The 1996 National League Division Series (NLDS), the opening round of the 1996 National League playoffs, began on Tuesday, October 1, and ended on Saturday, October 5, with the champions of the three NL divisions—along with a "wild card" team—participating in two best-of-five series. The teams were:
The St. Louis Cardinals and Atlanta Braves both swept their Division Series, and went on to meet in the NL Championship Series (NLCS). The Braves would rally to win that series four games to three and become the National League champion, but would lose to the American League champion New York Yankees in the 1996 World Series.
|1996 National League Division Series|
|Dates||October 1 – 5|
|Television||ESPN (Games 1–2)|
NBC (Game 3)
|TV announcers||Chris Berman and Buck Martinez (Games 1–2)|
Bob Costas, Joe Morgan and Bob Uecker (Game 3)
|Radio announcers||Gene Elston and Gary Cohen|
|Dates||October 2 – 5|
|Television||ESPN (Game 1)|
Fox (Games 2–3)
|TV announcers||Chris Berman and Buck Martinez (Game 1)|
Joe Buck (Games 2–3), Tim McCarver (Games 2–3) and Bob Brenly (Game 3)
|Radio announcers||Jerry Coleman and Jim Hunter|
|Umpires||Jim Quick, Gerry Davis, Dana DeMuth, Frank Pulli, Harry Wendelstedt, Greg Bonin (Padres–Cardinals, Games 1–2; Braves–Dodgers, Game 3)|
Steve Rippley, Eric Gregg, Tom Hallion, Terry Tata, Bruce Froemming, Bill Hohn (Braves–Dodgers, Games 1–2; Padres–Cardinals, Game 3)
St. Louis won the series, 3–0.
|1||October 1||San Diego Padres – 1, St. Louis Cardinals – 3||Busch Stadium (II)||2:39||54,193|
|2||October 3||San Diego Padres – 4, St. Louis Cardinals – 5||Busch Stadium (II)||2:55||56,752|
|3||October 5||St. Louis Cardinals – 7, San Diego Padres – 5||Jack Murphy Stadium||3:32||53,899|
Atlanta won the series, 3–0.
|1||October 2||Atlanta Braves – 2, Los Angeles Dodgers – 1 (10 innings)||Dodger Stadium||3:08||47,428|
|2||October 3||Atlanta Braves – 3, Los Angeles Dodgers – 2||Dodger Stadium||2:08||51,916|
|3||October 5||Los Angeles Dodgers – 2, Atlanta Braves – 5||Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium||3:19||52,529|
|WP: Todd Stottlemyre (1–0) LP: Joey Hamilton (0–1) Sv: Dennis Eckersley (1)|
SD: Rickey Henderson (1)
STL: Gary Gaetti (1)
The Cardinals and Padres began their rivalry in this series. Their Cardinals had only one loss against the Padres lifetime in the postseason. A three-run home run by Gary Gaetti off Joey Hamilton put the Cardinals up for good. Todd Stottlemyre pitched masterfully, allowing only a home run by Rickey Henderson. Rick Honeycutt and Dennis Eckersley shut the Padres down for the win.
|WP: Rick Honeycutt (1–0) LP: Doug Bochtler (0–1) Sv: Dennis Eckersley (2)|
SD: Ken Caminiti (1)
A well fought Game 2 saw the Cardinals squander two leads. Scott Sanders faced Andy Benes. Willie McGee put the Cardinals on top on the third with an RBI single after two walks. Ken Caminiti tied the game with a leadoff home run in the fifth. In the bottom of the inning, Sanders allowed two singles and a walk to load the bases with one out before Ron Gant cleared them with a double off of Dario Veras to make it 4–1 Cardinals. In the sixth, after back-to-back one-out singles, a two-run single by Tony Gwynn aided by center fielder Willie McGee's throwing error made it a one-run game in the Padres sixth. In the eighth, Benes allowed a leadoff single and walk. A sacrifice bunt moved the runners up off of Rick Honeycutt before an RBI ground out by Steve Finley tied the game, but in the bottom half, Doug Bochtler walked two and threw a wild pitch to put runners on second and third with one out. Tom Pagnozzi's ground out off of Trevor Hoffman scored Brian Jordan and put the Cardinals up 5–4. Dennis Eckersley got his second save of the postseason with a perfect ninth.
