2001 MLB Postseason

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Arizona Diamondbacks 9
New York Yankees 1
Posted: Sunday October 28, 2001 01:43 AM
New York Yankees
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PHOENIX (Ticker) -- Midway through Game One of the 2001 World Series, it was difficult to tell who were the three-time defending champions and which was the franchise in its fourth year of existence.

Curt Schilling continued his remarkable postseason with seven superb innings and Luis Gonzalez homered, drove in two runs and scored twice as the Arizona Diamondbacks stunned the New York Yankees, 9-1, in Game One of the World Series.

Taking advantage of a rough start by New York's Mike Mussina and some sloppy defense, the Diamondbacks rolled to victory in their first World Series game. Teams that win Game One of the World Series go on to capture the title nearly 60 percent of the time.

"A win is a win, whether it's 2-1 or 9-1, it doesn't carry over to tomorrow," Arizona manager Bob Brenly said. "We went out tonight and had a good attack plan on Mike Mussina and jumped him early. ... Just getting a win in Game One was huge. The score, really, doesn't have any carryover value."

The loss was just the second in the last 18 World Series games for the Yankees, who are trying to become just the third team to win four straight Fall Classics.

"A lot of my moves worked, but for the other team," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "There are no guarantees. I've been very fortunate that a lot of the stuff I've done has worked but I understand there is the other side of this thing."

Schilling (1-0) moved to 4-0 with a 0.79 ERA in four postseason starts this season. On Saturday, he allowed a first-inning run but almost nothing else, holding New York to three hits and a walk.

The veteran righthander, who is 2-1 in three World Series starts, walked just one and struck out eight, including David Justice three times.

"We have as much respect for them as any franchise you could have respect for based on what they have done, based on the players on that team," Schilling said. "The Yankees are who they are but that does not mean they are going beat us. We have a job to do and we deserve to be here just like they do."

In his four 2001 postseason starts, Schilling has allowed three runs and 19 hits in 34 innings, striking out 38.

"It's just one inning, one out, one pitch at a time," Schilling added. "You're playing for all the marbles. ... You just go hitter to hitter, pitch to pitch and just focus on what you're doing and your pitches."

Schilling's pitch count of 102 could allow him to come back on three days rest for Game Four.

"He could," Brenly said. "I've said all along we are willing to make adjustments and the fact that we were able to keep down his pitch count will certainly make it easier to bring him back on short rest."

"I'm not possibly unavailable," Schilling said. "This is the World Series. If I have three days' rest or four days' rest, I'm not sure it is going to make a whole lot of difference."

With the game tied 1-1, momentum swung in the third inning as Mussina's inability to finish a batter and an outfield error gave Arizona the lead.

Tony Womack was hit in the stomach by an 0-2 pitch and Craig Counsell -- who homered earlier -- sacrificed. Mussina got ahead of Gonzalez before grooving a 1-2 pitch that the star left fielder golfed inside the right-field foul pole for a 3-1 lead.

Sanders followed with a base hit and Steve Finley launched a long fly ball into the right-center field gap. Justice, who expressed concern about his defense in right field in the Division Series, got to the ball but it hit off the heel of his glove and rolled away for a two-base error.

"It was a long run and I knew I was getting close to the wall," Justice said. "I took my eye off the ball. I made so many tougher catches than that. I just missed it. I wish I could tell you that something got in my eye or a fan touched me but I can't. I just have to sit here and face the music."

"Sometimes when you are in a new ballpark you have never been in and you are running along the wall, you are not as sure as you would be in more familiar ground," Torre offered.

Matt Williams' sacrifice fly made it 4-1 and, after Mark Grace was intentionally walked, Damian Miller capped the four-run frame with an RBI double into the left-field corner.

Mussina, who had been 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA in two postseason starts, did not come out for the fourth. The righthander allowed five runs -- three earned -- and six hits in the shortest World Series outing by a Yankees starter since Kenny Rogers lasted just two innings against Atlanta in Game Four in 1996.

"I won't remember it fondly," Mussina said. "Not just because of what happened but because of the stuff I was trying to get people out with. ... It's a letdown that I didn't pitch well but it is only the first game of the World Series, we have a ways to go."

"He just wasn't very good tonight," Torre added.

Torre turned to rookie Randy Choate in the fourth and Arizona tacked on four runs. Finley had a two-out RBI single and an error by third baseman Scott Brosius allowed another run to score before Grace -- making his first World Series appearance in his 14th season -- lined a two-run double into the gap in right-center for a 9-1 advantage.

"That's what we have done all year long," Grace said. "This is a club that if you give us an opportunity, we usually take advantage of it. ... If you give good baseball teams four outs in an inning, you are asking for it."

Staked to a huge lead, Schilling got stingy. He allowed just two runners after the third -- a two-out single by Jorge Posada in the fourth and a one-out walk to Posada in the seventh.

Mike Morgan, 42, also making his first World Series appearance, followed Schilling and tossed a perfect eighth. Greg Swindell pitched a hitless ninth.

Game Two is Sunday, with the second half of Arizona's vaunted 1-2 punch, veteran lefthander and 21-game winner Randy Johnson, scheduled to take the mound. He will be opposed by lefthander Andy Pettitte, who is 10-5 all time in the postseason.

"We made a mistakes today and they really made us pay," Posada said. "We have a good pitcher going tomorrow. Pettitte is a horse, he'll give us a chance to win. We had a pretty good chance to win today but we have to bounce back."

The teams traded runs in the opening inning. Derek Jeter was hit by a pitch near his left wrist and scored on Bernie Williams' two-out double into the left-field corner that was bobbled by Gonzalez.

The Diamondbacks got even in the bottom of the inning when Counsell lined a 2-1 pitch over the right-field wall for his second homer of the postseason. He had just four in the regular season.

Jeter went 0-for-3 and had his World Series hitting streak snapped at 14 games.


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