April 10, 2003
Before Saturday nights game, Marlins manager Jack McKeon when asked by a FoxSportsNet reporter what it was like to receive the Championship rings. His response was a bit surprising considering the importance of the moment and the stunning beauty of the ring. McKeon said, "It's great to get this but we really want to follow it up with a win tonight."
This comment shows the focus of the Marlins team, who realize that even though this is only the fifth game of the season, that every game counts. Especially ones against the team that many consider the favorite to win the National League East in 2004, the Philadelphia Phillies.
McKeon got what he really wanted on Saturday night as the Florida Marlins beat the Phillies 5-3 in front of 45,725 fans at Pro Player Stadium.
The fireworks scheduled for after the game were preceded by offensive fireworks during the game provided by 1B Hee Seop Choi who hit two homeruns and RF Miguel Cabrera who hit a two-run homerun in the 7th to break a 3-3 tie and give the Marlins a 5-3 lead.
Just as the night before, the Phillies jumped out to an early lead going up 3-0 going into the 4th inning off Marlins starter Darren Oliver.
That proved to be all that Oliver would allow for the game and the Marlins bats took over from there. Choi added his second homerun of the season with a 367 foot blast to right field to put the score at 3-1.
The Marlins then added another run in the fifth when Juan Pierre singled home SS Alex Gonzalez to bring the score to 3-2. In the 5th, the Marlins had a chance to break the game open when they had the bases loaded with two outs and Jeff Conine at the plate. Unfortunately, the slumping Conine continued his poor start by grounding out weakly to the pitcher.
In the 6th, Hee Seop Choi went deep again. This time he crushed a 420 foot blast to right center to tie the score at 3-3.
The score remained tied until the 7th inning when Cabrera hit his second homerun of the season, driving in 2B Luis Castillo, which proved to be the difference in the game.
Starting pitcher Darren Oliver continued the Marlins strong outings from their starting pitchers by throwing 7 innings giving up only three runs, only two of them earned however as one came via an error by Castillo. Oliver gave up 8 hits and 2 walks with two strikeouts.
Reliever Chad Fox pitched an impressive 8th inning going scoreless, giving up 1 walk while getting two impressive strikeouts against Pat Burrell and Bobby Abreu.
Armando Benitez notched his 4th save of the season throwing a scoreless 9th while striking out 1.
The win brings the Marlins record to 4-1 on the season while the Phillies fall to 1-4.
The Marlins can complete the series sweep of the Phillies on Sunday as Marlins ace Josh Beckett takes the hill against the Phillies Kevin Millwood. First pitch is scheduled for 3:05 pm.