World Series 2001 | MLB.com: news
To learn about our efforts to improve the accessibility and usability of our website, please visit our Accessibility Information page. Skip to section navigation or Skip to main content
Below is an advertisement.

news

Skip to main content
World Series 2001
Below is an advertisement.
10/20/2001 11:05 AM ET
D-Backs top Braves, take series lead
By Ken Gurnick
MLB.com
Schilling was dominant in leading the D-Backs past the Braves.
Game highlights: 56k | 300k
Schilling's strikeouts: 56k | 300k
Finley drives in two: 56k | 300k
Lopez's error in the fifth: 56k | 300k
NLCS Audio Report
Postgame press conferences: Video|Audio
Box score

ATLANTA -- Looking for new worlds to conquer and apparently not content to overwhelm the opposition with just his pitching, Curt Schilling also hit and ran the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 2-1 advantage in the National League Championship Series Friday night.

Schilling pitched his third straight complete game victory of the postseason, a 5-1 win at Turner Field that was blown open in a rally started by his single, extended by sloppy Braves' defense and highlighted by Schilling slamming into Atlanta catcher Javy Lopez at the plate while scoring.

"It's tough to throttle him down," Manager Bob Brenly said after watching his meal ticket play smash-mouth baserunner.

It's even tougher to get him out of the game and for proof, to the record books we go. The last pitcher to string three complete-game postseason wins was Orel Hershiser, who carried the Los Angeles Dodgers to a World Series title in 1988.


Diamondbacks 5 9 1
Braves 1 4 1
WP: Curt Schilling (3-0)
LP: John Burkett (1-1)
SV: None

HR: None



"To get mentioned in the same breath as Orel Hershiser, who was as good a big-game, clutch pitcher as I ever saw, is an honor," said Schilling.

Schilling's turn would come up again in Game 7, if necessary. Brenly, despite issuing a spirited defense of his bullpen on the day off, said there was never a serious thought about pulling Schilling late in the game and saving him for future complete games. Schilling finished with 127 pitches.

Schilling won Games 1 and 5 of the Division Series against the St. Louis Cardinals pitching similar to this. He allowed four hits, had a career postseason high 12 strikeouts and walked two. In three postseason games, Schilling has a three-hitter, six-hitter, four-hitter, three wins, a 0.67 earned run average, 30 strikeouts and only four walks. For the 16th time this year, Schilling won after a Diamondbacks loss.

"He keeps amazing all of us," said teammate Luis Gonzalez. "He's been money for us all year, he has been nails for us. He never lets up, he's up 5-1 in the eighth and he's still going after them with everything he's got, throwing 97-98 miles per hour."

ADVERTISEMENT
"On the awesome side," Atlanta Manager Bobby Cox said of Schilling. "He doesn't do anything accidentally."

Game 3 qualified as an offensive explosion for the D-Backs, who had failed to score more than two runs in six of seven playoff games. Steve Finley drove in three runs, Craig Counsell had three hits. But in truth, they did it with little ball and a lot of help from the Braves.

Game 4 Saturday night will be a test of differing managerial strategies. Cox will pitch Greg Maddux, the Game 1 loser, on three days rest. Arizona's Bob Brenly won't rush back hard-throwing Game 1 winner Randy Johnson, instead going with Albie Lopez, the 19-game loser who was whacked by St. Louis in Game 4 of the Division Series. Lopez, however, has beaten the Braves twice this season.

Sizing up those matchups, Schilling recognized the obvious and did what big-game pitchers do.


"He keeps amazing all of us. He's been money for us all year, he has been nails for us. He never lets up, he's up 5-1 in the eighth and he's still going after them with everything he's got, throwing 97-98 miles per hour."

--D-Backs left fielder Luis Gonzalez on Curt Schilling


"After the split at home, I saw this as a five-game series and I was in Game 1 again," Schilling said. "The way I looked at it, no disrespect to Albie obviously because we're counting on him to win tomorrow, but I knew Maddux was going tomorrow. We'll have our work cut out for us. If we go down 2-1, the ball's in their court."

