10/23/2003 11:49 PM ET
Steady Marlins holding momentum
MIAMI -- For eight innings, Game 5 of the World Series went into Bizarro World, where everything is backwards.
The Yankees were playing almost like they've never been here before and the Marlins were looking like they not only belong here but are determined to topple the greatest October franchise ever.
And now that another heart-stopping finish went the way of the Fish, who's to say now that they won't?
The ninth inning almost brought things back to the reality everybody figured upon heading into this World Series of opposites. But this time Ugueth Urbina got the job done, and we're headed to the Bronx with the Marlins one game away from their second world title.
For most of Thursday night's game, the Yankees simply didn't look like the Yankees. Their first stumble came before the game even began, and it came from the pen of the most successful postseason manager in recent years, Joe Torre. Bumping Alfonso Soriano down in the lineup is one thing, and would have been a good thing under the circumstances. But benching him was a whole different ballgame, and that's what it was without Soriano at second base.
Of course, the next two personnel stumbles were out of Torre's hands, with Jason Giambi (knee) needing a late scratch and David Wells (back) had to come out after only one inning. Then the Yankees really weren't the Yankees at all, and Giambi's homer -- a pinch-hit shot in the ninth -- wasn't quite enough.
But the Marlins were very much the Marlins, the same guys who seem to take everything they don't earn on their own and run with it.
They've got a huge mountain to climb ahead of them -- it's called Yankee Stadium. But these Marlins certainly do have a head of steam heading to the Bronx.
John Schlegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
By John Schlegel / MLB.com