval by Major League Baseball or its clubs.