2003 September

1st Two 9th inning grand slams are featured today as Jeff Kent and Trot Nixon connect. Kent’s slam comes against the host Dodgers as he drives in 6 runs in a 10-1 Houston  win.  Trot also drives in 6 runs as hits his 4-run homer in Boston’s 6-run burst against the host Phillies, as the Red Sox win, 13-9.

2ndThe Dodgers down the Astros, 4-1, as Eric Gagne sets a ML record with his 55th consecutive save. The old mark was held by Tom Gordon of the Red Sox. Gagne is 44-0 this year in saves, another ML mark.

Sammy Sosa hits a 2-run walkoff homer (his career 9th) in the 15thinning to give the Cubs a 4–2 win over the Cardinals. It is the opener of a doubleheader. Matt Morris goes 7 innings in game 2 as he combines with three relievers to beat the Cubs, 2-0. Kerry Wood (11-11) strikes out 9 in 7 innings.  His 228 strikeouts leads the NL.

3rdThe Brewers suds the Reds, 9-6, as Brady Clark scores 4 runs and is a single shy of the cycle. Luis Martinez, in his ML debut, gives up a leadoff walk to the Reds Juan Castro, allows a single, then picks Castro off 2B.

Before the start of a Cubs-Cardinals game at Wrigley, manager Dusty Baker sprinkles an unknown substance (to be called “magic dust”) over the infield. It works. The Cubs, down 6-0, rally to win 8-7. They will win six in a row to move into a first place tie with the Birds.

5thThe Blue Jays down the Tigers, 8-6, handing Mike Maroth his 20th loss of the season. Maroth becomes the first P in 23 years to lose 20 games in a season.

After three national anthems are played in San Juan, the Expos defeat the Marlins, 6-2, as Todd Zeile hits a pair of HRs. In doing so, he becomes the first player in ML history to homer for 11 different teams. When Zeile went yard for the New York Yankees earlier this season, he tied two 19th century players, Dan Brouthers and Tom Brown, with homers for 10 different teams. The Yanks released Zeile on August 17 and Montreal signed him. With Zeile at bat in the 4thinning, the lights go out and the game is delayed 1 hour 14 minutes.

6thBlue Jays ace Roy Halladay pitches the first extra inning complete game shutout in the majors since Jack Morris, in the classic Game 7 of the 1991 World Series. The last time it was done in the regular season was by Dave Stewart, on August 1, 1990. Halladay takes a no-hitter into the 8thagainst Detroit, and finishes with a 3-hit, 1–0 victory.  Tiger starter Nate Cornejo pitches 9 shutout innings before giving way to Fernando Rodney. Bobby Kielty’s single drives home the winner.

At Yankee Stadium. Tim Wakefield allows 4 hits in 7 innings as the Red Sox wallop Roger Clemens to move 1 1/2 games behind the Yankees in the AL East. Nomar Garciaparra hits a 2-run homer to ignite a 6-run 4thinning. Luis Sojo, who appeared in the Yankees old-timers game earlier in the year, pinch hits for Jason Giambi in the 9thand fouls out.

At Milwaukee, the Cubs Mark Prior (15-5) strikes out 7 in 7 innings to win his 7thstraight, beating the Brewers, 4–2. Randall Simon hits a 2-run homer for Chicago and gets a big cheer when it is announced that all 330 fans sitting in section 112, behind the Cubs dugout, would receive free Polish sausages, courtesy of Simon. Simon’s last appearance at Miller Park was in a Pirates uniform on July 9 when he whacked a woman dressed as asausage during a race.

In a 9-2 win over the Pirates, Greg Maddux pitches 7+ innings for the victory. Gary Sheffield has 3 hits including his 35thHR.

8thThe Dodgers score 7 runs in the last 2 innings to pound the Diamondbacks, 10-3, as SS Cesar Izturis goes 5-for-5 with a 2-run HR and 3 runs scored. Shawn Green adds a grand slam in the 9th for the visiting Dodgers.

9thIn an 18-5 laugher over Atlanta, the Phils hits two grand slams and a 3-run homer. Mike Lieberthal hits the 3-run homer while Tomas Perez has a grand slam and 5 RBIs. Jason Michael, who enters in the 5thwith the Phils up 13-2, adds another grand slam. Atlanta has 3 homers, one each by Javy Lopez, Mark DeRosa and Julio Franco.

10thAlbert Pujols homers twice as the Cardinals defeat the Rockies, 10-2. the win is St. Louis manager Tony LaRussa’s 2,000th, making him the 8th man in ML history to reach that mark.

The Yankees rout the Tigers by a score of 15-5 as C Jorge Posada hits a grand slam and drives in 7 runs.

11thThe White Sox release P Jose Paniagua. Paniagua pitched in only one game for the White Sox, but gave up 4runs in 1/3 IP, and made an obscene gesture to the home plate umpire while walking off the field.

