2001 National League Division Series

2001 National League Division Series

Infobox LDS

year = 2001
champion1 = Atlanta Braves (3)
champion1_manager = Bobby Cox
champion1_games = 88-74, .543, GA: 2
runnerup1 = Houston Astros (0)
runnerup1_manager = Larry Dierker
runnerup1_games = 93-69, .574, GA: 0
date1 = October 9October 12
television1 = FOX Family (Game 1-2)
FOX (Game 3)
announcers1 = Kenny Albert and Rod Allen (Game 1-2)
Mel Proctor and Rod Allen (Game 3)
champion2 = Arizona Diamondbacks (3)
champion2_manager = Bob Brenly
champion2_games = 92-70, .568, GA: 2
runnerup2 = St. Louis Cardinals (2)
runnerup2_manager = Tony La Russa
runnerup2_games = 93-69, .574, GB: 0
date2 = October 9October 14
television2 = FOX Family (Game 1-4)
FOX (Game 5)
announcers2 = Thom Brennaman and Steve Lyons (Game 1-2)
Joe Buck and Tim McCarver (Game 3-5)
umpires2 = Bruce Froemming, Chuck Meriwether, Mike Winters, Brian Gorman, Jim Joyce, Mike Everitt (Astros-Braves, Games 1-2; Diamondbacks-Cardinals, Games 3-5)
Randy Marsh, John Hirschbeck, Larry Young, Tim Tschida, Dale Scott, Alfonso Márquez (Diamondbacks-Cardinals, Games 1-2; Astros-Braves, Game 3)
The by|2001 National League Division Series (NLDS), the opening round of the 2001 National League playoffs, began on Tuesday, October 9, and ended on Sunday, October 14, with the champions of the three NL divisions – along with a "wild card" team – participating in two best-of-five series. The teams were:

*(1) Houston Astros (Central Division champion, 93-69) vs. (3) Atlanta Braves (Eastern Division champion, 88-74): Braves win series, 3-0.
*(2) Arizona Diamondbacks (Western Division champion, 92-70) vs. (4) St. Louis Cardinals (Wild Card, 93-69): Diamondbacks win series, 3-2.

"The higher seed (in parentheses) had the home field advantage (Games 1, 2 and 5 at home), which was determined by playing record. Houston and St. Louis tied for the Central Division title, but Houston was awarded the division winner's playoff-seeding over St. Louis due to their 9-7 advantage in head-to-head play. Officially the two clubs were co-champions. Although the team with the best record was normally intended to play the wild card team, the Astros played the Braves, rather than the wild card Cardinals, because the Astros and Cardinals are in the same division."

The Diamondbacks and Braves went on to meet in the NL Championship Series (NLCS). The Diamondbacks became the National League champion, and defeated the American League champion New York Yankees in the 2001 World Series.


Houston Astros vs. Atlanta Braves

Atlanta wins the series, 3-0

Arizona Diamondbacks vs. St. Louis Cardinals

Arizona wins the series, 3-2

Houston vs. Atlanta

The Atlanta Braves won their 10th straight division title, despite having the worst record (88-74) among playoff teams. With that record, 2001 was also the Braves' worst season since 1990, when they had the worst record in baseball. The Houston Astros were in the playoffs for the 7th time, hoping to avenge two postseason losses in the 1990s to the Braves. At 93-69, and having home field advantage throughout the playoffs, the Astros were heavily favored to win this series.

Game 1, October 9

Enron Field in Houston, TexasLinescore
WP=Rudy Seanez (1-0)|LP=Mike Jackson (0-1)|SV=John Smoltz (1)
RoadHR=Chipper Jones (1), Brian Jordan (1), Andruw Jones (1)|HomeHR=Vinny Castilla (1), Brad Ausmus (1)|

In Game 1, Greg Maddux faced Wade Miller. Brian Jordan drove in the first two runs of the game, hitting a sac fly in the first and a solo homer in the 4th. But the Astros would strike back against Maddux. Brad Ausmus's two run homer tied the game in the 5th for the Astros. Then Moisés Alou's groundout in the 6th gave the Astros the lead. But the Braves refused to concede. They struck for 4 runs in the 8th, an inning capped by Chipper Jones's dramatic three run homer. Both teams would homer in the 9th but John Smoltz got the save as the Braves won 7-4.

Game 2, October 10

Enron Field in Houston, TexasLinescore
WP=Tom Glavine (1-0)|LP=Dave Mlicki (0-1)|SV=John Smoltz (2)|

In Game 2, Tom Glavine and Dave Mlicki started a classic pitching duel. In the top of the 2nd, B.J. Surhoff doubled to lead off the inning. Then Andruw Jones singled to the shortstop and an error by Julio Lugo put Surhoff on third. Rey Sanchez would then ground into a double play by Surhoff would score to make it 1-0 Braves. In all but 2 innings the Astros had a hit and they would strand 5 in the game. Glavine pitched 8 innings and Smoltz recorded his second consecutive postseason save.

