2003 Cubs-Braves NLDS recap

Cubs defeat Braves, 3 games to 2

October 3rd, 2022

Dusty Baker managed the Giants to the 2002 World Series and then was in position a year later to do the same with the Cubs. This time the road started in Atlanta, and he had company.

Cubs fans were coming out of the woodwork. They were now known to take over opposing grandstands, and they were in massive number amidst Braves fans. The Cubs caravan was the highway trend in the fall of 2003, as people who had always said, "Wait 'til next year," might be watching the end of a title drought dating back to 1908.

Kerry Wood was the star of this series, going 2-0 and allowing three runs in 15 1/3 innings. Wood struck out 19 Braves, winning Games 1 and 5.

The teams traded wins throughout the series, and the Cubs clinched it with a 5-1 victory in Game 5 for their first postseason series win since 1908. Baker said after the game, "To come down and beat these Braves in Atlanta, that's a wonderful feat." Indeed, the Braves had won their 12th consecutive possible division title, matching the Yankees for most victories in the Majors with 101. It was the only time in Braves modern history they reached at least 900 runs in a regular season. But it was the second of four consecutive eliminations the Braves would suffer in the NLDS.

Path to the NLDS: Chicago (88-74) won the NL Central by one game; Atlanta (101-61) won the NL East by 10 games 

Managers: Dusty Baker, CHC; Bobby Cox, ATL