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World Series 2001
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10/15/2001 03:09 AM ET
Schilling, Womack deliver D-Backs to NLCS
By Ken Gurnick
MLB.com
Curt Schilling won Games 1 and 5 for the Diamondbacks.
Game highlights: 56k | 300k
Womack wins it: 56k | 300k
Reggie Sanders' home run: 56k | 300k
J.D. Drew's home run: 56k | 300k
Box score

PHOENIX -- In a classic finale to a dream series of pitcher's duels, the National League Division Series came down to a blown squeeze bunt and a bloop single.

Tony Womack, who missed the squeeze earlier in his at-bat, earned immediate redemption and a place in Arizona Diamondbacks history Sunday night. His third hit of the game -- a two-out game-winning single off Steve Kline in the bottom of the ninth -- provided a dramatic 2-1 win over the St. Louis Cardinals in the decisive Game 5.

"Everybody that paid to watch, we gave them everything they could want in a post-season series," said Curt Schilling, who won the opener and Sunday's clincher. "It was fitting it went to the bottom of the ninth in the fifth game."

Womack capped a rally that started with a double from Matt Williams, previously hitless in the series and the target of boos from the hometown fans.

With Schilling turning in another complete-game victory, the Diamondbacks advance to the League Championship Series for the first time in their four-year existence, and will face the Atlanta Braves in Game 1 Tuesday at Bank One Ballpark.

"We had a tough draw with the Cardinals, but we like the matchups we have with Atlanta," said leftfielder Luis Gonzalez. "They've been in a lot of postseasons, but we've got a lot of heart. I like our chances."


Cardinals 1 6 1
Diamondbacks 2 9 1
WP: Schilling (1-0)
LP: Kline (0-1)
SV: None

HR: Drew (1), Sanders (1)


It was easy to be optimistic in the afterglow of this tense, do-or-die struggle.

Game 1 starters Schilling and Matt Morris hooked up in another remarkable battle, with Schilling again getting the complete-game win, as he did with a three-hit shutout in Game 1. He scattered six hits, striking out nine (including Mark McGwire three times) and walking one. Morris, pitching with a cut thumb, allowed one run in eight innings in another wasted effort.

There is no MVP award in the NLDS, but if they add one, they should name it after Schilling. He'll next appear in Game 3 in Atlanta Friday. Should that series go seven games, guess who would pitch the sudden-death finale?

"They've got seven or eight Cy Youngs over there and one of them (John Smoltz) coming out of the bullpen shortening games," said Schilling. "Whoever comes out of this series -- and I believe it'll be us -- will represent the National League well."

Reggie Sanders, who later would nearly mix it up with Morris, homered off Morris in the fourth for the Diamondbacks' first run. J.D. Drew pulled the Cardinals even with a two-out solo home run in the eighth, snapping Schilling's consecutive scoreless innings string at 25 and setting the stage for the winning rally.

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The top of the ninth was nearly as amazing as the bottom half, as Cards Manager Tony La Russa pinch-hit for McGwire to bunt the go-ahead run to second.

With Randy Johnson and Byung-Hyun Kim warming up in the bullpen, Schilling struck out Edgar Renteria and Mike Matheny with fastballs reaching 98 mph to end the inning. The Cardinals finished the series a devastating 2-for-33 with runners in scoring position.

"I learned how to have an extra gear when I needed it, and tonight I needed it," Schilling said.

The Arizona offense should be so resourceful.

Nonetheless, it did just enough in the ninth, starting with the 0-for-15 Williams, who doubled down the right-field line off Dave Veres, who relieved Morris.

"If he doesn't get a hit the rest of the post-season, he's going to be down there playing third base for his defense," said Brenly, who kept Williams in the lineup. "Leadership is what he brings to this team, but I know he's going to hit."

Pinch-runner Midre Cummings was bunted to third by Damian Miller. La Russa brought in nasty lefty Kline to face Dellucci, who was announced as the pinch-hitter for Schilling. Greg Colbrunn then batted for Dellucci and was walked intentionally.

Brenly called for the squeeze play, but Womack missed a slider away and in the dirt, and catcher Mike Matheny tagged Cummings racing down the line.

"What the hell was Brenly doing?" joked Mark Grace. "We all knew Tony was going to get a hit."

Womack battled to a 2-2 count, then lifted a soft liner to shallow left-center. Danny Bautista, running for Colbrunn, scored well ahead of Kerry Robinson's throw home.

"Both Matt and Tony have been on the edge, the media has vilified them all year long," said Schilling. "It's fitting for them to step up. One thing this club has is character. We've had our backs to the wall a lot of times, but we come through."

La Russa said he was torn between the disappointment of losing with the satisfaction of having witnessed great pitching.

"Believe me, it was a bitter defeat for our club, we really felt we were going to move forward," he said. "But to be sitting on the bench and watching Curt Schilling and Matt Morris, that isn't Major League, that's a league above this one. It's really a privilege. When a guy does that kind of job, the loss is easier to take. I was thrilled to watch those two guys."

    Curt Schilling   /   P
Height: 6'5"
Weight: 235
Bats/Throws: R/R

More info:
Player page
Stats
Splits
Red sox site
Said Schilling:

"It's a hair-pulling, nail-biting, teeth-grinding experience. And when you win, it's exuberance. When you lose, it's devastating."

Earlier in the game, Morris and Sanders nearly mixed it up after Morris buzzed a fastball around Sanders' belt, an apparent retaliation for game-long friction between the two.

The Sanders-Morris act started in the first, when Sanders tried to break Morris' quick pitching by stepping out of the box. Morris struck out Sanders and the two glared at each other as Sanders returned to the dugout.

In his next at-bat, Sanders caught a hanging breaking ball and sent it into the potato skins in the Friday's Front Row Sports Grill above the left-field bleachers, a 447-foot blast. Sanders left the batters box and veered toward the Cardinals dugout on his way to a grand tour of the bases, and Morris wasn't happy about it.

Sanders came up again in the sixth and Morris' first pitch was at his belly. Sanders took a step toward the mound as catcher Mike Matheny walked with him. Morris said something and just as Sanders appeared ready to charge the mound, Matheny cut him off. Morris came off the mound quickly and umpire Jim Joyce stepped in as third-base coach Chris Speier escorted Sanders away from further trouble.

No contact was made, nobody was ejected and Sanders eventually worked his way to a walk on a 3-2 pitch, but was erased on Mark Grace's double-play grounder.

Schilling got help from his defense in the early innings. With runners on first and second and one out in the first, second baseman Craig Counsell dove to his right behind the bag to glove Albert Pujols' bid for an RBI and, while on his stomach, flipped to Womack for a force at second.

In a protracted at-bat for Jim Edmonds, Schilling took a breather during a talk with catcher Damian Miller, squatting halfway between the mound and home plate. He returned to the mound to blow away Edmonds with a 95-mph fastball and end the inning.

In the second, Steve Finley ran down Matheny's line drive bid for extra bases into the right-center gap.

In the third, Womack booted Fernando Vina's two-hopper, but Schilling helped himself to end the inning by outrunning Drew to first base to take a throw from Grace, who ranged to his right to field Drew's bouncer.

In the fourth, Arizona's middle infielders took turns stealing hits with leaping catches of line drives, Womack on Pujols and Counsell on Edmonds.

Morris had to deal with base runners in the first too, but he sandwiched a hard-hit double-play grounder by Counsell.

His troubles mounted in the third when he appeared to be bothered by a cut on his thumb. With two outs, the Diamondbacks loaded the bases on singles by Womack and Gonzalez sandwiched around a walk to Counsell. But Finley, his hot bat inserted into the clean-up spot, fouled out to first baseman McGwire.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com

Box score

Diamondbacks 2, Cardinals 1

at Bank One Ballpark

FINAL

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Cardinals 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 6 1
Diamondbacks 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 2 9 1
Cardinals AB R H RBI TB BB K AVG SLG
Fernando Vina - 2B 4 0 1 0 1 0 0 .316 .474
Placido Polanco - 3B 4 0 1 0 1 0 0 .267 .267
J.D. Drew - RF 3 1 1 1 4 1 0 .154 .385
Albert Pujols - LF-1B 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 .111 .278
Jim Edmonds - CF 4 0 1 0 1 0 1 .235 .647
Mark McGwire - 1B 3 0 0 0 0 0 3 .091 .091
a-Kerry Robinson - PH-LF 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .500 .500
Edgar Renteria - SS 4 0 0 0 0 0 2 .235 .471
Mike Matheny - C 4 0 2 0 2 0 1 .200 .200
Matt Morris - P 3 0 0 0 0 0 2 .000 .000
Dave Veres - P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 - -
Steve Kline - P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 - -
Totals 33 1 6 1 9 1 9 - -
a-sacrificed for McGwire in the 9th.

Batting:
HR - Drew (1, 8th inning off Schilling 0 on, 2 out)
S - Robinson.
RBI - Drew (2).
2-out RBI - Drew.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out - Edmonds 1, Drew 1, Polanco 1, Matheny 1.
Team LOB - 7.

Fielding:
E - Renteria (1, ground ball).
DP
: 2 (Vina-Renteria-Mcgwire, Polanco-Renteria-Mcgwire).
Diamondbacks AB R H RBI TB BB K AVG SLG
Tony Womack - SS 5 0 3 1 3 0 0 .294 .353
Craig Counsell - 2B 3 0 0 0 0 1 0 .188 .375
Luis Gonzalez - LF 4 0 2 0 2 0 1 .263 .421
Steve Finley - CF 4 0 1 0 1 0 1 .421 .474
Reggie Sanders - RF 2 1 1 1 4 2 1 .357 .643
Mark Grace - 1B 4 0 0 0 0 0 2 .214 .286
Matt Williams - 3B 4 0 1 0 2 0 0 .062 .125
Midre Cummings - PR 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 - -
Damian Miller - C 3 0 1 0 1 0 1 .267 .267
Curt Schilling - P 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000
a-David Dellucci - PH 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 - -
b-Greg Colbrunn - PH 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 .333 .333
Danny Bautista - PR 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000
Totals 31 2 9 2 13 4 6 - -
a-pinch-hit for Schilling in the 9th; b-intentionally walked for Dellucci in the 9th.

Batting:
2B - M Williams (1, Veres).
HR - Sanders (1, 4th inning off Morris 0 on, 0 out).
S - Schilling, Miller.
RBI - Sanders (1), Womack (1).
2-out RBI - Womack.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out - Finley 2, Gonzalez 1, Womack 1, Grace 1.
GIDP - Counsell, Grace.
Team LOB - 9.

Baserunning:
CS - Cummings (1, home by Kline/Matheny).
Fielding:
E - Womack (2, ground ball).
Cardinals IP H R ER BB K PIT B-S BF ERA
Matt Morris 8 7 1 1 3 6 130 50-80 33 1.20
Dave Veres 0.1 1 0 0 0 0 6 3-3 2 0.00
Steve Kline (L, 0-1) 0.1 1 1 1 1 0 7 2-5 2 2.08
Pitching:
IBB - Colbrunn (by Kline).
Ground balls-fly balls: Morris 9-9; Veres 1-0; Kline 0-0.
Diamondbacks IP H R ER BB K PIT B-S BF ERA
Curt Schilling (W, 2-0) 9 6 1 1 1 9 121 35-86 35 0.50
Pitching:
Ground balls-fly balls: Schilling 8-10.
Umpires: Jim Joyce (HP) Mike Everitt (1B) Bruce Froemming (2B) Chuck Meriwether (3B) Mike Winters (LF) Brian Gorman (RF)
Time: 3:05
Attendance: 42,810
Weather: Indoors
BOXSCORE COURTESY OF SPORTSTICKER ENTERPRISES, L.P. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED