Braves defeat Astros
3 games to 0
|Game||Date||Winning Team||Losing Team|
|1||Oct. 9||ATL 7||HOU 4|
|2||Oct. 10||ATL 1||HOU 0|
|3||Oct. 12||ATL 6||HOU 2|
Managers: Cox, Bobby, ATL; Dierker, Larry, HOU
Path to the NLDS: Atlanta (88-74) won the NL East by two games; Houston (93-69) tied with St. Louis in the NL Central and was declared division champion by virtue of head-to-head recordAlthough their 88-74 record was the worst among all postseason teams and their worst since 1990, the Braves captured their 10th consecutive division title, excluding the 1994 labor-shortened season. It was a familiar scene in the NLDS, as the Braves swept a Houston club that was unable for the fourth time in five years to reach the NLCS. The Astros had emerged as a postseason regular, but the first-round roadblock was becoming an albatross for manager Larry Dierker, usually due to the Braves.Chipper Jones continued to be a thorn in the Astros' side, delivering a key three-run homer in Game 1 that broke a 3-3 tie in the eighth, leading to a 7-4 victory. In Game 2, Braves left fielder B.J. Surhoff doubled and reached third on a Julio Lugo throwing error in the second and scored on a double play, the only run Tom Glavine and John Smoltz needed in a 1-0 win. Paul Bako's two-run homer off Shane Reynolds in the second inning of Game 3 led Atlanta to a 6-2 victory in the clincher at Turner Field.One of Braves manager Bobby Cox's longtime aces, Smoltz had bounced back from Tommy John surgery and was shoring up an Atlanta bullpen that was often a question mark. Setting the stage for what would be a 55-save season in 2002, Smoltz converted saves in each of the first two NLDS games; he then pitched the ninth inning of the clincher at home to send Atlanta into the NLCS against Arizona.After a decade of utter NL dominance by the Braves, no one could have imagined that the 2001 NLDS would be the last postseason series Atlanta would win through at least 2015.