Houston Astros 1999 NLDS

Houston Astros
NL Central Champions

97-65
VS. Atlanta Braves
NL East Champions

103-59

Game 1   Game 2   Game 3   Game 4


Baseball Reference page
For video and audio highlights, go to the 1999 Season Recap Page.

After their 102-win season in 1998, the Astros were expected to slip a notch in 1999 after losing Randy Johnson to free agency. But losing Johnson was nothing compared to the disasters that befelled the team in 1999. Outfielder Moises Alou missed the entire season with a knee injury, and catcher Mitch Meluskey was sidelined for the season with a shoulder injury after only 33 at bats. Third baseman Ken Caminiti and outfielder Richard Hidalgo both missed multiple months to injury. Even manager Larry Dierker was not spared. He nearly died from a grand mal seizure in July, but returned after recovering from emergency brain surgery.

While the powerful offense was racked by injuries, the pitching staff came through in a big way. Mike Hampton posted an amazing 22-4 record and finished third in the league with a 2.90 ERA. Jose Lima nearly matched him, winning 21 games in the best season of his career. Old reliable Shane Reynolds added 16 wins of his own, a total good enough to lead the team in most seasons. Closer Billy Wagner was also dominant, setting a club record with 39 saves while posting a microscopic 1.57 ERA. The decimated offense did have some bright spots, most notably Jeff Bagwell (42 HR, 126 RBI, 30 steals), Carl Everett (25 HR, 108 RBI, .325 AVG), and Craig Biggio (16 HR, 73 RBI, club-record 56 doubles).

In the Divisional Series, the Astros had to face the Atlanta Braves, a team that had swept them in the 1997 post-season. Their offense was led by the eventual MVP, Chipper Jones, who belted 45 homers and hit .319. Other offensive threats included Andruw Jones, Brian Jordan, and Ryan Klesko, each of whom hit over 20 homers. But, as usual, Atlanta was powered by their pitching. Greg Maddux (19-9, 3.57) was his usual awesome self, and youngster Kevin Millwood (18-7, 2.68) had become arguably the best starter on the staff. Controversial closer John Rocker (38 saves, 2.49) anchored a solid bullpen that included four pitchers with an ERA under 3.00.

The Astros won Game One, as Reynolds outpitched Maddux, who gave up a tie-breaking home run to Daryle Ward in the sixth inning. The Astros scored 4 runs in the 9th to break open a close 2-1 ballgame and finished off the Braves, 6-1.

Game Two was entirely different. Millwood completely dominated the Astros, giving up only one hit, a solo homer to Caminiti in the 2nd. Lima pitched well early, but was knocked out in the 7th inning. The Braves won easily, 5-1.

The series moved back to Houston for Game Three, which would turn out to be the hardest-fought game of the series. Momentum took mighty swings, with Hampton looking dominant and under control after being given a two-run lead in the first inning. But Brian Jordan ended that with one swing, stunning the hometown crowd by launching a three-run homer in the sixth. The Astros came back to tie the game and send it into extra innings. Unfortunately, the "playoff monkey" on the Astros' back turned out to be an 800-pound gorilla. The Astros had the game all but won in the bottom of the 10th, loading the bases with no outs and needing only one run to win. The Braves called in Rocker, who worked out of the jam by inducing two forceouts at the plate. The second out was courtesy of a shortstop Walt Weiss, whose diving, game-saving stab permanently etched his name in the lore of Houston Astros infamy. Given a second chance, the Braves scored two runs in the 12th and won, 5-3.

Looking deflated in Game Four, the Astros played poorly and fell behind 7-0 after six innings. But the team made a last gasp for life, scoring a run in the 7th and four in the 8th to suddenly close the gap to 7-5. After hitting a three-run homer in the 8th, Caminiti had a chance to tie the game in the 9th, but fell short when his drive to deep center was caught by Andruw Jones on the warning track for the final out. In a scene reminiscent of the 1980 and 1986 playoffs, the Braves seemed to celebrate their relief at surviving more than anything else.

See also: 1999 Division Clincher


Game 1 at Atlanta - Astros 6, Braves 1
Tuesday, October 5th

                1 2 3  4 5 6  7 8 9    R  H  E
Houston         0 1 0  0 0 1  0 0 4 -  6 13  0
Atlanta         0 0 0  0 1 0  0 0 0 -  1  7  0

Win - Reynolds. Loss - Maddux. 
HR - Ward, Caminiti.
Time - 3:03. Attendance - 39,119.
ATLANTA -- For the Houston Astros, it was a positive start toward ending a history of post-season flops. For the Atlanta Braves, it was a troubling reminder of previous October shortfalls.

Daryle Ward hit a tiebreaking homer in the sixth off Greg Maddux and Braves-killer Ken Caminiti clinched it with a three-run shot in the ninth as the Astros defeated Atlanta 6-1 yesterday in Game 1 of the NL division series.

"The guys should be more relaxed now," Houston's Jeff Bagwell said. "But we've got to be careful not to get too carried away about this."

The Braves have made an unprecedented eight straight playoff appearances, with only one World Series title to show for it. Now, they've got to win three of the next four games against Houston.

"The noose tightens a little quicker in the short series," Chipper Jones said. "It's important for us all to bring our `A' games to the ballpark tomorrow."

Houston was a clear underdog against the powerful Braves, having lost six of seven meeting during the regular season.

Atlanta clinched its division with a week to go, winning 11 of its last 13 games. After a 12-game winning streak in September, Houston lost nine of its last 15.

"This is a good feeling," Caminiti said. "We can hold our heads up a little bit tonight. But tomorrow is another day."

The Astros sealed the victory in the ninth with four runs against reliever Mike Remlinger. Carl Everett had a sacrifice fly before Caminiti haunted the Braves again.

Playing for San Diego, Caminiti hit a 10th-inning homer against Kerry Ligtenberg to win the first game of the 1998 NL Championship Series. The Padres went on to a 4-2 victory over Atlanta.

The East champion Braves lost only their second division series game since the format was instituted in 1995. Before yesterday, they were 12-1 overall, including 10 straight victories.

Houston, which clinched its third straight Central title on the final day of the season, has never won in five playoff series, including a 3-0 sweep by the Braves in 1997. The Astros won't get swept this year, seizing the home-field advantage in the best-of-five series.

"Two years in a row, we lost the first game," Bagwell said. "This gives us tremendous momentum."

The Braves led the majors with 103 wins but drew the smallest crowd in Atlanta's 44-game post-season history.

The turnout of 39,119 was nearly 11,000 short of capacity at Turner Field and easily eclipsed the previous low of 42,117 for Game 1 of the 1998 NL championship series. In the right-field upper deck, only a few dozen people occupied seven sections of blue seats.

"It was certainly disappointing," Jones said.

Game 2 is this afternoon in Atlanta before the series shifts to Houston for Game 3 Friday.

Ward, the son of former major leaguer Gary Ward, was recalled from Triple-A New Orleans for the second time on July 20. He took over for the slumping Derek Bell and came through with two of Houston's biggest hits this season: a two-run homer against Cincinnati last week and a three-run double Sunday in a 9-4 victory over Los Angeles, securing the division title.

He came through again, hitting the first pitch of the sixth into the right-field seats against Maddux to break a 1-1 tie.

"He's a great hitter, he really is," Bagwell said. "You've got to give him credit for working his butt off to become a good left-fielder. He could always hit."

"There's not too much of a burden on me," Ward said. "No one is expecting me to do too much."

The Braves managed seven hits against winner Shane Reynolds, who went six innings and allowed the lone run. He pitched around Jones, walking the MVP candidate twice on four pitches, and three relievers finished up with three hitless innings.

The Astros went ahead in the second when Everett led off with a bunt single, Caminiti walked and Tony Eusebio drove in the run with a line drive up the middle.

But Maddux escaped a bases-loaded, one-out jam by pitching out on an attempted squeeze bunt by Reynolds. Caminiti, breaking from third, was tagged by Jones just short of home.

The Astros loaded the bases again with one out in the fifth, but Caminiti grounded into a 4-6-3 double play.

The Braves tied it in their half of the inning, Gerald Williams driving home Jose Hernandez with a two-out single to center. The Braves then loaded the bases, but Ryan Klesko struck out swinging on a 90 mph fastball.

The Astros didn't leave for Atlanta until late Monday night, waiting at the Houston airport for the outcome of a wild-card playoff in Cincinnati. When the New York Mets beat the Reds 5-0, the chartered jet flew east.

"It would have been nice to get here earlier," Craig Biggio said. "That's the way it is."


Daryle Ward watches his tie-breaking homer
clear the fence in the 6th inning

Ken Caminiti breaks the game wide open
with a three-run homer in the 9th

Congratulations all around after
the Astros take a 1-0 series lead

Box Score

HOUSTON (6) AT ATLANTA (1) PLAYOFFS - FINAL

HOUSTON                ab  r  h rbi bb so lob   avg
Biggio 2b               5  0  1  0   0  2   1  .200
Spiers rf-lf            4  0  2  0   0  1   0  .500
 b-Javier ph-lf         1  1  1  0   0  0   0 1.000
Bagwell 1b              4  1  1  0   1  1   1  .250
Everett cf-rf           3  1  1  1   1  1   3  .333
Caminiti 3b             4  1  3  3   1  0   3  .750
D Ward lf               3  1  1  1   0  1   2  .333
 G Barker cf            1  0  0  0   0  0   0  .000
Eusebio c               4  0  2  1   0  0   1  .500
Gutierrez ss            2  0  0  0   2  1   2  .000
Reynolds p              3  0  1  0   0  0   4  .333
 Trever Miller p        0  0  0  0   0  0   0  .000
 Henry p                0  0  0  0   0  0   0  .000
 a-Mieske ph            0  1  0  0   1  0   0  .000
 B Wagner p             0  0  0  0   0  0   0  .000

Totals                 34  6 13  6   6  7  17

a-walked for Henry in the 9th; b-singled for Spiers in the 9th.

BATTING: HR - D Ward (1, 6th inning off G Maddux 0 on, 0 out);
Caminiti (1, 9th inning off Remlinger 2 on, 2 out). S - G Barker. 
SF - Everett. RBI - Eusebio (1), D Ward (1), Everett (1), Caminiti 3 (3). 
2-out RBI - Caminiti 3. Runners left in scoring position, 2 out - 
Reynolds 3, Everett 1, Gutierrez 1. GIDP - Caminiti, Gutierrez.  
Team LOB - 9.

BASERUNNING: SB - Spiers (1, 2nd base off G Maddux/E Perez). 
CS - Caminiti (1, home by G Maddux/E Perez). 

FIELDING: DP: 1 (Gutierrez-Biggio-Bagwell). 

ATLANTA                ab  r  h rbi bb so lob   avg
G Williams lf           4  0  2  1   0  0   1  .500
B Boone 2b              4  0  1  0   0  0   1  .250
C Jones 3b              2  0  0  0   2  0   0  .000
Klesko 1b               4  0  0  0   0  1   4  .000
B Jordan rf             4  0  2  0   0  0   0  .500
A Jones cf              4  0  0  0   0  0   3  .000
E Perez c               4  0  1  0   0  0   0  .250
Jo Hernandez ss         4  1  1  0   0  1   2  .250
G Maddux p              1  0  0  0   0  0   1  .000
 a-Lockhart ph          0  0  0  0   0  0   0  .000
 b-Battle ph            1  0  0  0   0  0   0  .000
 Remlinger p            0  0  0  0   0  0   0  .000

Totals                 32  1  7  1   2  2  12

a-pinch-hit for G Maddux in the 7th; b-grounded to second for
Lockhart in the 7th.

BATTING: S - G Maddux. RBI - G Williams (1). 2-out RBI - G Williams. 
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out - G Williams 1, A Jones 1, 
Klesko 2, Jo Hernandez 1. GIDP - B Boone. Team LOB - 7.

BASERUNNING: SB - Jo Hernandez (1, 2nd base off Reynolds/Eusebio). 

FIELDING: Outfield assists - B Jordan (Reynolds at 3rd base).
DP: 2 (B Boone-Jo Hernandez-Klesko, Jo Hernandez-B Boone-Klesko). 

    Houston        - 010 001 004  --  6
    Atlanta        - 000 010 000  --  1

HOUSTON                      ip       h   r  er  bb  so  hr    era
Reynolds (W, 1-0)             6       7   1   1   2   1   0   1.50
Trever Miller (H, 1)            1/3   0   0   0   0   0   0   0.00
Henry (H, 1)                  1 2/3   0   0   0   0   0   0   0.00
B Wagner                      1       0   0   0   0   1   0   0.00

ATLANTA                      ip       h   r  er  bb  so  hr    era
G Maddux (L, 0-1)             7      10   2   2   4   5   1   2.57
Remlinger                     2       3   4   4   2   2   1  18.00

IBB - Gutierrez (by G Maddux); Everett (by G Maddux); Bagwell
(by Remlinger).  Pitches-strikes: G Maddux 110-66; Remlinger 41-25; 
Reynolds 90-62; Trever Miller 4-3; Henry 19-12; B Wagner 15-13.  
Ground balls-fly balls: G Maddux 10-4; Remlinger 2-2; Reynolds 12-5; 
Trever Miller 1-0; Henry 3-2; B Wagner 1-1.  Batters faced: G Maddux 31; 
Remlinger 11; Reynolds 26; Trever Miller 1; Henry 5; B Wagner 3. 

UMPIRES: HP--Mike Winters. 1B--Charlie Williams. 2B--Rich
Rieker. 3B--Gerry Davis. LF--Bruce Froemming. RF--Jerry Meals.
T--3:03.  Att--39,119.   Weather: 71 degrees, sunny.   Wind: 10 mph, 
left to right.


Game 2 at Atlanta - Braves 5, Astros 1
Wednesday, October 6th

                1 2 3  4 5 6  7 8 9    R  H  E
Houston         0 1 0  0 0 0  0 0 0 -  1  1  1
Atlanta         1 0 0  0 0 1  3 0 x -  5 11  1

Win - Millwood. Loss - Lima. 
HR - Caminiti.
Time - 2:13. Attendance - 41,913.
ATLANTA -- Kevin Millwood is no longer an afterthought to Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz. After yesterday, he deserves to be mentioned right along with them.

Pitching one of the greatest post-season games in baseball history, Millwood threw a one-hitter -- facing only two batters above the minimum -- to give the Atlanta Braves a critical 5-1 victory over the Houston Astros, evening the first-round series at one game each.

Millwood, pitching in the post-season for the first time, allowed a second-inning homer to Ken Caminiti but that was all. It was the first complete-game one-hitter in the post-season in 32 years.

"We needed a big win today," the 24-year-old Millwood said. "It was probably the biggest game I have pitched in my career, so I would have to say it was my best performance ever."

No kidding.

