2001 MLB Postseason - National League Championship Series
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NLCS notebook

Cox still won't say whether Maddux will start Game 4

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Posted: Thursday October 18, 2001 1:09 AM
Updated: Thursday October 18, 2001 6:53 PM
 

PHOENIX (AP) -- Atlanta manager Bobby Cox wouldn't say Wednesday whether he will bring Greg Maddux back on three days' rest to pitch Game 4 of the National League Championship Series.

The Braves added right-hander Kevin Millwood to the roster for the series against Arizona, but Cox is considering sticking with the three-man rotation of Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Burkett.

Maddux allowed two runs and six hits in seven innings in Arizona's 2-0 victory in Game 1 Tuesday night.

"We're going to play it game to game, and I can't even tell you what would sway me." Cox said before the Braves won Game 2 to even the series at 1.

"He's ready to go," Cox said. "We don't count intentional walks and pitchouts on those pitch counts, so he was under 90 really. In his last start, I think he was under 90, too. He had six days' rest going in, so he'll be ready, you bet."

Miller booster

Diamondbacks catcher Damian Miller should not be overlooked for his contributions to the accomplishments of Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson this season. So says Schilling, who will try to improve to 3-0 this postseason when he goes against Atlanta on Friday in Game 3 of the NLCS.

"If there's any justice in the world, Damian Miller should win the Gold Glove this year," Schilling said. "No disrespect to anyone else -- I don't think there's a catcher in this league who has played as much and as consistently behind the plate as he has. He's been a huge factor in my mind in the consistency that I've had this year."

Catching Schilling's vast repertoire of pitches and Johnson's 99 mph fastball and nasty slider isn't easy, Schilling said.

"We're not easy guys to catch and still be good, still throw runners out," Schilling said. "He's been really good, and done a masterful job all year long."

Big crowd

Arizona finally got a sellout crowd, and turned in its worst performance of the playoffs in Wednesday's 8-1 loss.

The gathering of 49,334 was the second-largest ever at Bank One Ballpark and the first sellout in six home games in the 2001 playoffs. The only larger crowd was 49,874 in Game 1 of the division series against the New York Mets two years ago.

Trumpeter Jesse McGuire had been invited back to play the national anthem because Arizona was 2-0 in the playoff games when he performed the song in the division series against St. Louis.

Expect someone else to get the call if there's another home playoff game.

Brenly blues

Arizona manager Bob Brenly was a no-show at the pregame news conference Wednesday because he was ill with cold and flu symptoms.

The manager was in the dugout for the game, but obviously wasn't feeling well. He also called off his usual meeting with local beat writers.

Pitching coach Bob Welch took Brenly's place at the news conference.

After the game, Brenly was asked how he felt, and managed a bit of humor.

"I started feeling better there for awhile," he said, "but the last few innings of the ballgame I think I had a relapse."

That's when Atlanta turned a 1-1 tie into an 8-1 blowout.

Williams life

Michelle Johnson, the actress wife of Arizona third baseman Matt Williams, appears as a school principal in an upcoming Disney movie entitled "Mickey."

"It's about a 13-year-old boy who plays in the Little League World Series even though he's too old," Williams said. "It's the same exact story of what happened this year."

The movie was wrapped up before the saga of Danny Almonte of the Bronx, N.Y., unfolded in real life.

Williams' three children from his first marriage appear in the movie. So does Williams, but only on a television set in a scene.

"I think it was with the Giants," he said. "They dug it out of the archives."

Johnson also is working on an HBO project entitled "Baseball Wives."

"It's like 'The Sopranos,'" he said.

Are baseball players' lives really that interesting?

"Heck no," Williams said.


 
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