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NLCS Game 4: Game balls
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10/11/2003 11:35 PM ET 
NLCS Game 4: Game balls
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Say what? The Chicago Cubs are a game away from the World Series? They got to the brink of the ultimate stage thanks to another dominating offensive performance in Saturday's 8-3 win at Pro Player Stadium. Up to five "Harry Carays" to the best and worst of the Cubs, and fish for the floundering Marlins.

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!


Aramis Ramirez: So what if we said five "Harrys" was the limit? Ramirez deserves six for his six-RBI night, matching the LCS record set in the 1989 NLCS by San Francisco's Will Clark against -- you guessed it -- the Cubs. Ramirez cracked the Cubs' first-ever postseason grand slam in the first inning, five years to the day since then-Atlanta Brave Andres Galarraga hit the last NLCS grand slam. Ramirez added a solo shot in the seventh.


Matt Clement: In many ways, Clement is the forgotten man in this series. In the Cubs' talented rotation, he plays (distant) fourth fiddle to Kerry Wood, Matt Clement and Carlos Zambrano. In talk of the multiplayer trade that sent him from the Marlins to the Cubs just before the 2002 season, Clement now plays second fiddle to Willis, an unknown who went the other direction. But on Saturday, Clement announced his presence with authority: 7 2/3 innings, five hits, three runs and a huge 'W'.


Dusty Baker: While Willis' wildness caused Marlins skipper Jack McKeon to burn through his bullpen again, Baker sat back and watched Clement do his work. Kyle Farnsworth cleaned up with 1 2/3 scoreless innings, and Baker is sitting pretty for what could be a deciding Game 5.

Marlins

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


Ivan Rodriguez: The Marlins are in some deep water, and if they're going to swim to the surface in this series Rodriguez is going to be the man to lead the way. He added another RBI on Saturday and has an amazing 13 of them in eight games this postseason.


Dontrelle Willis: Willis' sour second half has apparently continued right into the postseason. On Saturday, he struggled early to find the strike zone, and when he did he threw too many fastballs to a fastball-loving Cubs lineup. The final line: 2 1/3 innings, six runs, three hits, five costly walks and one tremendous talent who will be back in 2004.


The first inning: Cubs great Ernie Banks famously said, "Let's play two!" before doubleheaders. The Marlins might want to try, "Let's play eight!" As in innings, because it would let them skip by the frightful first inning. The Cubs scored four times in the first inning Saturday and have outscored Florida, 11-0, in that frame 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.





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