"Everything was working," he said. "My fastball was good. My curveball was good. My slider was good."

Millwood, 18-7 during the regular season, didn't pitch at all the last two post-seasons while the Braves were knocked out in the National League Championship Series -- even though he won 17 games in 1998.

The Braves couldn't pass him by this year. Millwood stepped up to become the Braves' most consistent starter while Maddux, Glavine and Smoltz -- with seven Cy Youngs among them -- went through assorted struggles.

"I slept pretty good last night," Millwood said. "I thought it was going to be kind of tough to get to sleep, but I think some of the nervous energy I worked up during the day kind of wore me out. I slept good."

And pitched even better, throwing the first complete game one-hitter in the post-season since Game 2 of the 1967 World Series. Boston's Jim Lonborg beat the St. Louis Cardinals 5-0, allowing a double to Julian Javier with two outs in the eighth.

Tom Glavine and Mark Wohlers combined on a one-hitter for the Braves against Cleveland in Game 6 of the 1995 World Series. The were two other combined one-hitters in league championship series play.

"A stronger game has not been pitched against us all year long," Houston Manager Larry Dierker said. "We really only hit two balls hard the whole game."

With the Braves desperate for a victory after losing the first game 6-1 Tuesday, Millwood retired 15 batters in a row after Caminiti's homer.

The streak was broken when third baseman Chipper Jones booted a grounder with one out in the seventh, but the error didn't bother his pitcher.

Millwood got the next two batters on grounders. The Braves broke open a 2-1 game with three runs in the bottom half on Brian Jordan's sacrifice fly and run-scoring singles by Ryan Klesko and Andruw Jones.

The best-of-five series shifts to the Astrodome, where the next two games will be played Friday and Saturday. If a fifth game is needed, it would be at Turner Field on Sunday.

"It gives us confidence going into Houston," Jordan said. "I mean, momentum has switched."

Jordan and Klesko flip-flopped in the batting order, a move that paid off with two RBI from Jordan, hitting fourth instead of fifth.

Klesko, dropped from the cleanup spot, had three hits, scored twice and drove in a run.

But everyone was overshadowed by Millwood, who flirted with a no-hitter several times during the regular season, allowing only two hits in four separate starts.

"He is a dominant pitcher," Jordan said. "We needed a big game from our pitcher and he came up with a big game for us."


An unhittable Kevin Millwood celebrates
after one of his 8 strikeouts

Box Score

HOUSTON (1) AT ATLANTA (5) PLAYOFFS - FINAL

HOUSTON                ab  r  h rbi bb so lob   avg
Biggio 2b               4  0  0  0   0  0   0  .111
Javier rf               4  0  0  0   0  0   0  .200
Bagwell 1b              3  0  0  0   0  1   1  .143
Everett cf              3  0  0  0   0  2   1  .167
Caminiti 3b             3  1  1  1   0  0   1  .571
D Ward lf               3  0  0  0   0  1   0  .167
Eusebio c               3  0  0  0   0  1   0  .286
Gutierrez ss            3  0  0  0   0  2   0  .000
Lima p                  2  0  0  0   0  1   0  .000
 Elarton p              0  0  0  0   0  0   0  .000
 Ja Powell p            0  0  0  0   0  0   0  .000
 a-Spiers ph            1  0  0  0   0  0   0  .400

Totals                 29  1  1  1   0  8   3

a-grounded to second for Ja Powell in the 9th.

BATTING: HR - Caminiti (2, 2nd inning off Millwood 0 on, 1 out).
RBI - Caminiti (4). Team LOB - 1.

FIELDING: E - D Ward (1, bobble). 

ATLANTA                ab  r  h rbi bb so lob   avg
G Williams lf           5  1  1  0   0  1   1  .333
B Boone 2b              4  1  2  0   0  1   1  .375
C Jones 3b              3  1  1  0   1  0   2  .200
B Jordan rf             3  0  1  2   0  0   1  .429
Klesko 1b               4  2  3  1   0  0   1  .375
 Br Hunter 1b           0  0  0  0   0  0   0  .000
A Jones cf              4  0  2  1   0  0   2  .250
E Perez c               3  0  0  1   0  0   4  .143
Jo Hernandez ss         2  0  0  0   1  0   0  .167
 Weiss ss               1  0  0  0   0  0   0  .000
Millwood p              4  0  1  0   0  3   2  .250

Totals                 33  5 11  5   2  5  14

BATTING: 2B - A Jones (1, Lima); B Boone (1, Lima). SF - E Perez, 
B Jordan. RBI - B Jordan 2 (2), E Perez (1), Klesko (1), A Jones (1). 
2-out RBI - B Jordan, Klesko, A Jones. Runners left in scoring 
position, 2 out - E Perez 1, C Jones 1, Millwood 1. Team LOB - 8.

BASERUNNING: SB - G Williams (1, 2nd base off Lima/Eusebio). 

FIELDING: E - C Jones (1, ground ball). 

    Houston        - 010 000 000  --  1
    Atlanta        - 100 001 30X  --  5

HOUSTON                      ip       h   r  er  bb  so  hr    era
Lima (L, 0-1)                 6 2/3   9   4   4   2   4   0   5.40
Elarton                         1/3   2   1   1   0   0   0  27.00
Ja Powell                     1       0   0   0   0   1   0   0.00

ATLANTA                      ip       h   r  er  bb  so  hr    era
Millwood (W, 1-0)             9       1   1   1   0   8   1   1.00

WP - Elarton 2. IBB - Jo Hernandez (by Lima); C Jones (by Lima).
Pitches-strikes: Millwood 105-76; Lima 104-71; Elarton 13-8; 
Ja Powell 10-7.  Ground balls-fly balls: Millwood 11-8; Lima 8-8;
Elarton 1-0; Ja Powell 2-0.  Batters faced: Millwood 29; Lima 31; 
Elarton 3; Ja Powell 3. 

UMPIRES: HP--Charlie Williams. 1B--Rich Rieker. 2B--Gerry Davis.
3B--Bruce Froemming. LF--Jerry Meals. RF--Mike Winters.
T--2:13.  Att--41,913.   Weather: 70 degrees, partly cloudy.  
Wind: 10 mph, right to left.


Game 3 at Houston - Braves 5, Astros 3 (12)
Friday, October 8th

       
                1 2 3  4 5 6  7 8 9 101112    R  H  E
Atlanta         0 0 0  0 0 3  0 0 0  0 0 2 -  5 12  0
Houston         2 0 0  0 0 0  1 0 0  0 0 0 -  3  9  2

Win - Rocker. Loss - Powell. Save - Millwood. 
HR - Jordan.
Time - 2:32. Attendance - 65,235.
HOUSTON -- The missed chances. The brilliant defensive play. The managerial blunder. The starters coming on in relief. The aching hitter finally ending four hours and 19 minutes of extraordinary drama.

Every half inning seemed to bring a new hero, a new villain. When it was over, the Atlanta Braves had taken command of their NL division series with a draining 5-3 victory yesterday over the Houston Astros in 12 innings.

"An unbelievable ballgame," said Braves Manager Bobby Cox, sounding more relieved than joyful. "I don't think we will ever be in another one like that."

Brian Jordan provided all of Atlanta's offense, following up a three-run homer in the sixth with a two-run double in the 12th inning. But he was only a co-hero along with Walt Weiss, whose remarkable play at shortstop helped the Braves escape a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the 10th inning.

"If we go on and do something special this year," said Game 4 starter John Smoltz, "this game will be remembered for a long time."

The Braves lead the best-of-five series 2-1 and can advance to their eighth straight LCS with a victory today.

Showing they don't intend to play a fifth game Sunday, Atlanta used both Greg Maddux and Kevin Millwood in relief, Millwood earning his first career save with a scoreless final inning.

"I don't get excited about too much," said Millwood, who pitched a one-hitter in Game 2. "But this is more excited than I've been in my life."

Naturally, the mood was much different in the Houston clubhouse.

"Nobody dogged it," said Jeff Bagwell, only 1-for-9 in the series. "You leave it all on the field. That's all you ask for. If it's not good enough, it's just not good enough."

Jordan hit Atlanta's first homer of the series against 22-game winner Mike Hampton, erasing Houston's 2-0 lead.

Then, in the 12th inning, Otis Nixon, a .205 hitter during the regular season who made the post-season roster only because of his speed, singled with one out against loser Jay Powell. Bret Boone slapped a single to right and the runners moved up to second and third on Chipper Jones' grounder to third.

With first base open, Houston manager Larry Dierker inexplicably decided to pitch to Jordan, who is hitting .500 in the series. On a 1-2 pitch, Jordan sliced a double past a diving Bagwell at first, the ball settling in the right-field corner while the Braves dugout erupted in celebration.

In the bottom half of the 10th, Houston loaded the bases with nobody out and the Braves brought in their closer, John Rocker.

"If you can think of a tougher situation than that, let me know," Rocker said. "I wasn't nervous. Actually, I was kind of selfish. I thought to myself, `That's not my run. I'm not going to be the loser.' "

Rocker got two straight force outs at the plate -- the second being a game-saving stop by Weiss on Eusebio's line drive up the middle. The Atlanta shortstop sprawled out on his stomach, his glove nearly ripped off his hand by the ball. Weiss leaped to his feet and threw out Ken Caminiti at home.

"Walt Weiss made the single-greatest play I've ever seen in my life," Chipper Jones said. "The ball comes off the bat and I thought, `It's over.' But somehow he comes up with it. It was unbelievable."


