10/25/2003 10:56 PM ET
WS Score Tracker: Game 6
Get World Series championship stuff online
By Todd Lorenz / MLB.com
or by calling 1-800-643-9042
Top 5th: FLA 1, NYY 0: Luis Castillo picked the best possible time to come out
of a World Series slump. The Marlins second baseman entered Game 6 against the Yankees
hitting a paltry .143 (3-for-20) in the Fall Classic, but all that went out the window
with one inside-out swing against Andy Pettitte in the top of the fifth inning. Alex
Gonzalez set up Castillo's breakout base hit with a single to center after Derrek Lee
had started the inning with a strikeout and Juan Encarnacion grounded out to third.
Juan Pierre continued his hot hitting by moving Gonzalez into scoring position with
another single to center before Castillo put together one of the most impressive
at-bats of the series. After falling behind 0-2, Castillo fouled off two pitches and
held up on two more out-of-the-zone offerings before lacing an opposite-field single
to right. With two outs, both Gonzalez and Pierre were going on contact -- and neither
was stopping. As Gonzalez rounded third, New York right fielder Karim Garcia fielded
the ball on one hop and fired a strike to the plate. The ball beat Gonzalez, but the
tag didn't. The Florida shortstop pulled off a nifty slide to the right side of the
plate, barely getting his left hand under the tag of Yankees catcher Jorge Posada to
give the Marlins a one-run lead. With runners still at the corners, Pettitte
intentionally walked Ivan Rodriguez to load the bases before coming up with a crucial
strikeout against Florida cleanup man Miguel Cabrera.
TOP 6th: FLA 2, NYY 0: The Marlins doubled the lead in their next turn at the
plate, thanks to an uncharateristic error from sure-handed Yankee shortstop Derek
Jeter. Jeff Conine led off the inning by grounding the first pitch at Jeter, but the
All-Star played the ball off the heal of his glove and made a late throw that first
baseman Nick Johnson couldn't handle. Pettitte didn't help himself by
following with a walk to Mike Lowell. Lee then bunted into a forceout, giving the
Marlins runners at the corners. Pettitte got ahead in the count with two straight
strikes to Encarnacion, but the Florida outfielder managed to bring Conine home with a
sacrifice fly to Garcia in right. Gonzalez followed with a bunt single, but Pettitte
finished the inning with a rare strikeout against Pierre.
BOT 9th: FLA 2, NYY 0: Those two runs proved to be more than enough for Florida
starter Josh Beckett. Working on three days of rest for the first time in his career,
the 23-year-old right-hander was simply outstanding. In the most pressure-packed
baseball situation imaginable, Beckettt finished off a complete-game, five-hit shutout with a perfect ninth inning to earn MVP honors and deliver the Marlins their second World Series
title since coming into the league in 1993.
Todd Lorenz is an editorial producer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.