|WP: T.J. Mathews (1–0) LP: Trevor Hoffman (0–1) Sv: Dennis Eckersley (3)|
STL: Ron Gant (1), Brian Jordan (1)
SD: Ken Caminiti 2 (3)
In Game 3, the Cardinals looked to Donovan Osborne to put the Padres away. Opposing the potential sweep was Andy Ashby. Brian Jordan put the Cardinals ahead when he singled to center field to score Royce Clayton, who walked to lead off and moved to second on a single. After back-to-back one-out singles, Chris Gomez's fielder's choice and Jody Reed's double scored a run each to put the Padres up 2–1. Then Ken Caminiti homered to make it 3–1 in the third. An RBI single in the bottom of the fourth by Reed after back-to-back leadoff singles made it 4–1 Padres and Osborne was done. A leadoff homer by Ron Gant made it 4–2 in the sixth. Then, Jordan singled, stole second, and scored on a one-out triple by John Mabry. Tim Worrell relieved Ashby and allowed an RBI single to Tom Pagnozzi to tie the game at four. The Cardinals would take the lead in the seventh when Ray Lankford scored on a bases-loaded double play by Gant. Caminiti's second home run of the game off of Rick Honeycutt tied the game in the eighth, However, after a walk in the ninth, Jordan hit a two-run home run off of Trevor Hoffman that proved to be the series winner. A one-out single by Rickey Henderson in the ninth put the tying run at the plate but nothing would be made of it as Eckersley got his third save in as many tries to win the series.
|St. Louis Cardinals||4||0||1||0||3||3||1||1||2||15||24||1|
|San Diego Padres||0||2||1||1||1||3||0||2||0||10||25||3|
|Total attendance: 164,844 Average attendance: 54,948|
|WP: John Smoltz (1–0) LP: Antonio Osuna (0–1) Sv: Mark Wohlers (1)|
ATL: Javy López (1)
The Braves were heavy favorites against the Dodgers, who sneaked into the playoffs on a Wild Card berth. This would be manager Bill Russell's only postseason series as Dodgers manager.
The Braves sent 24-game winner John Smoltz to the mound for Game 1. Opposing Smoltz would be Ramón Martínez. The Braves struck first when Fred McGriff's sacrifice fly brought Marquis Grissom, who singled to lead off, stole second and moved to third on a groundout, home in the fourth. Todd Hollandsworth tied the game with an RBI-double in the fifth after a lead off double by Greg Gagne. Smoltz and Martinez dueled for eight innings, when Martinez left the game. When the game moved to extra innings, eventual playoff MVP Javy López hit the go-ahead home run in the tenth off of Antonio Osuna. Mark Wohlers recorded the save and the Braves led the series 1–0.
|WP: Greg Maddux (1–0) LP: Ismael Valdez (0–1) Sv: Mark Wohlers (2)|
ATL: Ryan Klesko (1), Fred McGriff (1), Jermaine Dye (1)
Greg Maddux faced Ismael Valdez in Game 2. Another pitcher's duel took place. Todd Hollandsworth singled to lead off the first and moved to second thanks to an error by Ryan Klesko, Hollandsworth moved to third on a groundout, then scored on Mike Piazza's groundout, but Klesko homered with one out in the bottom half to tie the game at one. Piazza singled to lead off the fourth and moved to second on an error by Marquis Grissom, then Raul Mondesi's RBI double made it 2–1 Dodgers. Fred McGriff led off the seventh inning with a home run to tie the game at two. After Klesko was called out on strikes, Jermaine Dye hit a home run to give the Braves a 3–2 lead. Mark Wohlers got another save in the ninth as the Braves now led the series 2–0 going home.
|WP: Tom Glavine (1–0) LP: Hideo Nomo (0–1) Sv: Mark Wohlers (3)|
ATL: Chipper Jones (1)
Hideo Nomo faced Tom Glavine for Game 3. The night would sour for Nomo as he gave up a first-inning run, thanks to a McGriff double that scored Chipper Jones, who singled with two outs, and squandered the series in the fourth. Glavine doubled with two outs, then Grissom walked. A double by Mark Lemke scored both Glavine and Grissom. Then Jones homered to put the Braves up 5–0. Nomo was finished and so were the Dodgers. They would scratch out a run apiece in the seventh (on Juan Castro's double to score Greg Gagne, who singled with two outs) and eighth (on Mike Piazza's sacrifice fly off of Mike Bielecki after Greg McMichael allowed a leadoff walk and subsequent double), but no more. Wohlers got his third save in as many tries to end the series.
|Los Angeles Dodgers||1||0||0||1||1||0||1||1||0||0||5||14||1|
|Total attendance: 151,873 Average attendance: 50,624|
The 1996 Los Angeles Dodgers season saw the Dodgers remain atop the standings most of the season. However, longtime manager Tommy Lasorda suffered a heart attack in mid-season and had to step down. Bill Russell, Lasorda's bench coach and a former Dodger player, was chosen to manage the rest of the season.