Fundamentals were the key to Arizona's decisive fifth inning. John Burkett, the first of seven Braves pitchers, gave up a liner to Schilling that went for a single because Julio Franco, the new 40-something first baseman, wasn't ready to take a throw from right fielder Brian Jordan.

With his team struggling to score, Brenly had leadoff hitter Tony Womack bunt, but it caught the Braves by surprise. Burkett fielded it and said later he should've thrown to second for a force on Schilling.

Instead he turned to first, but second baseman Marcus Giles was shaded so far toward second defensing Womack, he couldn't outrun the batter to cover first. Cox took the blame for the defensive positioning, though the play would've been closer had Giles sprinted all the way to first.

Looking for a double play, Cox had Burkett walk Gonzalez intentionally to load the bases and brought in Steve Reed to face Matt Williams.

Williams hit the ball on the ground, but it didn't turn out anything like what Cox envisioned. A high-hopper went to Chipper Jones, who threw home with Schilling charging Javy Lopez, head down like a bull.

    Curt Schilling   /   P
Height: 6'5"
Weight: 235
Bats/Throws: R/R

More info:
Player page
Stats
Splits
Red sox site

Three weeks ago Lopez suffered a badly injured ankle on a play very similar with Robin Ventura scoring, and this time he admitted he wanted no part of the 6-foot-5, 235-pound Schilling. He awaited the throw on the infield side of the plate and reached tentatively toward the runner for the ball when it came. Schilling said he was hoping he screened Lopez from seeing the throw, which sailed right by, and Lopez got creamed by Schilling anyway.

"I tried to catch the ball and get out of the way as fast as I can so I can throw to first base and don't have to have a collision with the runner," said Lopez. "Unfortunately, I was more concerned with the runner than the ball, otherwise I catch the ball and the runner kills me if I have to.

"I screwed up the game. I was watching the runner and the ball. That was the whole confusion, the whole mistake. The way I have to think is catch the ball first and take whatever after I catch the ball."

Finley, who doubled in a pair of runs in the third, singled in the third run in the fifth. The two runners he drove home in the third reached base without a ball leaving the infield. With one out, Counsell hustled an infield single, tapping the ball down the first-base line. As Franco fielded the ball, Burkett passed in front of him as Counsell slid head-first, slapping the corner of the bag as Franco momentarily hesitated.

"We call it the 'bitch' play," said Cox. "We work on it in the spring, but it's hard. The pitcher is supposed to keep going and cover first, but Berky isn't the swiftest of foot."

Gonzalez's grounder moved Counsell to second, Williams walked, and Finley followed by stroking a 1-1 pitch down the left-field line. Counsell scored easily, but the aging Williams needed a little help. Finley provided it by not stopping at second base, and the relay throw was cut off to tag out Finley as he neared third base, allowing Williams to score.

"I felt, once we got two runs, I was in control of our destiny," said Schilling.

Atlanta scored its only run in the fourth on a double by Giles and a single by Chipper Jones that just tipped the glove of diving shortstop Womack and continued into center field to cut the lead in half.

Schilling stopped it right there, getting Jordan to bounce into a double-play that not only ended the inning but probably left Jones with a headache when he tried to take Counsell out with the slide and instead got kneed in the head.

It was that kind of night for the Braves.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com.

