To learn about our efforts to improve the accessibility and usability of our website, please visit our Accessibility Information page. Skip to section navigation or Skip to main content
Below is an advertisement.


Skip to main content
Cubs inch closer to World Series
Below is an advertisement.
10/11/2003 11:05 PM ET 
Cubs inch closer to World Series
Ramirez, Clement put Marlins on brink of elimination
tickets for any Major League Baseball game
Aramis Ramirez's grand slam in the first inning gave the Cubs a lead they would never relinquish. (J. Pat Carter/AP)
MIAMI -- The Cubs are one game from the end of a 58-year odyssey.

They took the penultimate step on their road to fruition with an 8-3 victory over Florida in Saturday night's Game 4 of the National League Championship Series, for a 3-games-to-1 edge in the best-of-seven affair.

One more win in the NLCS will end a journey of disappointment, failure and anguish begun with the last out of their most recent World Series appearance, in 1945.

The Cubs haven't actually won a World Series since 1908, but first miracles first.

The Cubbies are at the door to Nirvana because Aramis Ramirez and Matt Clement sucked all the suspense out of Game 4 Saturday night.

Ramirez skied a first-inning grand slam and later added a solo homer -- Chicago's NLCS-record 10th.

Clement, brandishing that chin growth that gives him a bit of a Billy Goat look, pitched five-hit ball two outs into the eighth inning, masterfully driving any thoughts of a characteristic surge out of the Marlins' minds.

Left-hander Dontrelle Willis was the latest victim as the Cubs continued to show a side the NL rarely saw during the regular season.

An offensively-challenged team that rode the two right arms of Kerry Wood and Mark Prior to the NL Central title, the Cubs have spent this series flexing.

With nightly fast starts -- 11 first-inning runs -- Chicago has poured across 33 runs in the four games. In six regular-season games, the Cubs totaled only six homers off Florida pitching.

As their latest salvo set up a comfortable win, the sizable Cubs fans portion of the Pro Player Stadium crowd of 65,829 -- another Championship Series record -- hooted it up, figuratively popping corks on the champagne Wrigleyville expects to finally pour Sunday night.

Tom Singer is a reporter for This story was not subject to approval by Major League Baseball or its clubs.

More Coverage
Related Links
• Aramis Ramirez collects his fifth RBI:  56K | 300K
• Aramis Ramirez blasts a grand slam:  56K | 300K
• Alex Gonzalez extends the Cubs' lead:  56K | 300K
• The runs keep on coming for Aramis Ramirez:  56K | 300K
MLB Headlines