Diamondbacks Review:<br>D-backs Win Series In Dramatic Seventh Game After Horror In The Big Apple
Randy Johnson was the winner of both the sixth and seventh games of the 2001 World Series, giving the “Big Unit” a total of three wins against the Yankees in the Series and five in the post season. Arizona blasted the Yankees 15-2 in Saturday’s game with Johnson working seven innings. The Diamondbacks erased a 2-1 Yankee lead in the bottom of the ninth to give Johnson a 3-2 win in relief.
Curt Schilling worked seven strong innings, but left trailing 2-1. Arizona rallied to win against New York’s storied reliever Mariano Rivera, who had recorded 23 straight successful saves in post season play before the loss.
Mark Grace started the winning rally with a single. Damian Miller and pinch-runner David Dellucci were both safe when Rivera threw wide and failed to get Dellucci at second on a sacrifice bunt. Jay Bell’s attempted sacrifice failed when Dellucci was forced at third. Tony Womack than delivered the biggest hit of the game, a double into the right field corner that scored Midre Cummings, running for Miller, and sent Bell to third. Rivera hit Craig Counsell to load the bases. Luis Gonzalez, an Arizona hero all season, delivered a game-winning single and the celebration began.
The Arizona Diamondbacks got major dose of New York Yankee aura, mystic, talent and just plain luck in the three World Series games played in New York. The Yankees won all three by scores of 2-1, 4-3 and 3-2. The last two games went extra innings after Diamondbacks closer B. H. Kim gave up two-out, two-run, game-tying homers in the bottom of the ninth inning. Diamondbacks starters Brian Anderson, Curt Schilling and Miguel Batista all were brilliant and all deserved better fates.
The first game in New York, game three of the Series, saw Anderson take a tough 2-1 loss with the key hit being a broken bat single off reliever Mike Morgan that brought home a runner Anderson had put on base. Several spectacular defensive plays saved the Yankees.
Curt Schilling was dominant for seven innings in game four and left with a 3-1 lead in the eighth inning. He likely had flashbacks of the nightmare outings against Toronto in his other World Series appearance when Mitch Williams (AKA “the Wild Thing”) let wins turn into losses with ineffective relief work. Kim got five outs and had given up only a broken bat single before facing Tino Martinez who turned the Diamondback’s chariot into a pumpkin with a game-tying homer. Derrick Jeter’s game-winner an inning later should never have had the chance to happen.
Miguel Batista’s performance was even better than Schilling’s. He left after eight innings with a 2-0 lead. Kim got two outs before the nightmare in New York struck again. The scene was the same: two outs, one runner on base and the potential tying run at the plate. This time it was Scott Brosius who assured that Kim, fairly or unfairly, would be remembered as one the biggest goats in World Series history. He may even be the biggest of them all. For Kim, that does not mean that his career is over. He could still write some successes beside his colossal failures. It won’t be easy.
For the Diamondbacks, there was still a chance as this story was being written on Friday. All they had to do was beat the Yankees-aura, mystic, talent, luck, voodoo and any other type of magic in their arsenal - twice. Of course, they did have the two best pitchers in baseball going for them. Was it enough? Yes.