Seattle tops Texas, 8–2, behind 8 strong innings from Gil Meche (15-10). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Meche is the first pitcher since Whitey Ford in 1953 to win at least 15 after missing the previous two seasons.

14thThe Tigers become the fist team in 34 years to lose 110 games in a season by dropping a 7-2 decision to the Royals. The last teams to reach the mark were the 1969 expansion Montreal Expos and San Diego Padres.

The Diamondbacks shut out the Rockies, 5-0, as Randy Johnson hurls a 1-hitter. Rene Reyes’ 5th-inning single is Colorado’s only safety.

The Expos down the Mets, 7-3, as Vladimir Guerrero hits for the cycle.

15thThe Rangers defeat the Mariners, 6-4. Rafael Palmeiro hits his 35th HR of the season, making him just the 2nd player in history to reach 35 homers and 100 RBI in 9 consecutive seasons. Hall of Famer Jimmie Foxx is the only other player to perform the feat.

Robert Fick has a 3-run homer as the Braves beat the host Expos, 10-6. Brian Schneider hits a pinch grand slam in the 9th for Montreal.

16thDespite blowing a 3-run lead and losing to Montreal, 5-4, the Braves become the first ML team to clinch a playoff berth.

The Astros pound the Rockies, 14-4, as Richard Hidalgo hits 3 homers and drives in 5 runs for Houston.

17thThe Giants down the Padres, 8-3, to clinch the NL West division title. In doing so, they become just the 9th wire-to-wire winner of a division or pennant in ML history. Shortly before the game ends, a fan tries to climb down the outside of the right-field wall and falls 24 feet to his death.

18thThe Astros defeat the Rockies, 6-0. It marks the first time Colorado has been shut out at home since July 5, 1999, a span of 361 games which had been an ML record.

The Blue Jays hand the Tigers their 114th loss of the season, defeating Detroit by a score of 10-6. Mike Maroth becomes the first pitcher in 29 years to lost 21 games.

Major League Baseball asks players to shift about a quarter of the Expos’ home games next year from Montreal to San Juan or Monterey.

19th  Russ Ortiz wins his 20th, outpitching Josh Beckett (8-8) to give Atlanta a 1–0 win over the Marlins.  He gives up only 3 hits, one to Derrek Lee who is caught stealing.  Lee will end up with 30+ homers and 20 stolen bases. Javy Lopez doubles in the 2ndand scores the games only run.

Randy Johnson starts the scoring for Arizona with a 3rd-inning homer off Doug Davis, his first and only ML dinger. The Big Unit strikes our 10 in 6 innings but isn’t around when Steve Finley hits a 9th-inning solo shot to give the Diamondbacks a 3-2 win over the Brewers.

21stGreg Maddux becomes the first pitcher to win 15 or more games in 16 consecutive seasons as the Braves shut out the Marlins, 8-0. Maddux had shared the ML record of 15 seasons in a row with Cy Young.

After a 7-5 Dodger win over the Giants, Mark Allen Antenorcruz, a 25-year-old Giant fan who lives in Covina, is murdered in the Dodger Stadium parking lot following an argument. Antenorcruz attended the game with his family, who have season tickets. The police said the argument was related to the game and that alcohol was involved.

22ndThe Royals down the Tigers, 12-6, handing Detroit its 118th loss of the season for a new AL record.

The White Sox beat the Yankees, 6-3 in 10 innings, despite a pair of HRs by Alfonso Soriano for NY. Soriano’s homer in the first is his 13th leadoff homer of the season to set a new ML mark.

In a 7-5 win over the Orioles, the Boston Red Sox break a major-league record when Kevin Millar lines a double to left field in the eighth inning becoming the 8th Bosox player this season to hit 30 doubles. The previous record was 7 players with 30 two-baggers shared by four teams, the last being the 2001 Florida Marlins. Millar joins Bill Mueller, David Ortiz, Todd Walker, Nomar Garciaparra, Manny Ramirez, Johnny Damon, and Jason Varitek to set the record.

23rdThe Giants score 10 runs in the 2nd inning and go on to defeat the Astros, 10-3. Edgardo Alfonso’s grand slam is the big blow in the frame.

The Rockies pound out 17 hits on their way to a 20-9 trouncing of the Diamondbacks. Ron Belliard ties a franchise record with 8 RBIs for the night, connecting on a double and 2 homers.  Larry Walker has a grand slam and drives in 6 runs. Each team has 4 homeruns.

The Yankees, Twins, and Athletics all clinch AL division titles. Oakland clinches by defeating Texas, 4-3 in 10 innings, while New York shuts out Chicago, 7-0, to take the East crown. Jose Contreras (7-2) goes 8 innings and Jason Giambi hits his 40thhomer in the 9th, a grand slam. After defeating the Indians, the Twins clinch the Central title when the Tigers knock off the Royals.

24thThe Cubs beat the host Reds, 8-0, behind Sean Estes complete-game shutout. Chicago stays a game ahead of Houston in the NL Central.

