Cubs-Marlins 2003 NLCS: Beckett predicted Game 7 win

Cubs-Marlins 2003 NLCS: Beckett predicted Game 7 win
October 16, 2013, 10:00 pm
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Tony Andracki

This summed up the attitude of the 2003 Florida Marlins.

Thom Brennaman told the story in the “5 Outs…” documentary that re-airs Wednesday at 10:30 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet. The FOX broadcaster remembered calling The Bartman Game at Wrigley Field and using the code the Cubs had given the TV crew to cut through the team’s administrative offices and exit onto Clark and Addison.

There they saw Michael Jordan standing inside by himself against a wall waiting out the crowd in Wrigleyville. Brennaman went downtown to meet some friends he had helped get tickets to the NLCS. He wound up by Rush and Division after Game 6 and headed into The Lodge, a popular bar Major League Baseball had rented out.

Everybody knows how the story ends: The Cubs held a 5-3 lead until the fifth inning of Game 7 and then handed the Marlins six unanswered runs. Florida cruised to the World Series — which is exactly how one player predicted it would unfold.

[MORE: Moises Alou answers all the nonstop questions about 2003 Cubs]

"We walk all the way to the back of the bar and there stood Josh Beckett," Brennaman said. "I walked over to him, and I said, 'Josh, I don't mean to be presumptuous, but (Florida manager) Jack McKeon told us before the game tonight that if this series went to a seventh game, that you might come in and pitch out of the bullpen. ... So what are you doing in here?'

“He looks at me, and he says, 'Do you want me to tell you exactly what's going to happen tomorrow?' 'Sure, why not?' He said, 'Cubs are going to probably score some runs early in the game. I'll come in about the third or fourth inning. I'll pitch the last five innings of the game. I might allow one hit, and we're going to the World Series.'

"Next day, Josh Beckett comes in the game, third or fourth inning. He gives up one hit, a solo home run, and they go to the World Series. How about that?"

Beckett, who was 23 at the time, actually entered the game in the fifth inning and pitched four near-perfect innings, with the only blemish a solo shot from Cubs pinch-hitter Troy O'Leary in the seventh inning.

Just as Beckett — who also beat the New York Yankees to become the 2003 World Series MVP — predicted at The Lodge.

David Kaplan (@thekapman) and Ryan McGuffey, senior producer of original content (@RyanMcGuffey), also contributed reporting.