The Dodgers went into the final weekend of the season with a two-game lead on the San Diego Padres, needing only to win one of the final three games with the Padres to clinch the National League Western Division crown. However, the Padres swept the Dodgers and they limped into the playoffs as a Wild Card team. The Dodgers were swept by the Atlanta Braves in the National League Division Series.
The Dodgers used 15 different pitchers during the season, the fewest of any MLB team in 1996.2017 National League Division Series
The 2017 National League Division Series were two best-of-five-game series to determine the participating teams of the 2017 National League Championship Series. The three divisional winners (seeded 1-3) and a fourth team—the winner of a one-game Wild Card playoff— played in two series.
These matchups were:
(1) Los Angeles Dodgers (West Division champions) vs (4) Arizona Diamondbacks (Wild Card Game winner)
(2) Washington Nationals (East Division champions) vs (3) Chicago Cubs (Central Division champions)For the first time, Major League Baseball sold presenting sponsorships to all of its postseason series; T-Mobile US acquired presenting sponsorship to the NLDS, and thus the series was officially known as the National League Division Series presented by T-Mobile.2018 National League Division Series
The 2018 National League Division Series were two best-of-five-game series to determine the participating teams of the 2018 National League Championship Series. The three divisional winners (seeded first through third) and a fourth team—the Wild Card Game winner—played in two series.
These matchups were:
(1) Milwaukee Brewers (Central Division champions) vs. (5) Colorado Rockies (Wild Card Game winner)
(2) Los Angeles Dodgers (West Division champions) vs. (3) Atlanta Braves (East Division champions)Under sponsorship agreements with Doosan, the series was formally known as the National League Division Series presented by Doosan. The Brewers and the Dodgers won their respective series to advance to the Championship Series.Eric Gregg
Eric Eugene Gregg (May 18, 1951 – June 5, 2006) was an American umpire in Major League Baseball who worked in the National League from 1975 to 1999. He was known for being a pioneering black umpire, for his longtime weight problems, and for his controversial home plate umpiring in Game 5 of the 1997 National League Championship Series—when his generous strike zone helped the Florida Marlins' Liván Hernández strike out 15 Atlanta batters. Throughout his National League career, Gregg wore uniform number 7.Ozzie Smith
Osborne Earl Smith (born December 26, 1954) is an American former baseball shortstop who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the San Diego Padres and St. Louis Cardinals from 1978 to 1996. Nicknamed "The Wizard" for his defensive brilliance, Smith set major league records for career assists (8,375) and double plays (1,590) by a shortstop (the latter since broken by Omar Vizquel), as well as the National League (NL) record with 2,511 career games at the position; Smith won the NL Gold Glove Award for play at shortstop for 13 consecutive seasons (1980–92). A 15-time All-Star, he accumulated 2,460 hits and 580 stolen bases during his career, and won the NL Silver Slugger Award as the best-hitting shortstop in 1987. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility in 2002. He was also elected to the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame in the inaugural class of 2014.
Smith was born in Mobile, Alabama, but his family moved to Watts, Los Angeles, when he was six years old. While participating in childhood athletic activities, Smith developed quick reflexes; he went on to play baseball in high school and college, at Los Angeles' Locke High School and Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo respectively. Drafted as an amateur player by the Padres, Smith made his major league debut in 1978. He quickly established himself as an outstanding fielder, and later became known for performing backflips on special occasions while taking his position at the beginning of a game. Smith won his first Gold Glove Award in 1980, and made his first All-Star Game appearance in 1981. When conflict with Padres' ownership developed, he was traded to the Cardinals for shortstop Garry Templeton in 1982.
