Diamondbacks Review<br>Johnson – Schilling Dominant Again
The Arizona Diamondbacks won four of their first six games, getting two victories each from aces Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling. The dynamic duo allowed only one run between them while recording two complete games. Unfortunately, the rest of the staff is 0-2 for the season and less than impressive.
The Diamondbacks got great pitching from their pair of aces to start the 2002 Major League season. Johnson went the distance for a 2-0 shutout victory over the San Diego Padres in the season opener on April 1. Tony Womack and Danny Bautista each had two hits and Mark Grace delivered the first homer of the season. Schilling got more run support and also did not allow a run in seven innings of work on his way to an 8-0 win. Steve Finley homered and Womack again stood out at the plate. Damien Miller clubbed a grand slam homer in the bottom of the second to break up a close game.
The first loss of the season came in the final game of the series with the Padres when a late rally fell short and San Diego escaped with an 8-7 win. Brian Anderson was roughed up for five runs in four innings and left trailing 5-1. The Diamondbacks rallied to tie the score and had a chance to win in the eighth when a runner was thrown out at the plate following another clutch hit by Bautista. Ironically, the Padres scored the go ahead run in the top of the ninth on another bang-bang play at the plate. Tony Womack was three for four to continue his torrid start.
The Diamondbacks may have been a bit disappointed to leave town two and one after playing some very good baseball against the Padres. The bases were loaded when the final out was recorded. On the bright side, Johnson and Schilling were their old dominant selves. B.K. Kim and Mike Myers (despite getting the loss on Wednesday) pitched extremely well, as did Eddie Oropesa and Mike Morgan. The defense was brilliant, especially Womack, Grace and third baseman Craig Counsell.
The first game of the road trip gave reason to worry as new-comer Rick Helling gave up home runs to his mound opponent Glendon Rusch and Alex Ochoa in Milwaukee’s 6-2 win over the Diamondbacks. Rusch allowed only three Arizona hits.
Johnson got the Diamondbacks back above .500 with a 6-2 win of his own over the Brewers on Saturday. Steve Finley and Tony Womack homered for Arizona.
Schilling was at his best in his 2-0 win over the Brewers on Sunday. Schilling fanned 17, a career high, and allowed only one hit. David Dellucci homered for his first hit of the season in the eighth to give Arizona an important insurance run.
The Diamondbacks began a three-game series at San Diego on Monday that ends tonight (April 10). After that, the D-Backs have four games at Denver with the Colorado Rockies.
The next homestand will begin on Monday, April 15 against the St. Louis Cardinals. The Redbirds will be in Phoenix through Wednesday. After an off day on Thursday, the Colorado Rockies will come calling for a three-game set that will complete the brief homestand.
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