Box score National League Championship Series

DIAMONDBACKS 5, BRAVES 1

at Turner Field

FINAL

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
DIAMONDBACKS 0 0 2 0 3 0 0 0 0 5 9 1
BRAVES 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 4 1
DIAMONDBACKS POS AB R H RBI BB K LOB AVG.
Tony Womack SS 5 1 1 0 0 1 0 .231
Craig Counsell 2B 4 1 3 0 0 1 0 .286
Luis Gonzalez LF 4 1 0 0 1 0 2 .194
Matt D. Williams 3B 3 1 1 0 1 1 4 .192
Steve Finley CF 3 0 2 3 1 0 2 .393
Reggie Sanders RF 3 0 0 0 1 1 2 .304
Mark Grace 1B 4 0 1 0 0 0 3 .280
Damian Miller C 4 0 0 0 0 1 1 .208
Curt Schilling P 4 1 1 0 0 2 1 .111
Totals 34 5 9 3 4 7 15
Batting:
2B
- Williams (2, Burkett); Finley (2, Burkett).
S
- Counsell.
RBI
- Finley 3 (5).
2-out RBI
- Finley 2.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out
- Finley 2, Sanders 1.
GIDP
- Grace.
Team LOB
- 7.
Baserunning:
SB
- Counsell (1, 2nd base off Seanez/J Lopez).
Fielding:
E
- Williams (3, ground ball).
DP:
1 (Williams-Counsell-Grace).
BRAVES POS AB R H RBI BB K LOB AVG.
Marcus Giles 2B 3 1 1 0 1 2 0 .208
Julio Franco 1B 4 0 1 0 0 1 0 .269
Chipper Jones 3B 4 0 1 1 0 2 2 .350
Brian Jordan RF 4 0 1 0 0 1 1 .174
B.J. Surhoff LF 4 0 0 0 0 1 1 .211
Andruw Jones CF 3 0 0 0 0 0 2 .333
Javy Lopez C 2 0 0 0 1 2 0 .286
Rey Sanchez SS 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 .167
b-Dave Martinez PH 1 0 0 0 0 1 2 .000
Kevin Millwood P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Jason Marquis P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
John Burkett P 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 .000
Steve Reed P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Mike Remlinger P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Kerry Ligtenberg P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
a-Keith Lockhart PH 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .333
Rudy Seanez P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Mark DeRosa SS 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .333
Totals 30 1 4 1 2 12 8
a-grounded to first for Ligtenberg in the 6th; b-struck out for Sanchez in the 7th.
Batting:
2B
- Giles (2, Schilling); Jordan (2, Schilling).
RBI
- C Jones (6).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out
- C Jones 1, Martinez 1.
GIDP
- Jordan.
Team LOB
- 4.
Baserunning:
CS
- Surhoff (1, 2nd base by Schilling).
Fielding:
E
- J Lopez (1, catch).
Outfield assists - Surhoff (Finley at 3rd base).
DP: 1 (Sanchez-Giles-Franco).
DIAMONDBACKS IP H R ER BB K PIT B-S BF HR ERA
Curt Schilling (W, 3-0) 9 4 1 1 2 12 128 44-84 32 0 0.67
Pitching:
Ground balls-fly balls: Schilling 8-6.
Braves IP H R ER BB K PIT B-S BF HR ERA
John Burkett (L, 1-1) 4.1 7 5 4 2 2 76 26-50 21

0

5.06
Steve Reed 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0-1 1 0 0.00
Mike Remlinger 0.2 1 0 0 1 0 12 6-6 3 0 0.00
Kerry Ligtenberg 1 0 0 0 0 1 9 2-7 3 0 0.00
Rudy Seanez 1 1 0 0 1 2 24 11-13 5 0 0.00
Kevin Millwood 1 0 0 0 0 1 13 3-10 3 0 0.00
Jason Marquis 1 0 0 0 0 1 13 5-8 3 0 0.00
Pitching:
Reed pitched to 1 batter in the 5th.

IBB - Gonzalez (by Burkett); Finley (by Seanez).
Ground balls-fly balls: Burkett 3-7; Reed 0-0; Remlinger 2-0; Ligtenberg 0-2; Seanez 0-1; Millwood 0-2; Marquis 2-0.

Umpires: Angel Hernandez (HP) Mike Reilly (1B) Gerry Davis (2B) Tim McClelland (3B) Jerry Crawford (LF) Jeff Kellogg (RF)
Time: 2:59
Attendance: 41,624
Weather:61 degrees, partly cloudy. Wind:3 mph, right to left.
BOX SCORE COURTESY OF SPORTSTICKER ENTERPRISES, L.P. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED