Major League Baseball resumed play on Monday, Sept. 17 following a week without games due to the terrorists’ attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington D.C. Major League teams began playing the games scheduled for Sept. 17. Games that were to have been played from Sept. 11 through Sept. 16 will be played after the regular season ends on Sept. 30.
The Arizona Diamondbacks resumed action by defeating the Colorado Rockies 7-3 in Denver on Sept. 17. Randy Johnson improved his record to 19-6 with the victory. The “Big Unit” should have escaped without a run scored against him. Matt Williams missed a nonchalant tag that led to two runs listed as “earned”. Tony Womack made a throwing error that let in an unearned run. Damian Miller’s two-run homer in the seventh erased a 3-2 Rockies lead and allowed Johnson to stay in the game and pick up the victory. Steve Finley had a pair of hits and four RBIs. Mark Grace also had a pair of hits. Womack was on base three times on a hit and a pair of walks.
The series with the Rockies produced some of the worst baseball the Diamondbacks have played all season. T nonchalant missed tag at third and an ill-advised throw produced all three Colorado runs in the Diamondbacks’ lone win of the series. Both games won by Colorado featured base-running blunders that were worse than most you will see at a Little League game. In each game the Diamondbacks took themselves out of golden scoring opportunities. One of those mental blunders probably cost them the second game of the series.
In that game, the Diamondbacks suffered one of their most improbable and potentially devastating losses of the season as the Rockies came from behind twice to take a 10-9 victory. Arizona scored six runs in the first inning. With 20-game winner Curt Schilling on the mound, the lead seemed invincible. When Schilling left after only five innings, the score was tied at 6-6. Reggie Sanders smacked a three-run homer that put the D-Backs back on top 9-6 in the seventh, but that lead didn’t last either. With Arizona leading 9-8 and closer B. K. Kim on the hill, Todd Helton tied the game with a blast over the center field fence. Jeff Cirillo followed with the game-winner on Kim’s next pitch.
The Rockies also took the final game of the series 8-2, pounding starter Albie Lopez. The Diamondbacks had plenty of scoring opportunities early, but a combination of the lack of clutch hitting and bone-headed base running kept them off the scoreboard. Luis Gonzalez homered, but it was too little, too late.
Arizona came to Los Angeles with a two game lead over the Giants and a four game margin over the Dodgers, who had lost five straight games. Bobby Witt pitched brilliantly, but the Diamondback bats were silent except for a game-tying homer by Gonzalez in the eighth. Los Angeles broke its losing streak and kept Arizona’s intact with a 3-2 win in 13 innings. Sean Green tripled home the first Dodger run in the first inning and homered for the last in the 13th.
Three more games remained in the Los Angeles series before the Diamondbacks returned to Phoenix to host the Milwaukee Brewers in a three game series beginning on Tuesday. The Dodgers will be in Phoenix on Friday to begin an important three game series that was originally scheduled to be the final series of the regular season. The Diamondbacks will begin making up the six postponed games when they host the Colorado Rockies beginning on Tuesday. Three games in Milwaukee over the weekend will complete the regular season. The Diamondbacks are hoping to begin play-off action on Tuesday, Oct. 9, with time, place and opponent to be determined.
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