2003 October

1st        Mark DeRosa’s 2-out, 2-run double in the 8th inning sparks the Braves to a 5-3 win over the Cubs to tie their Division Series at a game apiece. Atlanta P Mike Hampton ties a postseason record by striking out 6 Cubs in a row in the 2nd and 3rd innings.

The Giants blow a 4-1 lead and lose to the Marlins, 9-5. Juan Pierre’s bases loaded double in the 6th is the key blow for Florida. Juan Encarnacion homers for the Marlins to even the series at one game apiece.

Oakland C Ramon Hernandez lays down a perfect 2-outs squeeze bunt in the bottom half of the 12th inning to give the Athletics a victory in the first game of their Division Series against the Red Sox. Erubiel Durazo’s 2-outs hit in the 9th ties the game and sends it into extra innings. Todd Walker gets 4 hits for Boston, including a pair of HRs. Jason Varitek also homers for the Sox. Rookie Rich Harden gets the win in relief for Oakland.

In a decision announced several months ago, the Hudson Valley Renegades (NY-Penn League) and the Fort Myers Miracle (Florida State League) trade General Managers. Renegades President/GM Steve Gliner heads to the Sunshine State and Miracle GM Dave Burke comes to New York. Same ownership group.

2ndOakland’s Barry Zito shuts down the Red Sox, 5-1, to give the Athletics a 2-0 lead in their Division Series. Oakland scores all its runs in the 2nd inning, with Eric Byrnes’ 2-run double a key blow.

The Yankees even their series with Minnesota with a 4-1 victory behind Andy Pettitte. Jason Giambi hits a 2-run single and Pettitte fans 10 for New York.

3rdThe Marlins down the Giants, 4-3, to take a 2-games-to-1 lead in their Division Series. Ivan Rodriguez’s 2-run single in the 11th inning is the game-winner. Rodriguez also hits a 2-run HR.

Chicago beats Atlanta, 3-1, to move ahead of the Braves, 2-1, in their series. Mark Prior hurls a 2-hitter and out-duels Greg Maddux.

4thThe Marlins defeat the Giants, 7-6, to win their Division Series and move on to the NLCS. The game ends in bang-bang fashion as Jeff Conine throws out JT Snow at home plate as Snow tries to score the tying run. Fish starter Dontrelle Willis allows 5 runs in 5+ innings, but goes 3-for-3 with a run scored.

The Athletics lose to the Red Sox, 3-1 in 11 innings, on Trot Nixon’s walkoff homer. The loss ties the series at 2 games apiece. The pinch-hit walk-off home run Nixon is the fifth such long ball in postseason history., and the first in the pinch since Kirk Gibson’s famous homer off Dennis Eckersley to win Game 1 of the 1988 World Series.

The Yankees move into the lead in their series with the Twins with a 3-1 win behind Roger Clemens. The Rocket surrenders only 1 run and 5 hits sin 7 innings. Hideki Matsui hits a HR for NY.

The Braves stay alive in their series with the Cubs, riding a pair of 2-run HRs by Chipper Jones to a 6-4 victory. John Smoltz preserves the win by getting Sammy Sosa on a long drive to centerfield in a bid to tie the score with 2 outs in the 9th.

5thThe Yankees pound the Twins behind David Wells, 8-1, to win their Division Series. New York strokes 4 doubles in a 4-run 6th inning to move into the ALCS.

David Ortiz’s 2-run double in the 8th inning helps Boston to a 5-4 victory over Oakland and sends their Division Series to a deciding seventh game. Johnny Damon and Todd Walker homer for the Sox.

The Cubs beat the Braves, 5-1, to win their first postseason series since 1908 and move on to the NLCS. Kerry Wood gets the win for Chicago while Aramis Ramirez hits a HR.

6thThe Red Sox complete their comeback, defeating the Athletics for the 3rd straight game, 4-3, to advance to the ALCS against the Yankees. Manny Ramirez’s 3-run HR is the big blow in the game. Boston starter-turned-reliever Derek Lowe strikes out Terrence Long with the bases loaded for the final out. Red Sox OF Johnny Damon is forced to leave the game in the 7th inning with a concussion after a collision with 2B Damian Jackson.

