1997 National League Championship Series: Wikis

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1997 National League Championship Series
1997nlcs.jpg
Team (Wins) Manager Season
Florida Marlins (4) Jim Leyland 92–70, .568, GB: 9
Atlanta Braves (2) Bobby Cox 101–61, .623, GA: 9
Dates: October 7–October 14
MVP: Liván Hernández (Florida)
Television: NBC
TV announcers: Bob Costas, Joe Morgan and Bob Uecker
Radio: CBS
Radio announcers: Gary Cohen and Jerry Coleman
Umpires: Bruce Froemming, Charlie Williams, Mike Winters, Jerry Layne, Eric Gregg, Frank Pulli
NLDS: Florida Marlins over San Francisco Giants (3–0)
  Atlanta Braves over Houston Astros (3–0)
 < 1996 NLCS 1998 > 
1997 World Series

The 1997 National League Championship Series (NLCS) pitted the Florida Marlins against the Atlanta Braves. The Marlins won the series 4–2, and went on to defeat the Cleveland Indians in the 1997 World Series.

Contents

Background

Both teams hailed from the NL East division, the 101-win Braves being the division champions while the Marlins made the playoffs courtesy of the wild card. Both the Braves and Marlins swept their opponents during the Division Series. This was the first all-Southern postseason series.

Summary

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Atlanta Braves vs. Florida Marlins

Florida wins the series, 4–2.

Game Date Score Location Time Attendance
1 October 7 Florida Marlins – 5, Atlanta Braves – 3 Turner Field 3:04 49,244[1]
2 October 8 Florida Marlins – 1, Atlanta Braves – 7 Turner Field 2:51 48,933[2] 
3 October 10 Atlanta Braves – 2, Florida Marlins – 5 Pro Player Stadium 2:59 53,857[3] 
4 October 11 Atlanta Braves – 4, Florida Marlins – 0 Pro Player Stadium 2:48 54,890[4] 
5 October 12 Atlanta Braves – 1, Florida Marlins – 2 Pro Player Stadium 2:27 51,982[5] 
6 October 14 Florida Marlins – 7, Atlanta Braves – 4 Turner Field 3:10 50,446[6]

Game summaries

Game 1

Tuesday, October 7, 1997 at Turner Field in Atlanta, Georgia

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Florida 3 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 6 0
Atlanta 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 3 5 2

WP: Kevin Brown (1–0)  LP: Greg Maddux (0–1)  SV: Robb Nen (1)  
HRs:  ATL – Chipper Jones (1), Ryan Klesko (1)

The Marlins scored three unearned runs in the first inning off Greg Maddux, thanks to a Fred McGriff error, when Moisés Alou hit a bases-clearing double to left. Atlanta got a run back in the bottom of the inning off Florida starter Kevin Brown, but the Marlins were handed two more unearned runs in the third after an error by center fielder Kenny Lofton and went ahead 5–1. Home runs by Chipper Jones and Ryan Klesko drew Atlanta to 5–3 but the Florida bullpen held the Braves hitless over the final three innings. Brown, who went six innings, got the win.

Game 2

Wednesday, October 8, 1997 at Turner Field in Atlanta, Georgia

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Florida 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 3 1
Atlanta 3 0 2 0 0 0 2 0 X 7 13 0

WP: Tom Glavine (1–0)  LP: Alex Fernandez (0–1)  
HRs:  ATL – Ryan Klesko (2), Chipper Jones (2)

The Braves rallied from their sloppy Game 1 and routed pitcher Alex Fernandez, chasing him after 2+23 innings. A first inning home run by Ryan Klesko and a third inning homer by Chipper Jones helped Atlanta build a 5–0 lead. Starter Tom Glavine was excellent, giving up just one run in 7+23 innings. The Braves poured on two more runs in the seventh as they won 7–1. It was learned after the game that Fernandez had been unknowingly pitching with a rotator cuff injury, and would be done for the series.

