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Postseason

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Division Series
American League:
Twins-Yankees, Gm 4
Red Sox-Angels, Gm 3
National League:
Dodgers-Cards, Gm 4
Astros-Braves, Gm 5

 
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10/11: GAME 5:  Astros 12, Braves 3  Wrap >
Astros headed to NLCS
By Alyson Footer / MLB.com  10/11/2004
It's somewhat ironic that after all of the twists and turns the Astros took since Aug. 15 to even get to the playoffs, they beat the Braves at Turner Field quite handily, breaking out with a five-run seventh to top Atlanta, 12-3. Full story >
Astros have date with rival Cards  Club has won six of its last seven games vs. St. Louis
Plenty to cheer about  Braves authored improbable script to 2004 season
Astros exorcise playoff demons  Bagwell, Biggio & Co. relish first playoff series win
Game balls: Rating Game 5  Beltran's mammoth series leads Astros into NLCS
Press Row: Astros make history  Houston breaks streak of winless postseason series
 Baseball Daily News / Astros
Beltran leads swarm of Killer B's  Newcomer joins veterans in tasting playoff success
Astros' bosses are starstruck  Management revels in first postseason triumph
Game 5 win huge for veterans  Reliever ready to bring on the Cardinals
Garner makes room for Munro  Astros manager to go with four-man rotation in NLCS
Astros short hops  Record-setting offense lifts Astros to NLCS berth
Facts machine  Wild Card clubs make playoff impact
Notes: Oswalt not on pitch count  Harville, Wheeler unused in first four games
Astros reflect on Caminiti  Bagwell, Biggio remember former teammate
 Baseball Daily News / Braves
Braves fall to Astros in Game 5  Atlanta bows out of NLDS with heartbreaking loss
Busy Braves bullpen fades in finale  Atlanta's relievers hit hard by Houston in Game 5 loss
Tough way to end impressive year  Painful loss will motivate me during the offseason
Braves short hops  Atlanta offense can't keep up with Astros, Killer B's
Notes: Giles dropped to seventh  Second baseman moved to bottom half of order

10/10, GAME 4:  Braves 6, Astros 5  Wrap >
Molony: Game 4 a tense thriller
By Jim Molony  10/10/2004
This one was a must-win for the Braves, and once again they showed why they have made the playoffs 13 years in a row. Full story >
Game balls: Rating Game 4  Rookie LaRoche reenergizes victorious Braves
It all comes down to Game 5  Braves host Astros in decisive NLDS matchup
Johnny on the spot  Smoltz delivers again when it matters most
 Baseball Daily News / Astros
Astros let Game 4 lead get away  Five-run second inning erased by Braves rally
Clemens does his part in Game 4  Rocket solid through five innings on three days' rest
'Must-win' nothing new for Astros  Club played several pivotal games in their stretch run
NLDS similar to heavyweight fight  Astros take confident attitude to Atlanta for Game 5
Astros short hops  Offense clicking, bullpen struggles lead to Game 4 loss
It all comes down to Game 5  Braves host Astros in decisive NLDS matchup
Astros pin NLCS hopes on Oswalt  Starter pitches on three days' rest in decisive Game 5
Notes: Garner not looking ahead  Beltran will consider staying; Astros playing clutch ball
Garner postgame quotes  Manager discusses deciscions made during game
At home, Braves have slight edge  Hurler says Oswalt will be tough to beat in Game 5
 Baseball Daily News / Braves
Braves rally past Astros in Game 4  Atlanta ends Houston's 19-game home winning streak
Coming through in the clutch  Struggling Drew delivers timely RBI base knock
NLCS berth on the line  Braves' season again comes down to decisive Game 5
Another inspiring rally  Despite deficit, we never lost faith in Game 4
Braves short hops  Staff allowing lots of runners, not a lot of runs
Facts machine  Smoltz sets postseason wins mark
It all comes down to Game 5  Braves host Astros in decisive NLDS matchup
Wright to get ball on Monday  Braves' ace hoping for redemption in Game 5 start
Notes: Cox shakes up order  Giles, Drew switched to try to get something going
Cox postgame quotes  Manager is proud of his bullpen
Smoltz postgame quotes  Closer loves the pressure of the postseason
LaRoche postgame quotes  Three-run homer gave team emotional boost
At home, Braves have slight edge  Hurler says Oswalt will be tough to beat in Game 5