Ken Caminiti breaks his bat after striking out

Box Score

ATLANTA (5) AT HOUSTON (3) PLAYOFFS - FINAL IN 12 INNINGS

ATLANTA                ab  r  h rbi bb so lob   avg
G Williams lf           5  0  2  0   0  2   0  .357
 Nixon pr-lf            1  1  1  0   0  0   0 1.000
B Boone 2b              6  2  3  0   0  3   2  .429
C Jones 3b              4  1  1  0   2  1   2  .222
B Jordan rf             5  1  3  5   1  0   1  .500
A Jones cf              5  0  1  0   1  2   6  .231
Br Hunter 1b            3  0  0  0   0  2   1  .000
 b-Lockhart ph          1  0  0  0   0  1   0  .000
 R Springer p           0  0  0  0   0  0   0  .000
 Rocker p               0  0  0  0   1  0   0  .000
 d-O Guillen ph         1  0  0  0   0  0   2  .000
 Millwood p             0  0  0  0   0  0   0  .250
E Perez c               5  0  1  0   0  1   2  .167
Jo Hernandez ss         3  0  0  0   0  2   1  .111
 Mulholland p           0  0  0  0   0  0   0  .000
 G Maddux p             0  0  0  0   0  0   0  .000
 Remlinger p            0  0  0  0   0  0   0  .000
 c-Klesko ph-1b         2  0  0  0   0  2   0  .300
Glavine p               2  0  0  0   0  1   0  .000
 a-Weiss ph-ss          3  0  0  0   0  1   1  .000

Totals                 46  5 12  5   5 18  18

a-hit into fielder's choice for Glavine in the 7th; b-struck out
for Br Hunter in the 9th; c-struck out for Remlinger in the 9th;
d-flied to left for Rocker in the 12th.

BATTING: 2B - B Jordan (1, Ja Powell). HR - B Jordan (1, 6th
inning off Hampton 2 on, 2 out). RBI - B Jordan 5 (7). 2-out RBI
- B Jordan 5. Runners left in scoring position, 2 out - E Perez 1, 
A Jones 3, O Guillen 1. GIDP - C Jones, E Perez.  Team LOB - 10.

BASERUNNING: SB - Nixon (1, 2nd base off Henry/Eusebio). 

FIELDING: DP: 2 (B Boone-Jo Hernandez-Br Hunter 2). 

HOUSTON                ab  r  h rbi bb so lob   avg
Biggio 2b               5  1  1  0   1  1   0  .143
De Bell rf              3  0  1  0   0  0   0  .333
 b-Spiers ph-lf         2  0  1  1   0  0   0  .429
 Henry p                0  0  0  0   0  0   0  .000
 c-Bogar ph             0  0  0  0   1  0   0  .000
 Ja Powell p            0  0  0  0   0  0   0  .000
Bagwell 1b              2  1  0  0   3  1   1  .111
Caminiti 3b             6  0  3  1   0  1   5  .538
Mieske lf               4  0  0  0   0  0   6  .000
 J Cabrera p            0  0  0  0   0  0   0  .000
 Javier lf              2  0  1  0   0  0   0  .286
Everett cf-rf           5  0  1  0   1  3   3  .182
Eusebio c               4  0  0  1   1  1   4  .182
Gutierrez ss            5  0  0  0   0  2   7  .000
Hampton p               2  0  0  0   0  1   1  .000
 a-Ru Johnson ph        1  0  1  0   0  0   0 1.000
 G Barker pr-cf         2  1  0  0   0  2   0  .000

Totals                 43  3  9  3   7 12  27

a-doubled for Hampton in the 7th; b-singled for De Bell in the
7th; c-walked for Henry in the 11th.

BATTING: 2B - Ru Johnson (1, Mulholland). RBI - Caminiti (5),
Eusebio (2), Spiers (1). 2-out RBI - Eusebio. Runners left in
scoring position, 2 out - Gutierrez 4, Mieske 2. GIDP - Mieske,
Caminiti.  Team LOB - 12.

BASERUNNING: SB - G Barker (1, 3rd base off G Maddux/E Perez). 

FIELDING: E - Gutierrez (1, throw); Eusebio (1, throw). 
DP: 2 (Biggio-Gutierrez-Bagwell, Bagwell-Gutierrez-Biggio). 

    Atlanta        - 000 003 000 002  --  5
    Houston        - 200 000 100 000  --  3

ATLANTA                      ip       h   r  er  bb  so  hr    era
Glavine                       6       5   2   2   3   6   0   3.00
Mulholland (H, 1)               1/3   1   1   1   0   0   0  27.00
G Maddux (H, 1)               0       0   0   0   1   0   0   2.57
Remlinger (BS, 1)             1 2/3   1   0   0   1   2   0   9.82
R Springer                    1       2   0   0   1   1   0   0.00
Rocker (W, 1-0)               2       0   0   0   1   2   0   0.00
Millwood (S, 1)               1       0   0   0   0   1   0   0.90

HOUSTON                      ip       h   r  er  bb  so  hr    era
Hampton                       7       6   3   3   1   9   1   3.86
J Cabrera                     2       2   0   0   0   6   0   0.00
Henry                         2       1   0   0   3   2   0   0.00
Ja Powell (L, 0-1)            1       3   2   2   1   1   0   9.00

G Maddux pitched to 1 batter in the 7th.
R Springer pitched to 3 batters in the 10th.

WP - Hampton. IBB - Bagwell (by Remlinger); C Jones (by Henry);
A Jones (by Ja Powell). HBP - Bagwell (by Glavine). 
Pitches-strikes: Hampton 105-72; J Cabrera 30-24; Henry 39-20;
Ja Powell 25-14; Glavine 99-52; Mulholland 13-9; G Maddux 6-2;
Remlinger 37-21; R Springer 24-14; Rocker 27-17; Millwood 14-8. 
Ground balls-fly balls: Hampton 10-2; J Cabrera 0-0; Henry 2-2;
Ja Powell 1-1; Glavine 8-4; Mulholland 1-0; G Maddux 0-0;
Remlinger 2-1; R Springer 1-1; Rocker 2-2; Millwood 0-2. 
Batters faced: Hampton 27; J Cabrera 8; Henry 9; Ja Powell 7;
Glavine 25; Mulholland 2; G Maddux 1; Remlinger 7; R Springer 6;
Rocker 7; Millwood 3. 

UMPIRES: HP--Mark Hirschbeck. 1B--Dana Demuth. 2B--Randy Marsh.
3B--Paul Schrieber. LF--Brian Gorman. RF--Wally Bell.
T--4:19.  Att--48,625. Indoors.


Game 4 at Houston - Braves 7, Astros 5
Sunday, October 10th

                1 2 3  4 5 6  7 8 9    R  H  E
Atlanta         1 0 1  0 0 5  0 0 0 -  7 15  1
Houston         0 0 0  0 0 0  1 4 0 -  5  8  1

Win - Smoltz. Loss - Reynolds. Save - Rocker. 
HR - Eusebio, Caminiti. 
Time - 3:12. Attendance - 48,553.
HOUSTON -- When Ken Caminiti put a charge into a John Rocker slider in the bottom of the ninth inning yesterday with the Braves clinging to a 7-5 lead, Rocker looked at catcher Eddie Perez with fear in his eyes.

He didn't realize center fielder Andruw Jones was camped under the ball a few yards shy of the warning track. He didn't realize the Braves were about to wrap up their eighth consecutive trip to the National League Championship Series.

"I grabbed my hat, like `Gah, ball, please come down,' " Rocker said. "I didn't get a chance to celebrate. I was still gasping for air when Andruw caught that ball."

Jones' catch provided the final out of another nerve-racking victory over the Houston Astros, who battled valiantly but lost the best-of-five series 3-1. The Braves will open the NLCS on Tuesday night at Turner Field against the New York Mets, who also wrapped up a 3-1 first-round win by beating Arizona 4-3 in 10 innings.

When the game ended, the Braves didn't hug, jump around or make a human pile when they gathered on the mound. They just let out a collective breath and did their usual high-fives down a line.

"Relief," echoed Perez, Rocker, manager Bobby Cox and any other Brave who was asked to express his post-game sentiment.

"I don't think I've ever been this tired after a four-game series," Chipper Jones said.

The Braves lost Game 1, but came back to win Game 2 on Kevin Millwood's one-hitter, Game 3 with the help of a 10th-inning escape from a bases-loaded, nobody-out jam, and then Game 4 with four outs from Rocker to kill a serious last-gasp effort from the Astros.

For this, they get the Mets, who come back to Atlanta for an NLCS many anticipated in April.

"I think people knew we were a force (before this series)," Chipper Jones said. "I don't know if people have really taken us seriously as far as being a contender. With a little luck now, maybe we can contend."

"These guys are winners, man," said Brian Jordan, who wrapped up his first post-season series as a Brave with two more hits yesterday. "They just know how to win."

There's a fine line between winning championships and heading home. Just ask the Astros, who just lost their third consecutive Division Series in the most excruciating of ways.

After losing Friday night's 12-inning heartbreaker and trailing 7-0 against John Smoltz yesterday, the Astros should have been finished. But they had something left for the final game in the Astrodome.

Caminiti's three-run home run, his third of the series, cut the Braves' lead to 7-4 in the eighth inning. Another RBI hit by Tim Bogar, and the Braves were begging Rocker for some more heroics. Outside of a walk to Stan Javier, he was perfect.


Gerald Williams scores in the 1st inning

Craig Biggio reacts after striking
out in the 5th inning

Jeff Bagwell ponders the team's third
straight first-round exit

Box Score

ATLANTA (7) AT HOUSTON (5) PLAYOFFS - FINAL

ATLANTA                ab  r  h rbi bb so lob   avg
G Williams lf           4  1  2  2   0  0   1  .389
B Boone 2b              5  0  3  1   0  0   1  .474
 Rocker p               0  0  0  0   0  0   0  .000
C Jones 3b              4  0  1  1   0  1   4  .231
B Jordan rf             5  1  2  0   0  2   3  .471
Klesko 1b               2  1  1  0   1  1   0  .333
 Br Hunter 1b           1  0  0  0   1  1   0  .000
A Jones cf              5  1  1  1   0  1   2  .222
E Perez c               4  1  2  2   0  2   1  .250
Jo Hernandez ss         2  0  0  0   0  0   2  .091
 Weiss ss               2  1  1  0   0  1   1  .167
Smoltz p                3  1  2  0   0  1   0  .667
 Mulholland p           0  0  0  0   0  0   0  .000
 Mcglinchy p            0  0  0  0   0  0   0  .000
 Lockhart 2b            0  0  0  0   0  0   0  .000

Totals                 37  7 15  7   2 10  15

BATTING: 2B - G Williams (1, Reynolds); Smoltz (1, Reynolds). 
S - G Williams, Smoltz. SF - C Jones. RBI - C Jones (1), B Boone (1), 
A Jones (2), E Perez 2 (3), G Williams 2 (3). Runners left in scoring 
position, 2 out - B Jordan 2, C Jones 2. GIDP - Jo Hernandez.  
Team LOB - 8.