Game 3

Friday, October 10, 1997 at Pro Player Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Atlanta 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 2 6 1
Florida 0 0 0 1 0 4 0 0 X 5 8 1

WP: Liván Hernández (1–0)  LP: John Smoltz (0–1)  SV: Robb Nen (2)  
HRs:  FLA – Gary Sheffield (1)

With the series shifting south to Miami, Game 3 began as a close game with the score 1–1 after five innings, but was put to bed in the Marlins' half of the sixth, when they scored four runs to finish John Smoltz's night. The big blow came on a three-run double by light-hitting catcher Charles Johnson. Florida starter Tony Saunders did his best to hold the Braves, allowing just two earned runs before Liván Hernández took over. Hernández would get the win as the Marlins took the game 5–2.

The Marlins only had one home run in the entire six-game series (by Gary Sheffield in Game 3).

Game 4

Saturday, October 11, 1997 at Pro Player Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Atlanta 1 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 4 11 0
Florida 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0

WP: Denny Neagle (1–0)  LP: Al Leiter (0–1)  
HRs:  ATL – Jeff Blauser (1)

Denny Neagle stepped up and pitched a complete game, four-hit shutout of the Marlins in Game 4. The Braves offense, meanwhile, chipped away at Al Leiter, plating runs in the first and third innings. In the fifth Jeff Blauser launched a solo home run and Fred McGriff doubled in another run, putting the Braves on top 4–0 as Neagle mowed down the Marlins. The win evened the series at 2–2, and with Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine scheduled to start Games 5 and 6 and the Florida pitching staff in apparent disarray, the advantage clearly fell with the Braves.

Game 5

Sunday, October 12, 1997 at Pro Player Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Atlanta 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 0
Florida 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 X 2 5 0

WP: Liván Hernández (2–0)  LP: Greg Maddux (0–2)  
HRs:  ATL – Michael Tucker (1)

After Neagle's gem in Game 4, Game 5 was clearly the pivotal game of the series. If the Marlins lost, the Braves would be up three games to two and going home with an almost certain NL pennant in sight. Liván Hernández replaced Kevin Brown, who had fallen ill that day. Florida scored a run in the first off Greg Maddux, but the Braves evened the game with a Michael Tucker home run in the second. The score remained tied at 1–1 as Maddux and Hernández traded scoreless innings. Bobby Bonilla doubled and scored on a single by Jeff Conine to break the tie in the bottom of the seventh. Hernández pitched a complete game, three-hit, fifteen strikeout masterpiece to reclaim a series lead for the Marlins

This particular game is remembered for the controversy surrounding an unusually wide strike zone by umpire Eric Gregg.

Liván Hernández set a record for most strikeouts in a National League Championship Series game with fifteen; just a day earlier Mike Mussina of the Baltimore Orioles would strike out fifteen in the American League Championship Series against the Indians in Game 3.

Game 6

Tuesday, October 14, 1997 at Turner Field in Atlanta, Georgia

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Florida 4 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 7 10 1
Atlanta 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 4 11 1

WP: Kevin Brown (2–0)  LP: Tom Glavine (1–1)  

Back at Turner Field with a World Series appearance looming, the Marlins went back to their ace, Kevin Brown. Facing Tom Glavine, the Marlins scored four runs in the first as they batted around. The Braves closed to within one run in the second inning, but Glavine allowed three more runs in the sixth, making it 7–3. Brown was asked to leave the game towards the ninth, but he told Jim Leyland he wanted to continue. The Braves were able to score one in the ninth, but Chipper Jones forced Keith Lockhart at second to give Brown a complete game victory and the first pennant for the Florida Marlins. It was the first pennant for a wild card team in Major League Baseball history.

Composite box

1997 NLCS (4–2): Florida Marlins over Atlanta Braves

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Florida Marlins 8 0 2 1 0 7 1 1 0 20 36 3
Atlanta Braves 6 3 4 1 2 2 2 0 1 21 49 4
Total attendance: 309,352   Average attendance: 51,559

Series quotes

By [Kevin] Brown, scooped up by [Craig] Counsell, to [Edgar] Renteria, and it's over!
Bob Costas, calling the final out in Game 6.
It would be sweet in any case, but how much sweeter is it that, for the first time in a long a distinguished as a Major League manager, Jim Leyland is on his way to the World Series.
Bob Costas.

Notes

External links


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