10/9, GAME 3:  Astros 8, Braves 5  Wrap >
Beltran gives Astros big lift
By Jim Molony  10/9/2004
Houston's 42-year-old string of playoff futility could be coming to an end, and if it does, the man who deserves a large share of the credit is Carlos Beltran. Full story >
Game balls: Rating Game 3  Contributions come from all over in Astros' triumph
Astros can close it out  Houston hoping to reach NLCS with win on Sunday
Long day for Braves' bullpen  Byrd's early appearance kicks off tough day for relievers
Backe 'living a dream' with Astros  Saturday's big game another gem for starter and family
 Baseball Daily News / Astros
Astros one win away from clinching  Game 4 victory would give club first playoff series win
Astros short hops  Small-ball approach puts Astros on brink of series win
Facts machine  Astros continue to feast on home cookin'
Astros can close it out  Houston hoping to reach NLCS with win on Sunday
Loud crowd fuels Game 3 win  Grounds crew doing its part to keep streak alive
Down in series, Braves won't panic  Hurler says former team must focus on Game 4
Garner's faith in Clemens is strong  On three days' rest, Rocket tabbed to start Game 4
Notes: Ryan confident in Astros  Garner a strong supporter for struggling Biggio
Beltran postgame quotes  Oufielder comments on his first trip to the postseason
Garner postgame quotes  Houston manager looks ahead to Game 4 vs. Braves
Backe postgame quotes  Game 3 winner shares what it means to play for Astros
Ensberg postgame quotes  Third baseman comments on Astros' timely hitting
 Baseball Daily News / Braves
Braves drop Game 3 to Astros  Atlanta trails Houston 2-1 in NLDS after loss
Thomson leaves after four pitches  Righty done for year after aggravating injury in Game 3
Braves short hops  Innings starting to add up for bullpen
Astros can close it out  Houston hoping to reach NLCS with win on Sunday
Time to get hot  Frustrating defeat puts our backs against the wall
Down in series, Braves won't panic  Hurler says former team must focus on Game 4
Russ is rested and ready  Ortiz to face The Rocket in Game 4 after long layoff
Notes: Ryan praises Braves  Hall of Fame pitcher speaks glowingly of Cox
Cox postgame quotes  Braves skipper discusses Game 3 loss to Houston

10/8, OFF DAY
Series shifts to Houston
By Jim Molony / MLB.com  10/8/2004
The Astros, who finished the season on an 18-game winning streak at home, search for further Minute Maid Park magic on Saturday, when the NLDS between Houston and Atlanta continues with Game 3. Full story >
Astros' skipper situation curious  Houston to follow guidelines amid Garner's success
Drew, Chipper searching at plate  Braves' big boppers struggling so far in NLDS
Garner workout day quotes  Manager discusses Game 2, looks ahead to Game 3
Cox workout day quotes  Braves skipper discusses the Astros' home success
Backe workout day quotes  Lifelong Astros fan ready to take on the Braves
Thomson workout day quotes  Game 3 starter looks to snap Astros' home win streak
 Baseball Daily News / Astros
Backe back in big-game spotlight  Converted outfielder clinched Astros' playoff berth
Notes: Clemens to start Game 4  Club not worried about righty going on three days' rest
Small ball looms large for Astros  Houston homer binge masks need for offensive spark
Glavine: Astros get slight edge  Former Brave sees advantages for both teams
 Baseball Daily News / Braves
Thomson not intimidated by streak  Astros' home success doesn't faze veteran righty
Notes: Ortiz ready for Sunday  Workhorse righty excited to oppose Clemens in Game 4
LaRoche calm under pressure  Rookie first baseman not frazzled by postseason stage
Thrill of victory  Emotional comeback victory could change series

10/7, GAME 2:  Braves 4, Astros 2  Wrap >
Molony: Braves alive, kicking
By Jim Molony  10/7/2004
The Braves knew they couldn't afford to go to Houston down two games to none. While the Braves might have the momentum heading into Game 3, the Astros took solace in gaining a split in Atlanta. Full story >
Glavine: Astros get slight edge  Former Brave sees advantages for both teams
Game balls: Rating Game 2  Furcal's homer gives Braves an essential victory
Smoltz, Lidge big factors in Game 2  Closers rack up innings and pitches in wild contest
Try and try again  Braves' frustrating day ended by Furcal's clutch hit
Hampton injures left forearm  Starter leaves in seventh after impressive outing
 Baseball Daily News / Astros
Game 2 gets away from Astros  Two-run lead wiped out; Furcal's homer ends it in 11
Astros short hops  Houston leaves Atlanta with split, eyes more offense
Beltran is a go for Game 2  Outfielder still sore, but says he's ready to play
GM: Game 2 enormous for Astros  Hunsicker calls contest the biggest game in club history
Even series moves to Houston  Astros return home, where they have won 18 straight
Astros looking forward to home  Club excited to host Braves at packed Minute Maid
Notes: Astros won't retaliate  Club contends playoffs not forum to avenge Beltran
Facts machine  Chavez joins Lane in exclusive long-ball club
Garner postgame quotes  Skipper give impressions on Game 2
Bagwell pregame quotes  Astros first-sacker impressed with interim skipper
Garner pregame quotes  Astros manager says Backe will start Game 3
 Baseball Daily News / Braves
Braves win Game 2 thriller  Furcal's two-run homer earns split at home for Atlanta
Dial P for protest  Braves' complaint rendered moot by walk-off win
Braves short hops  Atlanta seals Game 2 win despite RISP woes
Press Row: Can you hear me now?  Braves rally to even series with Astros
Even series moves to Houston  Astros return home, where they have won 18 straight
Chipper to start in Game 2  Braves' Jones far from 100 percent, but will play
Notes: Thomson ready for Game 3  Righty good to go after throwing bullpen session
Cox postgame quotes  Braves manager recounts Game 2 victory
Cox pregame quotes  Braves manager discusses injury-plagued squad
Smoltz pregame quotes  Closer shares postseason outlook

