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World Series 2001
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10/14/2001 12:07 AM ET
Smith, Cards even series with D-Backs
By Ken Gurnick
MLB.com
Bud Smith earned the win in his first career postseason start.
Game highlights: 56k | 300k
Vina's homer: 56k | 300k
Edmonds highlights: 56k | 300k
Smith highlights: 56k | 300k
Box score

ST. LOUIS -- With a chance to bring back Curt Schilling on three days rest, Arizona Diamondbacks Manager Bob Brenly instead started Albie Lopez, a 19-game loser who pitched like one in a 4-1 Game 4 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals Saturday.

Although that sent the National League Division Series to Phoenix for Sunday's decisive Game 5 finale, Brenly said he had no regrets about his decision.

The Cardinals were pretty happy about it, too.

"In our situation, you want to face someone like Albie Lopez before facing a Schilling," said Dustin Hermanson, who combined with rookie starter Bud Smith and closer Steve Kline to limit Arizona to one run for the third time in four playoff games.

"Now we go to their place, with a Schilling and [Matt] Morris rematch. But we needed this game to get to that matchup."


Diamondbacks 1 6 0
Cardinals 4 7 1
WP: Smith (1-0)
LP: Lopez (0-1)
SV: Kline (2)

HR: Vina (1), Edmonds (1)


The Cardinals needed to rebound from an emotionally draining 5-3 defeat Friday night. They got a highlight-film effort from Fernando Vina, another home run from Jim Edmonds, and some inadvertent incentive from the Diamondbacks when Kline was nearly steamrolled by a clubhouse attendant wheeling cases of champagne into the Diamondbacks' clubhouse before the game in anticipation of a clinching party.

"It ticked me off," said Kline, who sounded a clubhouse alarm about the premature celebration planned down the hall.

So rebound they did, as they have all season.

"Our hearts get broken, but we come back to be a tough ballclub. There's never any carryover, we don't get depressed or discouraged," said Manager Tony La Russa, on the hot seat when the Cards trailed Houston by nine games. "It has not been an easy year, but we keep bouncing back like champs. Hopefully Sunday night we will be champs."

They played like it Saturday, waiting patiently through a 3 1/2-hour rain delay at the start and needing to get the game in because facing Lopez in Game 4 was a lot more appealing than facing Schilling in Game 4, which would have happened Sunday if the game was rained out.

The Cardinals, who bungled the most fundamental plays in Friday's loss, came out sharp and aggressive. While Jim Edmonds homered for the second consecutive game, leadoff hitter Fernando Vina set the tone, beating the Diamondbacks every which way possible.

He homered, had two singles, scored two runs, stole a base, was hit by a pitch and combined with Smith to pick Tony Womack off second base after his leadoff double in the third inning. The Cardinals led 2-1 at the time and all parties agreed the play was a turning point in the game.

"A real big, heads-up play on their part," said Brenly.

"That was the biggest turnaround play for me and all the credit goes to Vina," said Smith.

La Russa said Vina's first-inning stolen base was a wake-up call to the Cards.

"He sent a message to our club that the guy at the top of the lineup is ready to play, come on," he said.

Smith, the rookie lefthander, shook off early wildness to limit Arizona to one run in five innings. Hermanson picked up Smith in the sixth and was even better, retiring all nine Diamondbacks he faced. Kline pitched the ninth for his second save of the series.

Arizona could not answer that with Lopez, who was gone after three ineffective innings, and along with him Arizona's opportunity to wrap up the series and save Schilling for the League Championship Series opener Tuesday.

Instead, with Randy Johnson available for bullpen duty, Schilling will be asked to duplicate his three-hit, 1-0 shutout at Bank One Ballpark against Morris, who allowed only one run in Game 1. That was a memorable pitching performance for any postseason.

Lopez's wasn't. He allowed the leadoff batter to reach base each inning and each scored. He walked three and allowed seven runners in three innings, and was charged with all four runs. He also aggravated a weak ankle when he was late covering first base on J.D Drew's infield RBI single.

"I feel like I let the team down," said Lopez. "I twisted it pretty good. I want to say no [it had no effect], but it was so weak I couldn't really push off with it."

Meanwhile, Arizona's offense continued its pattern of putting runners on base and leaving them there. Smith allowed eight to reach base but only one scored.

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Brenly was better served by the maligned Diamondback bullpen, as Brian Anderson, Greg Swindell and Mike Morgan shut out St. Louis over the final five innings. Meanwhile, valuable swingman Bobby Witt has been missing in action, unused in the series.

Hermanson relieved Smith after five, as La Russa was able to employ a tag team as he had hoped.

Smith had a wobbly start, walking consecutive batters with one out in the first inning. Steve Finley drove one of them in with a single to right for his third RBI of the series.

"I was a little bit nervous at the start and struggled with my control early but finally settled down," he said.

The 1-0 Diamondback lead held up barely long enough for Lopez to take the mound. Leadoff hitter Vina singled, stole second and was bunted to third by Placido Polanco. Lopez was so preoccupied with his bad start on the mound, he forgot to get off it when Drew bounced to first baseman Greg Colbrunn. By the time Lopez got headed toward the bag, Drew had already beaten him as the tying run scored.

Lopez jammed his ankle hitting the bag, but third baseman Matt Williams saved him from further damage by ranging to his left to start an inning-ending double play on Albert Pujols' bouncer.

Williams, though, couldn't help Lopez in the second when Edmonds, who homered Friday, did it again on the first pitch of the inning.

