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Marlins make themselves at home
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10/18/2003 11:56 PM ET 
Marlins make themselves at home
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Closer Ugueth Urbina and Ivan Rodriguez kiss after Game 1. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
NEW YORK -- The pinstripes, the facade in center field, the dulcet tones of Bob Sheppard were all clues this was the Yankees' house. But the Marlins made themselves right at home from the second pitch of Game 1 of the World Series.

When Juan Pierre laid down his perfect drag bunt, he set the tone for a game that was going to be played on the Marlins' terms. The message: Their running game would be a factor.

It was a bold statement for an upstart Wild Card team at Yankee Stadium. It set a tone for the World Series as a whole as well, because the Marlins went on to win the opener, 3-2.

The Marlins took that first-inning statement and ran with it. The way their postseason has gone thus far they might just keep running with it. They're certainly capable of it.

    Juan Pierre   /   CF
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 180
Bats/Throws: L/L

More info:
Player page
Hit chart
Marlins site

It wasn't as though Florida ran wild the rest of the night, but they definitely used that unique quality of theirs to establish the tone.

Aside from the chaos they create with the running game, the Marlins just seem to have a knack of inducing uncharacteristically bad plays out of their opponents. From Giants right fielder Jose Cruz Jr.'s tripping and dropping to Cubs shortstop Alex Gonzalez's error in that famous eight-run eighth, the Marlins got here in part by taking advantage of mistakes.

The best example of that Saturday night actually turned into the winning run. On Pierre's single to center, Jeff Conine jogged home from third but Juan Encarnacion was having to race Hideki Matsui's throw home -- until third baseman Aaron Boone inexplicably cut off the ball. If you didn't think it was a mistake instantly, you did once you saw David Wells' angry reaction.

The Marlins don't need much help these days, and that was just enough to put them over the top in Game 1.

John Schlegel is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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