The 1998 National League Division Series (NLDS), the opening round of the 1998 National League playoffs, began on Tuesday, September 29, and ended on Sunday, October 4, 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 Atlanta Braves and San Diego Padres went on to meet in the NL Championship Series (NLCS). The Padres defeated the Braves four games to two to become the National League champion, and lost to the American League champion New York Yankees in the 1998 World Series.
|1998 National League Division Series|
|Dates||September 30 – October 3|
|Television||ESPN (Game 1)|
Fox (Game 2)
NBC (Game 3)
|TV announcers||Jon Miller and Joe Carter (Game 1)|
Thom Brennaman and Bob Brenly (Game 2)
Bob Costas and Joe Morgan (Game 3)
|Radio announcers||Gary Cohen and Dave Campbell|
|Dates||September 29 – October 4|
|Television||ESPN (Games 1–3)|
Fox (Game 4)
|TV announcers||Jon Miller and Joe Morgan (Games 1–2)|
Jon Miller and Ray Knight (Game 3)
Thom Brennaman and Bob Brenly (Game 4)
|Radio announcers||Charley Steiner and Rick Sutcliffe|
|Umpires||Mike Winters, Bill Hohn, Jerry Layne, Randy Marsh, Frank Pulli, Wally Bell (Braves–Cubs, Games 1–2; Astros–Padres, Games 3–4)|
Ed Rapuano, Jeff Kellogg, Gary Darling, Bob Davidson, Bruce Froemming, Angel Hernandez (Astros–Padres, Games 1–2; Braves–Cubs, Game 3)
Atlanta won the series, 3–0.
|1||September 30||Chicago Cubs – 1, Atlanta Braves – 7||Turner Field||2:34||45,598|
|2||October 1||Chicago Cubs – 1, Atlanta Braves – 2 (10 innings)||Turner Field||2:47||51,713|
|3||October 3||Atlanta Braves – 6, Chicago Cubs – 2||Wrigley Field||2:57||39,597|
San Diego won the series, 3–1.
|1||September 29||San Diego Padres – 2, Houston Astros – 1||Astrodome||2:38||50,080|
|2||October 1||San Diego Padres – 4, Houston Astros – 5||Astrodome||2:53||45,550|
|3||October 3||Houston Astros – 1, San Diego Padres – 2||Qualcomm Stadium||2:32||65,235|
|4||October 4||Houston Astros – 1, San Diego Padres – 6||Qualcomm Stadium||2:39||64,898|
|WP: John Smoltz (1–0) LP: Mark Clark (0–1)|
CHC: Tyler Houston (1)
ATL: Michael Tucker (1), Ryan Klesko (1)
The Braves faced the Chicago Cubs, who made it into the playoffs by beating the San Francisco Giants in a tiebreaker for the Wild Card spot and though the Cubs won the season series 6-3 including a three game sweep in Wrigley Field without NL MVP Sammy Sosa, and a two game sweep in Turner Field, the Braves proved that the post season would be different. John Smoltz pitched masterfully and Michael Tucker started the scoring with a two-run home run off Chicago starter Mark Clark. Then an Andruw Jones sacrifice fly with two on made it 3–0. In the bottom of the seventh, Ryan Klesko put the game away with a grand slam into right field off of Matt Karchner after three walks off of Clark and Felix Heredia. The Cubs would score in the eighth off Smoltz on Tyler Houston's lead off home run, but John Rocker and Kerry Ligtenberg slammed the door on Game 1.
|WP: Odalis Perez (1–0) LP: Terry Mulholland (0–1)|
ATL: Javy López (1)
Game 2 was a pitchers' duel. Kevin Tapani faced Tom Glavine; the two had previously faced each other in the 1991 World Series. Lance Johnson drove in the lone Chicago run in the top of the sixth on a groundout. However, leaving Tapani in to pitch the ninth ultimately cost the Cubs the game. Javy López hit the game-tying home run and Chipper Jones drove in the winning run in the tenth off Terry Mulholland with an RBI single.
|WP: Greg Maddux (1–0) LP: Kerry Wood (0–1)|
ATL: Eddie Pérez (1)
Game 3 was another pitchers' duel. Greg Maddux faced Rookie of the Year Kerry Wood, hoping to keep the ship afloat for the Cubs. The Braves scored first in the top of the third when Maddux doubled and later scored on a passed ball with two outs. Wood pitched five innings and that was the only run he would allow. Maddux was masterful, carrying a shutout into the bottom of the eighth. In the top of the eighth, Gerald Williams drove in another run with an RBI single off Rod Beck after Terry Mulholland allowed a single and walk. When Andruw Jones was intentionally walked to load the bases, Eddie Pérez belted a grand slam into left field to put the game and the series away. Maddux was lifted after giving up three straight singles in favor in Ligtenberg. Mickey Morandini's sacrifice fly and Mark Graces RBI single made it 6–2 Braves, but Ligtenberg retired the Cubs in order in the ninth. José Hernández flied to center for the final out of the series as the Braves won their first game at Wrigley Field of the season.
|Total attendance: 136,908 Average attendance: 45,636|
|WP: Kevin Brown (1–0) LP: Randy Johnson (0–1) Sv: Trevor Hoffman (1)|
SD: Greg Vaughn (1)
The Astros entered the playoffs with the league's best offense and red-hot pitcher Randy Johnson, who had gone 10–1 since being traded to the Astros in a mid-season deadline deal, well rested for Game 1. However, Padres ace Kevin Brown was more than up for the challenge as he set an LDS record striking out sixteen Astros in eight innings before turning the game over to all-star closer Trevor Hoffman for the save. The Padres only managed two runs, including a home run by slugger Greg Vaughn. Despite Brown's dominant performance, the game was not without its tense moments thanks to a less than perfect ninth inning. Hoffman, who had tied the NL record for saves with 53, did allow an unearned run on two hits thanks to a throwing error by third baseman Ken Caminiti. The error by the former Astro brought Houston to within one run before Hoffman slammed the door ending the game at 2–1.
|WP: Billy Wagner (1–0) LP: Dan Miceli (0–1)|
SD: Jim Leyritz (1)
HOU: Derek Bell (1)
Shane Reynolds pitched a strong seven innings for Houston yielding only two runs and the Astros' offense showed some of its regular season league-leading form by tagging Padres' starter Andy Ashby for three runs and chasing him out of the game after only four innings. Leading 3–2 and looking to give closer Billy Wagner a little more room to work with, the Astros scored again off former Astro Donnie Wall in the bottom of the eighth inning sending Wagner to the hill with 4–2 lead. Armed with a 100 mph fastball, Wagner was 30 for 35 in save opportunities and now had a complement to his fastball in the form of a newly learned slider courtesy of teammate Randy Johnson. Nonetheless, Wagner surrendered a single to 1996 MVP Ken Caminiti, and then a pinch-hit game-tying home run to Jim Leyritz, who had done the same thing as a member of the New York Yankees to Mark Wohlers of the Braves in the 1996 World Series. Unfazed, the Astros led off the bottom of the inning with an infield single by Ricky Gutierrez off Dan Miceli. The Padres countered by bringing in closer Trevor Hoffman. After a sacrifice by catcher Brad Ausmus moved him to second base, Gutierrez stole third uncontested setting up pinch-hitter Bill Spiers to be the game's hero. Spiers delivered with a single off Hoffman and the Astros had their first postseason victory since 1986.
|WP: Dan Miceli (1–1) LP: Scott Elarton (0–1) Sv: Trevor Hoffman (2)|
SD: Jim Leyritz (2)
With their Game 1 victory, the Padres had taken home-field advantage away from the favored Astros and San Diego manager Bruce Bochy was determined not to let the momentum turn in Houston's favor after Game 2, so he decided to gamble and started Game 1 starter Kevin Brown on short rest instead of lefty Sterling Hitchcock. The explosive Astros offense, being predominantly right-handed, was especially brutal on left-handed pitchers and a Game 3 win by Houston would have left the Padres facing elimination in Game 4 against Randy Johnson. Brown was opposed by fellow sinkerballer Mike Hampton of the Astros who proved to be Brown's equal. Not nearly the same unhittable master of Game 1, Brown's control was shaky from the beginning as he walked five Astros in seven innings. Still, the Astros were never able to deliver the knock-out blow and managed only one run against Brown, but were still tied going into the bottom of the seventh thanks to a solid six innings of one-run two-hit ball by Mike Hampton. In the bottom of the seventh, Jim Leyritz added yet another chapter to his resume of clutch October heroics with a go-ahead home run off Astros reliever Scott Elarton that gave the Padres a 2–1 lead. Neither team scored again and Trevor Hoffman struck out the side in the top of the ninth for the save.