Upon joining the Cardinals, Smith helped the team win the 1982 World Series. Three years later, his game-winning home run during Game 5 of the 1985 National League Championship Series prompted broadcaster Jack Buck's "Go crazy, folks!" play-by-play call. Despite a rotator cuff injury during the 1985 season, Smith posted career highs in multiple offensive categories in 1987. Smith continued to earn Gold Gloves and All-Star appearances on an annual basis until 1993. During 1995 season, Smith had shoulder surgery and was out nearly three months. After tension with his new manager Tony La Russa developed in 1996, Smith retired at season's end, and his uniform number (No. 1) was subsequently retired by the Cardinals.
Smith served as host of the television show This Week in Baseball from 1997 to 1998.Raúl Mondesí
Raúl Ramón Mondesí Avelino (born March 12, 1971) is a Dominican former politician who was the mayor of San Cristóbal, Dominican Republic, and a former professional baseball right fielder. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for 13 seasons, primarily for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and made his MLB debut with them in 1993. He was the National League (NL) Rookie of the Year in 1994, an MLB All-Star, and a two-time Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner. Known for his combination of power and speed, Mondesí twice achieved the 30–30 club. Also noted for his strong throwing arm, he led right fielders in his league in assists three times while registering over 100 in his career.
After baseball, Mondesí began a career in politics, gaining election to the Dominican Chamber of Deputies in 2006. In 2010, he became mayor of San Cristóbal for a six-year term. On September 20, 2017, Mondesí was sentenced to eight years in prison on corruption charges.Todd Hollandsworth
Todd Mathew Hollandsworth (born April 20, 1973) is an American former professional baseball outfielder in Major League Baseball (MLB). In 1996, he won the National League Rookie of the Year Award, setting a record as the fifth consecutive Los Angeles Dodgers rookie to do so (preceded by Eric Karros, Mike Piazza, Raúl Mondesí, and Hideo Nomo).Trevor Hoffman
Trevor William Hoffman (born October 13, 1967) is an American former baseball relief pitcher who played 18 years in Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1993 to 2010. A long-time closer, he pitched for the Florida Marlins, San Diego Padres, and the Milwaukee Brewers, including more than 15 years for the Padres. He was the major leagues' first player to reach the 500- and 600-save milestones, and was the all-time saves leader from 2006 until 2011. Hoffman was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame as part of its class of 2018. He currently serves as senior advisor for baseball operations for the Padres.
Hoffman played shortstop collegiately at the University of Arizona and was drafted in the 11th round by the Cincinnati Reds. After not having much success batting, Hoffman was converted to a pitcher, as he was able to throw up to 95 miles per hour (mph). The Marlins acquired him in the 1992 expansion draft, and he pitched in Florida until he was traded to the Padres mid-season in 1993 in a deal that sent star Gary Sheffield to the Marlins. Hoffman recorded 20 saves in 1994 in his first season as Padres closer, and in the following years, he became the face of the franchise after Tony Gwynn retired. He collected at least 30 saves each year for the next 14 years, except for 2003 when he missed most of the year recovering from shoulder surgery. After San Diego did not re-sign him following the 2008 season, Hoffman pitched for two years with the Brewers before retiring after the 2010 season.
Hoffman was selected for the All-Star team seven times, and twice he was the runner-up for the National League (NL) Cy Young Award, given annually to the top pitcher in the league. He retired with MLB records of fifteen 20-save seasons, fourteen 30-save seasons (including eight consecutive), and nine 40-save seasons (including two streaks of four consecutive). He also retired with the highest career strikeout rate of any reliever. Though he entered the majors with a powerful fastball, an injury after the 1994 season permanently sapped Hoffman's fastball velocity and forced him to reinvent his pitching style; he subsequently developed one of the best changeups in baseball. Hoffman's entrance at home games accompanied by the song "Hells Bells" was popular with fans.
After retiring as a player, Hoffman returned to the Padres as a special assistant in the front office. In 2014, he became the team's pitching coordinator at their upper minor league levels, which included working with the Padres general manager. The following year, his role expanded to overseeing pitching instruction at all levels in the minors.Wade Davis (baseball)
Wade Allen Davis (born September 7, 1985) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Colorado Rockies of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played for the Tampa Bay Rays, Kansas City Royals and Chicago Cubs. Davis is a three-time MLB All-Star. He was a member of the Royals' 2015 World Series-winning team, and earned the Babe Ruth Award for his performance in the 2015 MLB playoffs.
|American League teams|
|National League teams|