10/6, GAME 1:  Astros 9, Braves 3  Wrap >
Molony: Killer B's display might
By Jim Molony  10/6/2004
October has normally been the time when killer bees go into their dormant stage and Houston bats begin their long hibernation for the winter. But something is decidedly different about this Houston Astros offense, and it showed in Game 1. Full story >
Game balls: Rating Game 1  Beltran, Clemens lead Astros to romp in Atlanta
Toiling Rocket completes mission  Recovering from flu, Clemens battles for victory
Beltran exits with bruised ribs  Outfielder plunked after big day, unsure about Game 2
No more Mr. Nice Guy  Hampton eager to face former teammates in NLDS
 Baseball Daily News / Astros
Astros rout Braves in opener  Clemens wins first career postseason Game 1
Dierker: A real Rocket  At 42 years old, Clemens pitching as if in his prime
Red-hot Oswalt gets nod in Game 2  20-game winner makes his first postseason start
Astros short hops  Houston's offense backs Clemens in Game 1 win
Notes: Clemens option for Game 4  A homecoming for Everett; Astros to face old friend
Facts machine  Clemens breaks Game 1 jinx with big win over Atlanta
Garner postgame quotes  Astros manager talks about the Game 1 victory
Oswalt pregame quotes  Game 2 starter addresses the media
Clemens postgame quotes  Game 1 starter discusses performance
Garner pregame quotes  Astros manager discusses club's surge to playoffs
 Baseball Daily News / Braves
Braves drop NLDS opener  Long balls plague Wright in Game 1 loss to Houston
Wright bounced around in Game 1  Braves ace struggles in short start against hot Astros
Chipper aggravates hand injury  Jones plans to play through pain, be in Game 2 lineup
Braves must forget about Game 1  Atlanta needs to keep calm and focused
Braves short hops  Missed opportunities haunt Atlanta in Game 1
Notes: Fresh faces abound  Braves feature nine postseason newcomers on roster
Cox postgame quotes  Braves manager talks about Game 1 pitching matchup
Cox pregame quotes  Braves manager discusses his players' health
Wright Game 1 quotes  Braves pitcher on facing the powerful Astros offense
Hampton pregame quotes  Braves pitcher talks about facing friends on the Astros
Braves announce NLDS roster  Cox opts to go with 11-man pitching staff

ASTROS-BRAVES PREVIEW
Turnaround teams to meet
By Jim Molony / MLB.com  10/5/2004
Two teams who weren't supposed to be here and two pitchers who were thought to be finished. The National League Division Series matchup between Houston and Atlanta seemed improbable not too long ago, but here it is, Game 1 at Turner Field with two of the surprise teams in baseball meeting with a League Championship Series berth at stake. Full story >
Braves-Astros: Position analysis  Spotlight centers on center field
Braves-Astros: Starting pitching  Clemens well-rested for playoffs
NLDS forecast: Astros vs. Braves  Series will come down to starting rotations
Astros-Braves season series  Teams split six games during regular season
Astros-Braves NLDS Probables  Wright gets first game starts for Braves
 Baseball Daily News / Astros
Beltran investment pays off  Whether outfielder stays in Houston remains to be seen
Molony: Lidge brings lethal slider  Closer's emergence and wicked pitch has fueled Astros
Gallo: Playoffs are a privilege  Postseason is opportunity of a lifetime for any player
Turnaround teams ready to meet  Clemens, Wright eager to toe rubber in Game 1 in Atlanta
Astros treat fans to 'Rally Monday'  Over 8,000 attend playoff party at Minute Maid Park
Astros drop in on postseason party  Houston comes out of nowhere to grab NL Wild Card
Meet Houston's Minute Maid Park  Astros' home has game's most original features
Astros facts and figures  Houston riding 18-game home win streak
Astros' defining moments  Signing Clemens in offseason a key move
Astros postseason history  Houston seeks its first World Series berth
How the Astros were built  Team a nice blend of youth and veteran talent
Astros feel good going to Atlanta  Club confident for fourth playoff turn with Braves
 Baseball Daily News / Braves
Franco keeps defying his age  Oldest player in Majors ready to face Astros at 46
Thomas: Ready to get started  First postseason game will be memorable experience
Turnaround teams ready to meet  Clemens, Wright eager to toe rubber in Game 1 in Atlanta
Fans get pumped on 'Rally Monday'  Braves backers celebrate club at CNN Center
Braves enjoying underdog role  New crop of talent, same success in Atlanta
Braves to play Astros in NLDS  Wright faces Clemens in Game 1 on Wednesday
Braves facts and figures  Atlanta brings second-best record in NL into playoffs
How the Braves were built  Team able to replace big names with quality
Braves postseason history  Atlanta won World Series in 1995
Turnaround at The Ted  Braves hope to end Turner Field postseason slump
Braves monthly recap  Atlanta rolls to division lead in July
Braves' defining moments  Moving Chipper back to third a key decision