Cardinals defeat Diamondbacks
3 games to 0
|Game||Date||Winning Team||Losing Team|
|1||Oct. 1||STL 12||ARI 2|
|2||Oct. 3||STL 2||ARI 1|
|3||Oct. 5||STL 6||ARI 3|
Managers: La Russa, Tony, STL; Brenly, Bob, ARI
Path to the NLDS: St. Louis (97-65) won the NL Central by 13 games; Arizona (98-64) won the NL West by 2.5 games
The 2002 D-backs were even better than the 2001 World Series champions, according to people with the organization at the time. But World Series hero Luis Gonzalez was lost to a shoulder injury in late September after colliding with shortstop Tony Womack, and they already were without infielder Craig Counsell, left-hander Brian Anderson and outfielder Danny Bautista.
Most notably, though, they ran into a Cardinals club that was better than 2001 (this time winning the NL Central) and was intent on some revenge from the previous year's NLDS.
Matt Morris, who had come out on the wrong end of two pitchers' duels with Curt Schilling in the 2001 series, started Game 1 at Arizona and dominated in his outing opposite 2002 NL Cy Young Award winner Randy Johnson. Behind Morris, the Cardinals had a 12-2 win and 1-0 series lead.
In Game 2, Arizona wasted a strong outing by Curt Schilling, who had dominated St. Louis a year earlier. With the score tied at 1 in the top of the ninth, D-backs reliever Mike Koplove allowed a single to Edgar Renteria, who was sacrificed to second by Mike Matheny. Miguel Cairo then singled on the first pitch to drive in Renteria with what would be the winning run. Jason Isringhausen closed it, and the Cardinals had a 2-0 series advantage heading back to Busch Stadium.
Arizona took a quick 2-0 lead against Cardinals starter Andy Benes, but St. Louis rallied and Isringhausen got the save in a 6-3 victory that ended the D-backs' repeat hopes. The Cardinals were headed back to the NLCS for the second time in the past three years, hoping for their first title in 20 years.