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Giants pulling for Marlins in LCS
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10/04/2003  7:24 PM ET 
Giants pulling for Marlins in LCS
San Francisco players admire Florida's style
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MIAMI -- The Marlins had 65,464 fans at Pro Player Stadium on Saturday, but after defeating the Giants, 7-6, to advance to the National League Championship Series, they earned several more in the visitor's clubhouse.

"Those guys -- the last thing I want to say is that they were lucky," said Giants reliever Matt Herges, who happens to be the brother-in-law of Marlins reserve outfielder Todd Hollandsworth. "They made their breaks. They got breaks, but they made them. They were amazing, and I'm grateful to be a part of this series, even though we lost. That was an unbelievable last two games.

"I know who I'm rooting for here on out. It's gonna be them, and not just because my brother-in-law's on the team. The way they played, they're inspired. It breaks my heart we didn't win and that my season's over, but the fact that we got beat by that team -- it doesn't make it any easier, but that's who I'm rooting for."

Jeffrey Hammonds started Saturday's game in right field and went 2-for-4, with his ninth-inning hit nearly bringing home a game-tying run. Count him among the impressed.

"They're going to be pretty good in this next series, the way they're playing ball this year," he said. "They just play. They're not thinking about it; they're just going out there and playing the game. It's an exciting piece of baseball."

The Marlins were 10 games under .500 at one point during the season, but they became the ninth team in Major League history to overcome that large a deficit and make the playoffs. They qualified as the NL Wild Card by going 18-8 in September, a franchise record, and winning 15 of their last 21 games and six of their last seven.

    Jason Schmidt   /   P
Height: 6'5"
Weight: 220
Bats/Throws: R/R

More info:
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"When you're playing the Wild Card, they're the team that's the hottest team in baseball at the time," said Jason Schmidt, who gave the Giants their only win of the series with a three-hit shutout. "We were in that position last year. We were rolling along on adrenaline just like they were. They were the better team when we came in here, and you can't take anything away from them."

The Marlins came back from a 4-1 deficit to win Game 2, topped the Giants with an 11th-inning, two-run single to end Game 3 and saw Jeff Conine gun down the potential tying run at the plate to seal Game 4 and the series.

"What they have going over there, the momentum they have, the feel-good [story] -- if they're not sentimental favorites across this country, something's wrong," said Herges. "They just have it. I mean, 65,000 people going nutty-nuts -- it's awesome for them."

Chris Shuttlesworth is an editorial producer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.



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