Diamondbacks defeat Yankees
4 games to 3
|Game||Date||Winning Team||Losing Team|
|1||Oct. 27||ARI 9||NYY 1|
|2||Oct. 28||ARI 4||NYY 0|
|3||Oct. 30||NYY 2||ARI 1|
|4||Oct. 31||NYY 4||ARI 3|
|5||Nov. 1||NYY 3||ARI 2|
|6||Nov. 3||ARI 15||NYY 2|
|7||Nov. 4||ARI 3||NYY 2|
Managers: Bob Brenly, ARI; Joe Torre, NYY
MVP: Randy Johnson, Curt Schilling, ARI
Path to the World Series
ALCS: New York over Seattle (4 games to 1)NLCS: Arizona over Atlanta (4 games to 1)ALDS: Seattle over Cleveland (3 games to 2); New York over Oakland (3 games to 2)NLDS: Atlanta over Houston (3 games to 0); Arizona over St. Louis (3 games to 2)
The 2001 World Series stood out not only because of the thrills of the full seven-game series, but also because of its participants. The Yankees, playing with heavy hearts for the people of New York affected by the September 11 terrorist attacks earlier in the season, were perhaps for once not viewed as the sport's villain dynasty, but rather as sympathetic figures. The D-backs, meanwhile, were the new kids on the block with an expansion team of veteran players. It was all part of a storybook Series all the way up to the final at-bat of Game 7, when Arizona's Luis Gonzalez blooped a line drive into the outfield off iconic Yankees closer Mariano Rivera for the game -- and World Series -- winner.
Because of postponements after 9/11, the Series did not begin until Oct. 27 and lasted to Nov. 4. In just their fourth season (and first under manager Bob Brenly), the D-backs won the NL West with a 92-70 record and advanced to the Series by beating the Cardinals and Braves. There they met the mighty Yankees, who had won the last three World Series and four of the last five. New York, managed by Joe Torre, won the AL East with a 95-65 record and knocked off Oakland and Seattle en route to the Fall Classic. Each team boasted a 2001 Cy Young winner -- Arizona's Randy Johnson and New York's Roger Clemens -- though neither got the start in Game 1.
Instead, it was Curt Schilling and Mike Mussina in the series opener, and Schilling out-did his counterpart. The veteran D-backs bats knocked Mussina out of the game in three innings, and scored all nine of their runs in the first four. New York scored only in the first and mustered just three hits off Schilling and Co. in the 9-1 D-backs win. Game 2 the following night was a bit more of the same, with the D-backs controlling from the outset. This time it was Johnson who dominated the Bronx Bombers, holding them to three hits in a complete-game, 4-0 victory. Having maintained their home-field advantage, the D-backs were headed back to New York where an emotional Yankee Stadium crowd would be waiting.
In a Game 3 that featured a ceremonial first pitch from President George W. Bush, the Yankees were finally able to turn to Clemens in a must-win situation and he delivered. The righty threw seven innings of one-run ball before Rivera came in for the two-inning save. Jorge Posada homered and Scott Brosius drove in the game-winning run with an RBI single in the sixth.
In order to even the series at two games apiece, the Yankees then needed to solve Schilling, pitching on short rest in Game 4. He and Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez each allowed just one run -- Schilling on three hits in seven innings, and Hernandez on four hits in 6 1/3 -- before handing it over to the bullpens. Brenly went with closer Byung-Hyun Kim for an extended stint, while New York's Mike Stanton gave up two runs in one inning of work.
That gave Arizona a 3-1 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth, when Kim was tasked with facing the top of the New York order. Paul O'Neill singled with one out before Tino Martinez hit a two-out, two-run homer to tie the game and ignite the crowd. Rivera had no trouble in the top of the 10th before Kim again emerged from the visitor's dugout for the bottom of the inning. This time, it was Jeter with the late-innings heroics, as he homered for the walk-off victory, earning him the nickname of Mr. November.
With momentum back in their favor, the Yankees handed the ball back to Mussina for Game 5 in the Bronx, and he did well to keep the D-backs to just two runs in eight innings while Miguel Batista threw 7 2/3 shutout frames. But New York trailed 2-0 in the ninth, and once again relied on some late drama. Brenly went with Kim again in the save situation, and he gave up a leadoff double to Posada. After retiring the next two batters, Kim surrendered another game-tying home run, to Brosius, as the game went to extras once more. The teams maintained their stalemate until the 12th, when Alfonso Soriano drove in Chuck Knoblauch with an RBI single and gave New York a 3-2 win and 3-2 series lead.
That sent the series back to Phoenix, where the Yankees fell flat in Game 6. Starter Andy Pettitte and reliever Jay Witasick were rocked in the 15-2 blowout while Johnson went seven strong for the victory, and Danny Bautista led the way for the D-backs offense with five RBIs. Each of the D-backs starters, including Johnson, recorded a hit. It was the Yankees' most lopsided loss in their vaunted playoff history and set up Game 7 the following evening, with Schilling and Clemens set to square off. Both were 20-game winners on the year, and Schilling, again on short rest, had already started two games in the Series alone. Clemens lasted 6 1/3 innings, giving up one run, while Schilling went one inning longer and gave up two.
As the bullpens -- including Johnson for four batters a night after starting Game 6 -- kept it close, that left the D-backs down a run in the ninth against Rivera, who was in for a two-inning save. He struck out the side in the eighth but ran into trouble immediately in the ninth. Mark Grace singled to lead off the inning and pinch-runner David Dellucci advanced to second on a Rivera throwing error the next play. With men on first and second and one out two batters later, Tony Womack doubled to right field to score Midre Cummings. Jay Bell, who bunted into a fielder's choice putout two batters earlier, moved to third. After Rivera hit Craig Counsell to load the bases the following at-bat, Gonzalez blooped a single to center for the game-winning walk-off hit.
The D-backs became the fastest expansion team ever to win a World Series. Johnson (three appearances, 3-0 record, 1.04 ERA in 17 1/3 innings) and Schilling (three starts, 1-0 record, 1.69 ERA in 21 1/3 innings) shared the World Series MVP honors.