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Flashback #53: Cubs Beat Braves In NLDS (2003)

As of 670 The Score's 20th Anniversary on January 3rd, the station has begun to reveal (in chronological order) the Top 100 Chicago Sports Stories that have occurred since they first went on the air 20 years ago. Once all 100 of these "flashbacks" have been revealed, fans will be able to vote for which stories they believe are the most significant in the 20 year history of The Score. To see all of the Flashbacks that The Score has posted so far, please visit 670 The Score's 20th Anniversary page.

October 5, 2003 - Cubs beat the Braves in the 2003 NLDS

Heading into the 2003 NLDS, the Cubs were seemingly a massive underdog against the Braves, who owned the best record in the National League.

The Cubs, led by a core of young pitchers, were making their first playoff appearance since the 1998 season after winning their first-ever NL Central title.

Game 1 was a matchup between the Cubs' 26-year-old starting pitcher Kerry Wood and the Braves' Russ Ortiz.

Wood led the Cubs to a 4-2 victory behind 7 1/3 innings of two-hit, two-run ball. For good measure, Wood tacked on 11 strikeouts.

The Cubs got off to a hot start in Game 2, scoring two runs in the first inning off a Sammy Sosa double and a Moises Alou fielder's choice. The two-run spot wasn't enough for Carlos Zambrano and the Cubs. With the game tied a 3-3 in the eighth inning, Mark DeRosa's two-out, two-run double put the Braves ahead 5–3 for good.

The series shifted to Chicago for Game 3 in a matchup between Mark Prior and former Cub Greg Maddux. Chicago scrapped together two runs in the first inning off Randall Simon's two-run single. Those two runs proved to be the difference as the 22-year-old Prior put together a complete game, allowing just one run on two hits, as the Cubs won, 3-1.

Game 4 was all Chipper Jones as the Braves cruised to a 6-4 victory, tying the series at 2-2. Jones smacked two, two-run home runs, stunning the sold-out crowd at Wrigley Field.

The Braves' win in Game 4 forced an elimination Game 5 at Turner Field in Atlanta. The Cubs scored early, jumping out to a 4-0 lead behind home runs from Alex Gonzalez and Aramis Ramirez. Wood earned his second playoff victory as the Cubs won 4-1, ultimately winning their first postseason series since the 1908 World Series.

Their reward? A meeting with the Marlins in the National League Championship Series.

The Score will continue to release a new Flashback each weekday until they reach 100. Check back tomorrow for a new one, or check out all of the previous Flashbacks: 670 The Score's 20th Anniversary »

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