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Notes: Sandberg knows the feeling
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10/15/2003  7:35 PM ET 
Notes: Sandberg knows the feeling
Rothschild recalls other series enders
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Cubs pitching coach Larry Rothschild was the pitching coach for the 1997 world champion Marlins. (Morry Gash/AP)
CHICAGO -- Ryne Sandberg was on the 1984 Chicago Cubs team that had a 2-0 lead in the National League Championship Series against San Diego only to lose in five games. He knows the importance of forgetting yesterday and focusing on today.

"They play so many games that you come out the next day and as soon as you put the uniform on and you're on the field, you're kind of trained to forget about what happened," Sandberg said Wednesday before Game 7 of the NLCS between the Cubs and Florida Marlins. "That's the mentality of baseball players. That's what you have to do. Once the game starts and you're into the game and that first inning is underway, you're right there and you forget about what happened yesterday."

You never get over the hurt, though.

"I still haven't forgotten," he said of the '84 playoffs. "After the series is over, it's a whole different thing. That's different. We've got one game left [this year in the NLCS]. As far as forgetting the series and not making it and being so close, you never forget that. We've got another chance to win tonight."

As he talked, the Cubs were taking the field for batting practice.

"They've probably forgotten already," Sandberg said.

Countdown: Cubs pitching coach Larry Rothschild knows all about Game 7 nerves. He was the pitching coach for the Marlins in 1997 when they played a seven-game World Series against the Cleveland Indians. Florida won, 3-2, in 11 innings in Game 7.

"One, you're glad to be there," Rothschild said, "but that ends as soon as the first pitch."

Late in that Game 7, the Marlins were close to running out of pitchers, Rothschild said. On Wednesday, he said all arms were available, with the exception of Game 6 starter Mark Prior.

"To be in extra innings in the World Series is a unique experience," Rothschild said. "At home, it's to your advantage."

He'd prefer to have a series like 1990 when he was on the Cincinnati Reds staff and they swept in four games.

    Kerry Wood   /   P
Height: 6'5"
Weight: 220
Bats/Throws: R/R

More info:
Player page
Cubs site

Rothschild talked to Game 7 starter Kerry Wood in the clubhouse Wednesday.

"He has to concentrate on what Kerry Wood does well," Rothschild said. "I don't know if there are too many guys I could put in that bracket that I'd want to start tonight.

"Everybody knows what's at stake here," he said. "You play one game and you get to the World Series. There's no looking back. The big thing is no regrets when you wake up in the morning."

Speaking of pitching, if the Cubs do advance to the World Series, the Cubs' projected rotation would be Matt Clement in Game 1 followed by Prior and Wood.

Good news: WGN Radio color commentator Ron Santo got good medical news Wednesday. He passed a test and doctors have scheduled bladder surgery for Oct. 28. Santo has bladder cancer and has missed broadcasting the Cubs games.

Quotable: "All my thoughts and energies are into Game 7. We've played 173 games. It's down now to one game. Game No. 174. Pretty awesome." -- Cubs manager Dusty Baker

Workout day: If the Cubs win, they would not work out Thursday.

"I'm hoping everybody's too hung over to work out," Baker said.

Facts and figures: Since the best-of-seven format was introduced in 1985, this is now the sixth series to go all seven games. The Cubs have played just one Game 7 and that was the 1945 World Series. Detroit's Hal Newhouser threw a complete game to capture the Fall Classic for Detroit and Hank Borowy took the loss for the Cubs. ... Chicago is 3-7 in club history in games in which it can clinch a series. Florida is 3-0 in postseason history in games when facing elimination heading into Wednesday's game.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for This story was not subject to approval by Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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