Saturday, November 03, 2001

World Series Notebook

Schilling better, set for Game 7

The Associated Press

        PHOENIX — When Diamondbacks manager Bob Brenly made his controversial decision to start Curt Schilling on three days' rest in Game 4 of the World Series, it was taken as a given Schilling would be back for Game 7.

        But Brenly, second-guessed first for using a pitcher on short rest and then for taking Schilling out after seven strong innings that helped Arizona to a 3-1 lead Wednesday night, teased reporters Friday by suggesting a third start might not be in the cards for his right-handed ace.

        “He expressed some concern yesterday that he was a little more taxed physically than he thought he would be after pitching in Game 4, so we're just going to have to play it by ear,” Brenly said.

        Brenly hedged on a contingency plan, saying he might use nine pitchers for an inning each or resort to sometime starters such as Brian Anderson or Albie Lopez.

        A few minutes later, Schilling made an unscheduled appearance at the news conference.

        “If he gives me the ball, I will (start),” said Schilling.

        He confirmed telling Brenly that he was sore after Game 4 but said he felt much better a day later.

        “It was 299 innings into the season, and the seven hardest ones I threw were the last seven, so I was sore,” Schilling said. “But it's amazing what 48 hours will do for you.”

        YANKEES AND ODDS: This is New York's 13th 3-2 lead in the World Series, and the Yankees have proven they know how to close one out.

        The Yankees have won 10 of the 12 previous series in which they led after five games, and they ended it in Game 6 seven times.

        BEST EVER? Yankees closer Mariano Rivera has been Mr. Automatic in the incredible run of the Yankees from 1996 through 2001.

        Here is Rivera's postseason performance line entering Game 6 of this year's World Series:

        Division series — 1-0, 0.32 ERA, 10 saves in 18 games, 28.1 innings, 13 hits, three walks, 21 strikeouts.

        ALCS — 3-0, 0.76 ERA, six saves in 14 games, 23.2 innings, 17 hits, three walks, 17 strikeouts.

        World Series — 2-0, 1.05 ERA, eight saves in 17 games, 25.2 innings, 18 hits, six walks, 22 strikeouts.

        Totals — 6-0 record; 0.70 ERA; 24 saves in 77.2 innings; 48 hits; 12 walks; 60 strikeouts.

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