3 critical members of the 2003 Cubs you probably forgot about - #2: Matt Clement
Boy, talk about being overshadowed. Now, don't get me wrong. Matt Clement was a far cry from the likes of Mark Prior and Kerry Wood, the two arms everyone believed would help carry the Cubs back to the promised land. But to have a chance to play deep into October, teams need pitching depth and that's what Clement delivered for Baker and Chicago all season long.
The right-hander surpassed 200 innings, something that was fairly common 20 years ago but is a rarity in today's game (only 5 pitchers in MLB accomplished that feat in 2023), making 32 starts and winning 14 games with a 4.11 ERA. The 28-year-old was never anything flashy, but was a solid contributor not just in 2003, but for all of his three years with the Cubs.
From 2002-2004, Clement made 94 starts, racking up 587 2/3 innings of 3.80 ERA ball. After struggling in a lone NLDS start against Atlanta in 2003, he bounced back with a quality start in Game 4 opposite Dontrelle Willis, pulling the Cubs to within one win of the pennant.