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CUB-BRAVE REPORT

Sheffield Says He'll Try to Play Tonight

October 05, 2003|From Associated Press

CHICAGO — Atlanta slugger Gary Sheffield hopes to play in Game 5 of the best-of-three series against the Chicago Cubs tonight at Turner Field in Atlanta.

"I'd say a 50-50 chance," said Sheffield, who sat out the Braves' 6-4 victory Saturday because of a sore hand. "I know how much these guys stuck it out today. They battled to get it to this game, and I can't let them down."

Sheffield was hit on the left hand by Mark Prior's pitch in the sixth inning Friday night. He stayed in the game, but his hand was swollen after the game, and he could barely move it.

"I have been getting it treated all day," Sheffield said. "Every inning, every second of every minute. Each run we scored, the treatment got more intense."

Sheffield batted .330 this season with 39 homers and a club-record 132 RBIs. But for the second straight season, he's struggling in the playoffs. He had only one hit in 10 at-bats in the first three games.

Chipper Jones, moved up to his old No. 3 spot, hit a two-run homer from each side of the plate. Darren Bragg, who started for Sheffield in right field, was hitless in five at-bats but had an RBI.

"I was so proud of Chipper and the rest of the gang for pulling it out, because this is a must-win situation," Sheffield said. "Going up against a pitching staff like this and a successful baseball team, you never know. And we pulled it out."

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Ready to celebrate, the Cubs instead are headed back to Atlanta.

Kerry Wood, who won Game 1, pitches Game 5 tonight against Mike Hampton as the Cubs try again to win a postseason series for the first time since 1908.

Making Saturday's loss even more painful was an injury to reliever Kyle Farnsworth, who left in the eighth. Farnsworth slipped and hit the ground hard as he fielded Robert Fick's slow roller to the side of the mound. The pitcher then threw from his knees to first.

First baseman Eric Karros also was injured on the play when Fick threw up his arm and knocked the ball loose. Fick was ruled out, and Karros remained in the game, but Farnsworth didn't. Mark Guthrie came in and gave up Jones' second homer.

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Karros' two homers Saturday tied the Cub record for most homers in a postseason game. Gary Matthews also had two in 1984 against the San Diego Padres.

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