Marlins defeat Braves
4 games to 2
|Game||Date||Winning Team||Losing Team|
|1||Oct. 7||FLA 5||ATL 3|
|2||Oct. 8||ATL 7||FLA 1|
|3||Oct. 10||FLA 5||ATL 2|
|4||Oct. 11||ATL 4||FLA 0|
|5||Oct. 12||FLA 2||ATL 1|
|6||Oct. 14||FLA 7||ATL 4|
Managers: Leyland, Jim, FL; Cox, Bobby, ATL
MVP: Hernandez, Livan
NLDS: Florida 3, San Francisco 0; Atlanta 3, Houston 0
The Braves won 101 games and finished nine games ahead of the Marlins in the NL East during the regular season, and Florida had lost seven of its last nine games before the postseason. But the Marlins' NLDS sweep of the Giants triggered a new excitement level, with walk-off wins at home in the first two games and then the clincher in San Francisco. Baseball excitement was rising in Miami.
Atlanta hosted its first-ever League Championship Series at brand-new Turner Field, hoping to get back to a third consecutive World Series. But while Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz were all back in familiar roles, the rotation actually was led by 20-game-winner Denny Neagle, who finished third in Cy Young voting.
From the outset, the Braves seemed to be in trouble. In the top of the first inning of Game 1, the Marlins scored three unearned runs, with Fred McGriff committing an error and Chipper Jones making a weak stab at a Moises Alou double past third base to clear the bases. Florida took the opener to take back home-field advantage from the heavily favored opponent.
The two teams alternated wins through Game 5, and it was Marlins right-hander Livan Hernandez who outdueled Maddux in the fifth game, going the distance in a 2-1 victory. That would cement his NLCS MVP status, as Hernandez had gotten the win in Game 3 with 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief, and set an NLCS strikeout record with 16 in the series.
Florida won, despite batting only .199 and hitting only one homer in the series -- by Gary Sheffield in the Game 3 victory. But they hit when it mattered. The Marlins batted around in the top of the first of Game 6 at Turner Field, and the series was over with a 7-4 Florida win. After being denied by Bobby Cox and the Braves in the 1991-92 NLCS while managing Pittsburgh, Marlins manager Jim Leyland finally broke through with a fledgling Wild Card, and he was on his way to the Fall Classic, against Cleveland.