Arizona sabotaged a potential rally in the third inning when Womack was picked off.

Lopez was back at it in the bottom of the third, committing two unforgivable sins -- walking the opposing pitcher, then serving up a home run to the leadoff hitter, Vina.

Yet, Brenly left him in, and did not even get the bullpen stirring until Lopez issued a pair of two-out walks to bring up Mark McGwire. Both Brenly and Lopez barely got away with it, as McGwire just missed with a towering fly out to the warning track in right.

With one out in the fourth and runners on first and second, Brenly finally removed Lopez with pinch-hitter Jay Bell, who lined to center. Womack followed with a fly out, racking up two more stranded runners for the Diamondbacks.

"Smith showed us why he got the assignment," said La Russa. "Under difficult circumstances, he has the ability to concentrate. I really felt around the fourth inning he was starting to lose it, was a little vulnerable, but he found a little extra and got through it. That's classic, winning stuff."

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com

Box score

Cardinals 4, Diamondbacks 1

Busch Stadium

FINAL

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Diamondbacks 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 6 0
Cardinals 1 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 x 4 7 1
Diamondbacks AB R H RBI TB BB K AVG SLG
Tony Womack - SS 4 0 1 0 2 0 1 .167 .250
Reggie Sanders - RF 3 1 0 0 0 1 1 .333 .417
Luis Gonzalez - LF 2 0 1 0 1 2 0 .200 .400
Greg Colbrunn - 1B 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 .333 .333
Steve Finley - CF 4 0 2 1 2 0 0 .467 .533
Matt Williams - 3B 3 0 0 0 0 1 0 .000 .000
Craig Counsell - 2B 4 0 1 0 1 0 0 .231 .462
Damian Miller - C 4 0 1 0 1 0 0 .250 .250
Albie Lopez - P 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000
a-Jay Bell - PH 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .250 .250
Brian Anderson - P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 - -
Erubiel Durazo - PH 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000
Greg Swindell - P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 - -
Mike Morgan - P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 - -
Totals 31 1 6 1 7 4 2 - -
Batting:
a-lined to center for Lopez in the 4th; b-flied to center for Anderson in the 7th.

2B - Womack (1, Smith). RBI - Finley (2). 2-out RBI - Finley. Runners left in scoring position, 2 out - M Williams 1, Finley 1, Womack 1. GIDP - Colbrunn, M Williams. Team LOB - 7.

Baserunning:
SB - Sanders (1, 2nd base off Smith/Marrero). Picked off - Womack (2nd base, Smith).
Fielding:
DP: 1 (M.Williams to Counsell to Colbrunn)
Cardinals AB R H RBI TB BB K AVG SLG
Fernando Vina - 2B 3 2 3 2 6 0 0 .333 .533
Placido Polanco - 3B 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .273 .273
J.D. Drew - RF 4 0 1 1 1 0 0 .100 .100
Albert Pujols - LF-1B 3 0 0 0 0 1 1 .143 .357
Jim Edmonds - CF 3 1 1 1 4 1 1 .231 .769
Mark McGwire - 1B 4 0 1 0 1 0 1 .125 .125
Steve Kline - P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 - -
Edgar Renteria - SS 4 0 1 0 1 0 0 .308 .615
Eli Marrero - C 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000
Bud Smith - P 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 .000 .000
Dustin Hermanson - P 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000
Kerry Robinson - LF 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .500 .500
Totals 27 4 7 4 13 3 5 - -
Batting:
HR - Edmonds (2, 2nd inning off Lopez 0 on, 0 out); Vina (1, 3rd inning off Lopez 1 on, 0 out). S - Polanco 3. RBI - Drew (1), Edmonds (3), Vina 2 (2). Runners left in scoring position, 2 out - Mcgwire 1, Pujols 2, Hermanson 1. GIDP - Pujols. Team LOB - 6.
Baserunning:
SB - Vina (1, 2nd base off Lopez/Miller).
Fielding:
E - Polanco (1, throw). DP: 2 (Polanco-Vina-Mcgwire, Renteria-Vina-Pujols).
Diamondbacks IP H R ER BB K PIT B-S BF ERA
Albie Lopez (L, 0-1) 3 4 4 4 3 0 51 21-30 15 12.00
Brian Anderson 3 2 0 0 0 2 35 9-26 12 2.25
Greg Swindell 1.1 1 0 0 0 2 17 4-13 5 0.00
Mike Morgan 0.2 0 0 0 0 1 8 3-5 2 6.75
Pitching:
HBP - Vina (by Anderson).
Ground balls-fly balls: Lopez 5-4; Anderson 5-2; Swindell 2-0; Morgan 1-0.
Cardinals IP H R ER BB K PIT B-S BF ERA
Bud Smith (W, 1-0) 5 4 1 1 4 2 98 35-63 22 1.80
Dustin Hermanson (H, 1) 3 0 0 0 0 0 32 15-17 9 0.00
Steve Kline (S, 2) 1 2 0 0 0 0 10 2-8 4 0.00
Pitching:
Ground balls-fly balls: Smith 7-5; Hermanson 5-4; Kline 3-0.
Umpires:
HP--Brian Gorman. 1B--Jim Joyce. 2B--Mike Everitt. 3B--Bruce Froemming. LF--Chuck Meriwether. RF--Mike Winters.
Time of game: 2:47
Attendance: 52,194
Weather: 64 and Cloudy Wind: 11 MPH in from center
BOXSCORE COURTESY OF SPORTSTICKER ENTERPRISES, L.P. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED