Ace vs. ace
Game 5 of NLDS to feature rematch of Game 1 duel
Updated: Sunday October 14, 2001 5:21 PM
After losing to Schilling and Arizona 1-0 in the playoff opener, Morris gets another opportunity Sunday.
St. Louis forced a deciding Game 5 with a 4-1 victory Saturday night. The Cardinals' victory sent the first-round series back to Phoenix.
While Morris pitched seven strong innings in Game 1, Schilling threw a three-hitter. They tied for the major league lead this year with 22 victories.
"I'm wondering if he could pitch any better," Morris said before Saturday's game. "And, you know, if we match up tomorrow in the deciding game, it's tough for him. He's got to go out there and throw a complete-game shutout again to match his performance.
"If he matches his performance, you can only tip your hat to him and head on home," Morris said. "But I think we've got a good chance."
Schilling wasn't concerned with bettering his showing Tuesday -- he just wants to win.
"I need to, at the end of the day, give up one less than Matt does. Whether it's a better game than the other day or not, the game will dictate. But right now -- if your team goes out and scores one, you have to give up none or one."
The Game 1 showing from both pitchers was no surprise -- both are Cy Young Award contenders.
Schilling was 22-6 with a 2.98 ERA. Morris, just two years removed from "Tommy John" surgery and in his first season as a starter since 1998, was 22-8 with a 3.16 ERA.
Morris was 15-2 at Busch Stadium, just 7-6 with a 5.50 ERA on the road, though his season-long claim that the statistic was a fluke was backed up by his strong performance in the opener.
Diamondbacks manager Bob Brenly expects another well-pitched game from both pitchers.
"The interesting thing to see is what adjustments, if any adjustment, the hitters will make against those two pitchers," Brenly said. "They both have such great stuff."
Morris, though said he made his share of mistakes.
"I made a couple of selection mistakes, a changeup to (Tony) Womack, and then I had Schilling 0-2 in a bunting situation." Schilling was able to get the bunt down, setting up Steve Finley's two-out, RBI single.
Schilling has earned a reputation as a big-game pitcher, though this series is his first in the postseason since the 1993 Philadelphia Phillies went to the World Series. That year, Schilling gave up just three earned runs in 16 NLCS innings against Atlanta, getting no decision in either game.
In the World Series against Toronto, he was 1-1 with a 3.52 ERA.
Still, he admitted, October can be a nerve-racking, though more so on days when he's not pitching.
"You have no control, no input," he said.