The best game pitched in the ’97 NLCS — without the benefit of Eric Gregg’s strike zone — was Denny Neagle’s Game 4 masterpiece. Neagle was the best fourth starter in the best rotation of the 90s, winning 20 with a 2.97 ERA, 1.084 WHIP and a team-high four shutouts.
He’d record his fifth in Game 4 at Pro Player Stadium, a must-win with the Marlins leading the series two games to one. Neagle responded with a Maddux-ian masterpiece, allowing just four hits, all singles. Only one Marlin reached scoring position. Second base was as far as he got.
Neagle’s only walk came with one out in the 9th. Prior to that, he allowed only two three-ball counts. He ended the game with strikeouts of Bobby Bonilla and Jeff Conine.
There was little drama, with the Braves taking a 4-0 lead in the 5th on a Blauser homer and a McGriff single.
Momentum appeared to have shifted, with the series knotted two games apiece and Mad Dog starting the following afternoon. Then this happened.