Beckett Leads Marlins To Championship

At the ripe, young age of 23 Josh Beckett has solidified himself as one of the game's most dominant and exciting pitchers. The young hurler spun a five-hit shutout against the Yankees, clinching the World Championship for the Florida Marlins with a 2-0 win. Florida won their second ever World Series in just 11 years of existence as a baseball team.

Beckett bewildered Yankee batters throughout the game. He scattered five hits and a pair of walks over the entire game, and didn't allow a single hit with a runner on base. The right-handed flamethrower struck out nine batters, all while pitching on three days rest.

Andy Pettitte was almost as good for the Yankees as Beckett was for the Fish. The southpaw stifled the Marlins bats for most of the game, but Florida broke through for a run in each of the fifth and sixth innings.

With two outs in the fifth, Alex Gonzalez and Juan Pierre hit back-to-back singles up the middle to put two men on for Luis Castillo. Castillo dropped a soft liner into right field and Gonzalez slid around the tag at home plate to break the scoreless tie. The Marlins added a run in the sixth on a sacrifice fly from Juan Encarnacion.

Pettitte lasted seven strong innings and allowed just the two runs – only one of which was earned – on six hits and three walks. He struck out seven batters before giving way to Mariano Rivera. Rivera pitched two scoreless innings, but the Yankees couldn't score behind either pitcher.

For his efforts, Beckett was named the World Series MVP. He allowed just two runs over 16 1/3 innings in two starts. For the 2003 playoffs, he posted a sparkling 2.11 ERA.

The Marlins won their second-ever World Championship after entering the league in 1992 as an expansion team. They defeated the Cleveland Indians in 1997 to become the fastest team to ever win the World Series, breaking the record of the 1969 Mets.

For the Yankees, their 101 regular-season wins will seem like nothing more than a number in the record books. They have been denied a Championship now for three years running after winning for three consecutive years from 1998-2000.

But the Marlins simply outplayed the Yankees from start to finish, riding their very strong starting pitching and timely hitting. Congratulations to the Florida Marlins on their World Championship.

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