At Fenway, the Orioles do all their scoring in the 1stinning in beating the Red Sox, 7-3. Tony Batista has a grand slam off John Burkett, who records one out.

25thThe Red Sox upend the Orioles, 14-3, to clinch the wild-card playoff spot. The Hubmen pound three homeruns among their 18 hits. The Sox will finish with a ML-record .491 slugging average, breaking the .488 mark set by the 1927 Yankees.

The Blue Jays outscore the Devil Rays, 10-8, as Carlos Delgado becomes the 15th player in history to hit 4 homers in a game. His first homer of the game is also the 300th of his career. He has shown a progression of power as he’s reached home run milestones: he hit one homer in a game for his first career dinger, hit a pair in a game for his 100th, hit a threesome to reach 200 and hit 4 today.

The Reds beat the Cubs, 9-7, despite a pair of HRs by Sammy Sosa. His 3 RBI for the night gives his 100 for the season, making him the first NL player to reach the mark in 9 straight years.

26thThe Marlins defeat the Mets, 4-3, to clinch the NL wild-card spot in the playoffs.

Yankee rookie P Jorge De Paula makes his ML debut with 6 1/3 hitless innings against the Baltimore Orioles in the 2nd game of a doubleheader. He is removed after allowing a single to Larry Bigbie, but does not get a decision as the Orioles win, 3-2 in 10 innings.  New York takes the opener, 11–2.

The White Sox down the Royals, 11-2. KC’s Carlos Beltran hits a leadoff homer in the 4th to become just the 6th player since 1900 to have 100 runs, 100 RBI, and 30 stolen bases in three seasons.

27thThe Cubs clinch the NL Central crown with a doubleheader sweep of the Pirates, 4-2 and 7-2. It is their first division title in 14 years. For the first time since 1937, the Cubs are not swept in a three-game series the entire season.

The Cardinals defeat the Diamondbacks, 3-2, as Edgar Renteria becomes the first NL  shortstop in 18 years to drive in 100 runs. Todd Helton of the Rookies narrowly loses the N.L. batting title to Albert Pujols of the Cardinals on the final day of the season, He trailed Pujols by as much as 56 points before making his charge. Also leading the NL is Mike Matheny of the Cardinals, the first catcher since Charles Johnson in 1997 to sport a 1.000 fielding percentage.

At Kansas City, Carl Everett and Joe Crede drive in four runs apiece and Bartolo Colon notches his 100th career win as the Chicago White Sox roll to 19-3 rout of the Royals. The Sox record a season-high 21 hits, including a season-high 7 doubles, (and no homers) and clinch 2nd place in the AL Central.

Ryan Madson of the Philadelphia Phillies became the 16,000th player in major-league history when he makes his debut in a game against the Atlanta Braves. Madson calmly strides in from the bullpen in the sixth inning and proceeds to retire six straight batters in a two-inning relief performance as the Phillies beat the Braves, 7-6. Javy Lopez hits his 42nd HR of the season to set a new ML record for a catcher.

Roy Halladay wins his 22nd, as the Blue Jays beat the Indians, 5–4.

28thThe Yankees win, 3–1, over Baltimore as David Wells (15-7) goes 7 2/3 innings for his 200thcareer victory and last win as a Yankee.  Acting manager Roger Clemens removes him in the 8th.  Drew Henson hits a seeing-eye single for his first and only ML hit. He later scores. The day after the Patriots win the 2004 Superbowl behind Henson’s former Michigan teammate Tom Brady, Henson will give up baseball and $12 million for NFL football.

The Dodgers conclude the season with a 12–3 loss at San Francisco, as Bonds has 2 hits but no homers. Despite the 12 runs, the Dodgers finish with a team ERA of 3.16, best in the NL by .57.  This is the biggest difference between the best ERA and the 2ndbest since the 1907 also had a .57.

At Safeco, Seattle downs the A’s, 9-3, as Jamie Moyer (21-7) goes 7 innings. Moyer joins Piniero, Franklin, Garcia and Meche as the only pitchers to make starts this year for Seattle. Since 1900, only Seattle (2003), Los Angeles NL (1966), Boston AL (1904), Boston NL (1901), Washington AL (1901) have gone through the season using just five starters.  No team since 1900 has used just four (as noted by Clem Comly).

29thThe Orioles fire manager Mike Hargrove after four consecutive losing seasons under his command.

The White Sox fire manager Jerry Manuel after six years at the helm.

30thThe Twins end their 13-game losing streak to the Yankees by beating the New Yorkers, 3-1, to take the opening game of their Division Series.

Jason Schmidt hurls a 3-hit shutout as the Giants down the Marlins, 2-0, to take the first game of their Division Series. The Giants only get 3 hits themselves in the pitcher’s duel between Schmidt and Florida’s Josh Beckett.

Kerry Wood is the story for Chicago as the Cubs beat the Braves, 4-2, in the opener of their Division Series. In addition to allowing just 2 hits in 7 innings for the win, Wood also drives in 2 runs with a double. Marcus Giles homers for Atlanta.