7thThe Marlins defeat the Cubs, 9-8, on Mike Lowell’s pinch-hit HR in the 11th inning. The Cubs had tied the game at 8-8 on Sammy Sosa’s 2-outs, 2-run homer in the bottom half of the 9th to send the game into extra innings. The two teams combine to hit 7 HRs to set an NLCS record.

The House of Representatives approves legislation to award a Congressional Gold Medal for Jackie Robinson, the first black to play in the ML in the modern era.

8thMark Prior handcuffs the Marlins as the Cubs pound out 4 HRs on their way to a 12-3 win over Florida to tie their NLCS at 1 game apiece. Alex Gonzalez homers twice for Chicago, while Sammy Sosa and Aramis Ramirez also connect. Kenny Lofton ties an NLCS record with 4 hits.

Tim Wakefield’s knuckleball baffles the Yankees as the Red Sox take the opening game of the ALCS by a score of 5-2. David Ortiz, Todd Walker, and Manny Ramirez all homer for Boston.

9thThe Yankees even their series with the Red Sox by defeating Boston behind Andy Pettitte, 6-2. Nick Johnson hits a 2-run HR for New York while Jason Varitek hits a solo homer for Boston.

10thDoug Glanville’s RBI triple in the 11th inning gives the Cubs a 5-4 win in the third game of the NLCS. Randall Simon hits a 2-run HR for Chicago.

Boston real estate developer Frank McCourt reaches an agreement with News Corp to buy the LA Dodgers.

11thIn a game marked by several brawls, including a memorable one in which Boston hurler Pedro Martinez throws 72-year-old New York coach Don Zimmer to the ground, the Yankees defeat the Red Sox, 4-3, to take Game 3 of the ALCS. Zim’s slow charge to the mound followed a Pedro pitch behind Karim Garcia’s head in the 4thinning. Garcia followed with a hard slide into 2B upending Todd Walker. When the Red Sox came to bat, Manny Ramirez took exception to a pitch from Roger Clemens that sailed high. Although it is barely inside, he shouts at Clemens, moving at him with bat in hand, and both benches empty. Clemens posts the 11th postseason win of his career while Derek Jeter homers for NY.

The Cubs pound the Marlins for an 8-3 victory and a 3-games-to-1 lead in the NLCS behind Matt Clement. Aramis Ramirez’s first inning grand slam gives the Cubs a lead they never relinquish. Ramirez also hits another homer as the two teams combine to set a new record for most HRs in an NLCS with 16. Ramirez finishes the game with 6 RBI.

12thThe Marlins stave off elimination with a 4-0 win over the Cubs in the NLCS. Josh Beckett dominates Chicago with a 2-hitter, while Mike Lowell, Ivan Rodriguez, and Jeff Conine all homer for Florida.

With Game 4 of the AL championship series postponed by rain, attention is on Don Zimmer, who apologizes for yesterday’s melee. “I’m embarrassed at what happened,” Zimmer said, fighting back tears. “I’m embarrassed for the Yankees, the Red Sox, the fans, the umpires and my family.” Zimmer is fined $5,000 by Bob Watson, baseball’s vice president in charge of discipline, Martinez is fined $50,000, Ramirez $25,000 and Garcia $10,000. Boston owner John Henry, pleased with Zimmer’s apology, says he “wouldn’t mind seeing the same thing coming from our side.” Red Sox first baseman Kevin Millar says he hoped Zimmer’s remarks would put an end to the “sideshow.” Boston center fielder Johnny Damon acknowledges that the Red Sox also were to blame in the brawl. “If I was involved, I’d apologize. But then, Zimmer wasn’t coming after my life, he was coming after Pedro’s.”  It is not Zimmer’s last press conference; he will announce after the Series that he is fed up with Steinbrenner’s interference and that he is retiring.

13thTim Wakefield earns his 2nd victory of the series, leading the Red Sox to a 3-2 win over the Yankees to even the ALCS at 2 games apiece. Todd Walker and Trot Nixon homer for Boston, while Ruben Sierra’s 9th inning round-tripper gets NY to within a run.

14thDavid Wells hurls the Yankees to a 4-2 win over the Red Sox and a 3-games-to-2 lead in the ALCS. Karim Garcia’s 2-run single in the 3rd is the key blow for NY while Manny Ramirez homers for Boston.

Trailing 3-0 with 1 out in the 8th inning, the Marlins explode for 8 runs and go on to defeat the Cubs, 8-3, to send the NLCS to a 7th game. A key play occurs when a Cubs fan named Bartman reaches for a foul ball that Chicago LF Moises Alou appears ready to catch at the edge of the stands. An error by SS Alex Gonzalez and a bases-loaded triple by Mike Mordecai are other key plays in the inning. Starter Mark Prior takes the loss.

The Giants announce that Pacific Bell Park will be renamed SBC Park beginning January 1, 2004.

15thThe Red Sox rally for 3 runs in the 7th inning to come from behind and pull out a 9-6 victory over the Yankees to send the ALCS to a 7th game. Boston slugs 16 hits, including 4 by Nomar Garciaparra, and gets HRs from Jason Varitek and Trot Nixon.

The Marlins complete a stunning comeback by defeating the Cubs, 9-6, to win their 3rd straight game and the NLCS. HRs by Kerry Wood and Moises Alou give Chicago a 5-3 lead, but Florida bounces back to take the lead on Luis Castillo’s RBI single in the 6th. Miguel Cabrera hits a 3-run homer for the Marlins. Ivan Rodriguez is named the NLCS Most Valuable Player.

16thAaron Boone’s walkoff HR on Tim Wakefield’s first pitch in the bottom half of the 11th inning gives the Yankees a 6-5 come from behind win over the Red Sox and their 39th AL pennant. Boston blows a 4-0 lead as New York comes back to score 3 runs in the 8th off tired starter Pedro Martinez to tie the score. Sox manager Little’s decision to stay with Pedro will cost him his job. Jason Giambi hits a pair of HRs for NY, while ALCS Most Valuable Player Mariano Rivera hurls 3 innings in relief for the win.

18thThe Marlins surprise the Yankees with a 3-2 victory in the opening game of the World Series. Juan Pierre has a 2-run single for Florida, as Brad Penny defeats David Wells.

19thThe Yankees bounce back behind Andy Pettitte to tie the Series at 1 game apiece with a 6-1 triumph in Game 2. Hideki Matsui’s 3-run HR in the first inning is all Pettitte needs. Alfonso Soriano also homers for NY. Mark Redman takes the loss for the Marlins.

21stThe Yankees beat the Marlins, 6-1, behind the pitching of Mike Mussina and the hitting of Derek Jeter and Bernie Williams. Jeter gets 3 hits off losing starter Josh Beckett (the only hits Beckett allows), while Williams and Aaron Boone hit HRs. Williams’ homer is his record 19th in postseason play. His 65 RBI are also a new postseason record.

Seattle Mariner P Jamie Moyer wins the Roberto Clemente Award for excellence on the field and in the community.

22ndAlbert Pujols and Alex Rodriguez are honored with the Hank Aaron Award, which goes to the top offensive player of the year in each league.

23rdThe Marlins move to one game away from a world championship as they defeat the Yankees, 6-4, to take a 3-games-to-2 lead in the World Series. Winning pitcher Brad Penny’s 2-run single gives Florida a lead they never surrender. Jason Giambi hits a pinch-hit HR in the 9th to bring the Yankees within 2 runs, but Bernie Williams’ attempt for a game-tying homer falls short at the warning track in center field.

25thThe Marlins win their 2nd world championship as World Series MVP Josh Beckett hurls a 5-hit shutout in defeating the Yankees, 2-0, in Game 6 of the WS. Luis Castillo’s 5th-inning single brings home Florida’s first run, and the only one Beckett needs as he outduels Andy Pettitte. Thus the Marlin conclude their 2ndwinning season in the past 11 years in the same manner they concluded their first winning season.

27thThe Red Sox announce that manager Grady Little’s contract will not be renewed for 2004. They also say it has nothing to do with Little’s decision to stay with Pedro Martinez in game 7 of the ALCS. They also ask the question: ‘what do Grady Little and Don Zimmer have in common? Neither could take out Pedro.’

29thBarry Bonds wins his record 11th Silver Slugger Award, given to the top offensive players in each league.