|WP: Sterling Hitchcock (1–0) LP: Randy Johnson (0–2)|
SD: Jim Leyritz (3), Wally Joyner (1)
The only game of the series that wasn't decided by one run began with veteran former Cy Young Award winner Randy Johnson squaring off against 27-year-old Sterling Hitchcock who was making his first postseason start. It was Hitchcock, however, that proved dominant by striking out eleven Astros in only six innings of work while Leyritz hit his third home run in as many games to help the Padres to a 2–1 lead. With the Astros' highly touted offense rendered almost completely silent, the bullpen finally collapsed in the eighth inning as Houston pitchers surrendered four runs to the Padres leading to a 6–1 series-clinching victory for San Diego.
|San Diego Padres||0||1||0||0||0||5||1||5||2||14||27||3|
|Total attendance: 225,763 Average attendance: 56,441|
The Padres will march to Atlanta!— Thom Brennaman, calling the final out, San Diego vs. Houston
Andruw Rudolf Jones (Papiamento pronunciation: [ˈandruw ˈdʒonz]; born April 23, 1977) is a Curaçaoan former baseball outfielder and designated hitter who played 17 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB), most notably for the Atlanta Braves. Jones also played for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Texas Rangers, Chicago White Sox, and New York Yankees, and in Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles. Jones was a noted defensive specialist for most of his career and won the Rawlings Gold Glove Award for outfielders every year from 1998 through 2007. He had a strong throwing arm in addition to his elite fielding. He was an MLB All-Star five times, and he won both the Hank Aaron Award and a Silver Slugger Award for outfielders in 2005.
Jones made his MLB debut during the 1996 season with the Atlanta Braves. In the 1996 World Series, he became the youngest player ever to hit a home run in the postseason, and just the second player ever to homer in his first two World Series at bats. The following season, Jones finished fifth in voting for Rookie of the Year. From 1998 to 1999, he continued to increase his offensive production, and in 2000, Jones batted .303 with 36 home runs and 104 runs batted in (RBIs), making his first All-Star team. Jones started to draw many comparisons to Willie Mays and was considered one of the top center fielders in baseball. The following season, he again hit over 30 home runs and drove in 104 runs but his average dipped to .251 while his strikeouts increased. Jones improved with All-Star seasons in 2002 and 2003, but in 2004, he failed to hit at least 30 home runs for the first time since 1999 and exceeded 100 strikeouts, which became a regular occurrence thereafter. In 2005, he led the National League (NL) with 51 home runs 128 RBIs, finishing second to Albert Pujols for NL Most Valuable Player. In subsequent seasons, his average continued to dip and his strikeouts increased. After a productive season in 2006, including a career high 129 RBIs, in 2007 Jones had his weakest season to that point, batting just .222. During his time with Atlanta, Jones became one of the youngest players in MLB history to reach 300 career home runs.
After the 2007 season, Jones signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers as a free agent to a 2-year deal, worth $36.2 million. However, Jones struggled with the Dodgers, batting just .158 with 3 home runs and 14 RBIs. Shortly after the season, Jones was released. Jones concluded his MLB career with brief stints for the Rangers, White Sox, and Yankees, transitioning from a center fielder to designated hitter and
a fourth outfielder role. While with the White Sox, Jones hit his 400th career home run.Eddie Pérez (baseball)
Eduardo Rafael Pérez (born May 4, 1968) is a Venezuelan-American former professional baseball player and coach. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a catcher for the Atlanta Braves, Cleveland Indians and the Milwaukee Brewers. He batted and threw right-handed. During his tenure with the Braves, Pérez was notable for being the personal catcher for Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Greg Maddux and, for being named the Most Valuable Player of the 1999 National League Championship Series.Glenallen Hill
Glenallen Hill (born March 22, 1965) is a former Major League Baseball outfielder. Hill played with the Toronto Blue Jays (1989–91), Cleveland Indians (1991–93), Chicago Cubs (1993–94, 1998–2000) San Francisco Giants (1995–97), Seattle Mariners (1998), New York Yankees (2000), and Anaheim Angels (2001) during his thirteen-year career. With the Yankees, he won the 2000 World Series over the New York Mets. Hill batted and threw right-handed. Hill was also infamous for his defensive escapades, which were once described by then-Mariners pitching coach Bryan Price as "akin to watching a gaffed haddock surface for air."Manny Alexander
Manuel De Jesús Alexander (born March 20, 1971) is a former professional baseball infielder. He has played for the Baltimore Orioles (1992–1993, 1995–1996), New York Mets (1997), Chicago Cubs (1997–1999), Boston Red Sox (2000), Texas Rangers (2004) and San Diego Padres (2005–2006). He bats and throws right-handed.Mark Clark (baseball)
Mark Willard Clark (born May 12, 1968) is a former right-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball. He pitched all or part of ten seasons in the majors.
Clark was born in Bath, Illinois, and made his debut on September 6, 1991 for the St. Louis Cardinals. Over the next nine seasons, Clark would develop into a journeyman starting pitcher, being traded from team to team. He pitched in one postseason game in the 1998 National League Division Series for the Chicago Cubs, a game which he lost to John Smoltz and the Atlanta Braves.
He was released by the Texas Rangers during the 2000 season, then retired. He and his wife Amy have two children: a boy named Brandon and a girl called Allyson. They now live in Kilbourne, Illinois. He is now a baseball coach for children in the Kilbourne area.Mickey Morandini
Michael Robert "Mickey" Morandini (born April 22, 1966), is an American former professional baseball second baseman and coach, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago Cubs, and Toronto Blue Jays. His career highlights include selection as a 1995 National League (NL) All-Star, playing for the Phillies in the 1993 NL Championship Series and World Series, and appearing for the Cubs in the 1998 NL Division Series.SDCCU Stadium
SDCCU Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium in San Diego, California, United States. The stadium opened in 1967 as San Diego Stadium and was known as Jack Murphy Stadium from 1981 to 1997. From 1997 to 2017, the stadium's naming rights were owned by San Diego-based telecommunications equipment company Qualcomm, and the stadium was known as Qualcomm Stadium. The naming rights expired on June 14, 2017, and the stadium was renamed SDCCU Stadium on September 19, 2017.It is the home of the San Diego State Aztecs football team from San Diego State University. One college football bowl game, the Holiday Bowl, is held in the stadium every December. It was briefly also the home of the San Diego Fleet of the Alliance of American Football in early 2019. The stadium was the longtime home of two professional franchises: the San Diego Chargers of the National Football League (NFL) and the San Diego Padres of Major League Baseball (MLB). The Chargers played at the stadium from 1967 through the 2016 season, after which they moved to Los Angeles to become the Los Angeles Chargers. The Padres played home games at the stadium from their founding in 1969 through the 2003 season, when they moved to Petco Park in downtown San Diego. The stadium was also home to a second college bowl game, the Poinsettia Bowl, from 2005 until its discontinuation following the 2016 edition.
The stadium has hosted three Super Bowls: Super Bowl XXII in 1988, Super Bowl XXXII in 1998, and Super Bowl XXXVII in 2003. It has also hosted the 1978 and 1992 Major League Baseball All-Star Games, as well as games of the 1996 and 1998 National League Division Series, the 1984 and 1998 National League Championship Series, and the 1984 and 1998 World Series. It is the only stadium ever to host both the Super Bowl and the World Series in the same year (1998), and it is one of three stadiums to host the World Series, the MLB All-Star Game, and the Super Bowl, along with the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis and Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles.
The stadium is located immediately northwest of the interchange of Interstates 8 and 15. The neighborhood surrounding the stadium is known as Mission Valley, in reference to the Mission San Diego de Alcalá, which is located to the east, and its placement in the valley of the San Diego River. The stadium is served by the Stadium station of the San Diego Trolley, accessible via the Green Line running toward Downtown San Diego to the west, and Santee to the east.Sandy Martínez
Angel Sandy Martínez Martínez (born October 8, 1970) is a Dominican former professional baseball player, and current Manager for the DSL Nationals. He played as a catcher in Major League Baseball for the Toronto Blue Jays (1995-1997), Chicago Cubs (1998-1999), Florida Marlins (2000), Montreal Expos (2001), Cleveland Indians (2004), and Boston Red Sox (2004). He bats left-handed and throws right-handed.
|American League teams|
|National League teams|