BASERUNNING: SB - B Boone (1, 2nd base off Reynolds/Eusebio). 
CS - B Jordan (1, 2nd base by Reynolds/Eusebio). 

FIELDING: E - Jo Hernandez (1, bobble). 

HOUSTON                ab  r  h rbi bb so lob   avg
Biggio 2b               5  0  0  0   0  2   3  .105
Javier rf               4  0  1  0   1  1   3  .273
Bagwell 1b              4  1  1  0   1  1   1  .154
Everett cf              4  1  0  0   0  2   3  .133
Caminiti 3b             4  1  1  3   1  0   1  .471
Spiers lf               4  0  0  0   0  0   3  .273
Eusebio c               4  2  2  1   0  0   0  .267
Bogar ss                4  0  3  1   0  0   0  .750
Reynolds p              1  0  0  0   0  0   1  .250
 Holt p                 0  0  0  0   0  0   0  .000
 Elarton p              0  0  0  0   0  0   0  .000
 a-Ru Johnson ph        0  0  0  0   1  0   0 1.000
 Trever Miller p        0  0  0  0   0  0   0  .000
 b-De Bell ph           0  0  0  0   0  0   0  .333
 c-D Ward ph            1  0  0  0   0  0   0  .143
 Ja Powell p            0  0  0  0   0  0   0  .000

Totals                 35  5  8  5   4  6  15

a-walked for Elarton in the 7th; b-pinch-hit for Trever Miller
in the 8th; c-grounded to first for De Bell in the 8th.

BATTING: 2B - Bogar (1, Mulholland). HR - Eusebio (1, 7th inning
off Smoltz 0 on, 0 out); Caminiti (3, 8th inning off Smoltz 2 on, 
0 out). S - Reynolds. RBI - Eusebio (3), Caminiti 3 (8), Bogar (1). 
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out - Spiers 2, Javier 1, 
Biggio 1, Caminiti 1.  Team LOB - 9.

BASERUNNING: SB - Everett (1, 2nd base off Smoltz/E Perez). 

FIELDING: E - Spiers (1, bobble). DP: 1 (Biggio-Bogar-Bagwell). 

    Atlanta        - 101 005 000  --  7
    Houston        - 000 000 140  --  5

ATLANTA                      ip       h   r  er  bb  so  hr    era
Smoltz (W, 1-0)               7       6   4   4   3   3   2   5.14
Mulholland (H, 2)               1/3   2   1   1   0   0   0  27.00
Mcglinchy (H, 1)                1/3   0   0   0   0   0   0   0.00
Rocker (S, 1)                 1 1/3   0   0   0   1   3   0   0.00

HOUSTON                      ip       h   r  er  bb  so  hr    era
Reynolds (L, 1-1)             5       9   4   4   1   4   0   4.09
Holt                          0       3   3   3   0   0   0   0.00
Elarton                       2       2   0   0   1   3   0   3.86
Trever Miller                 1       1   0   0   0   2   0   0.00
Ja Powell                     1       0   0   0   0   1   0   6.00

Reynolds pitched to 2 batters in the 6th.
Holt pitched to 3 batters in the 6th.
Smoltz pitched to 3 batters in the 8th.

WP - Trever Miller, Rocker. HBP - Everett (by Smoltz). 
Pitches-strikes: Reynolds 71-50; Holt 12-8; Elarton 51-31;
Trever Miller 18-11; Ja Powell 8-7; Smoltz 104-69; Mulholland 13-7; 
Mcglinchy 5-4; Rocker 26-16.  Ground balls-fly balls: Reynolds 6-4; 
Holt 0-0; Elarton 2-1; Trever Miller 0-1; Ja Powell 1-1; Smoltz 8-10; 
Mulholland 0-1; Mcglinchy 1-0; Rocker 0-1.  Batters faced: Reynolds 23; 
Holt 3; Elarton 9; Trever Miller 4; Ja Powell 3; Smoltz 32; Mulholland 3; 
Mcglinchy 1; Rocker 5. 

UMPIRES: HP--Dana Demuth. 1B--Randy Marsh. 2B--Paul Schrieber.
3B--Brian Gorman. LF--Wally Bell. RF--Mark Hirschbeck.
T--3:12.  Att--48,553. Indoors.

For video and audio highlights, go to the
1999 Season Recap Page.

Information for this page was compiled from Houston Astros media sources and Associated Press reports.