Game 3, October 12

Turner Field in Atlanta, GeorgiaLinescore
WP=John Burkett (1-0)|LP=Shane Reynolds (0-1)|SV=
RoadHR=Daryle Ward (1)|HomeHR=Julio Franco (1), Chipper Jones (2), Paul Bako (1)|

In Game 3, Shane Reynolds faced John Burkett. In the bottom of the 2nd, Paul Bako's two run homer put the Braves up 2-0. In the 3rd, Julio Franco homered to make it 3-0. Then a squeeze play by Bako in the 4th made it 4-0. Reynolds only lasted 4 innings and Burkett cruised until giving up a two run homer to Daryle Ward in the 6th. Chipper Jones's two run homer provided insurance in the bottom of the 8th and Smoltz once again dominated the ninth. Ausmus flied to center to end the series. Once again, the Astros had been denied by the Braves for their first ever postseason series win. This, to date, is the last postseason series win by the Braves.

Composite Box

2001 NLDS (3-0): Atlanta Braves over Houston AstrosLinescore
Road=Atlanta Braves
Home=Houston Astros
H1=0|H2=0|H3=0|H4=0|H5=2|H6=1|H7=2|H8=0|H9=1|HR=6|HH=19|HE=3Total Attendance: 111,180 Average Attendance: 37,060|

Arizona vs. St. Louis

The St. Louis Cardinals were making their second straight postseason appearance and they hoped to avenge their NLCS loss against the New York Mets in 2000. The Arizona Diamondbacks were making their second playoff appearance and they too were stunned by the Mets in 1999, having won 100 games that year.

Game 1, October 9

Bank One Ballpark in Phoenix, ArizonaLinescore
Road=St. Louis|RoadAbr=STL
WP=Curt Schilling (1-0)|LP=Matt Morris (0-1)|SV=|

Game 1 was a game of excellent starting pitching. Matt Morris faced Curt Schilling, who made the most of his first playoff start in 8 years. Both pitchers were on even terms until the bottom of the 5th when Arizona struck first when Steve Finley singled home Damian Miller. The game remained 1-0 as Schilling managed to pitch a complete game three hit shutout.

Game 2, October 10

Bank One Ballpark in Phoenix, ArizonaLinescore
Road=St. Louis|RoadAbr=STL
WP=Woody Williams (1-0)|LP=Randy Johnson (0-1)|SV=Steve Kline (1)
RoadHR=Albert Pujols (1)|HomeHR=|

In Game 2, Woody Williams faced Randy Johnson. Johnson seemingly had the Cardinals in the 1st when he got Plácido Polanco to ground into a double play. But Edgar Rentería walked and up came the soon-to-be-named NL Rookie of the Year Albert Pujols. He then hit his first playoff home run to make it 2-0 Cardinals in the top of the 1st. Then Polanco's sac fly made it 3-0 in the 3rd. The D'Backs would scratch out a run in the 8th, but an error by Miguel Batista gave the Cardinals a commanding 4-1 lead in the 9th. Steve Kline got the save in the bottom of the 9th to even the series.

Game 3, October 12

Busch Stadium II in St. Louis, MissouriLinescore
Home=St. Louis|HomeAbr=STL
WP=Miguel Batista (1-0)|LP=Mike Matthews (0-1)|SV=Byung-Hyun Kim (1)
RoadHR=Craig Counsell (1), Luis Gonzalez (1)|HomeHR=Jim Edmonds (1), Edgar Rentería (1)|

In Game 3, Batista returned to the mound to start. Opposing him would be Darryl Kile. Both pitchers worked their way through each inning and kept it scoreless into the 4th. But Jim Edmonds's two run homer in the bottom of the 4th gave the Cardinals the lead. Luis Gonzalez responded with a homer off the right field pole to make it a one run game in the 6th. Then the Diamondbacks would comeback in dramatic fashion. After Kile allowed a leadoff walk in the top of the 7th, Mike Matthews came on in relief. Greg Colbrunn would tie the game with an RBI single with one out. A fielder's choice put two men on for eventual NLCS MVP Craig Counsell. He then hit a three run home run to right that put the D'Backs ahead by 3. However, Renteria would homer to make it a two run game. But Byung-Hyun Kim closed the door in the 9th. Tragically, this wound up being Kile's final playoff game.

Game 4, October 13

Busch Stadium II in St. Louis, MissouriLinescore
Home=St. Louis|HomeAbr=STL
WP=Bud Smith (1-0)|LP=Albie Lopez (0-1)|SV=Steve Kline (2)
RoadHR=|HomeHR=Fernando Vina (1), Jim Edmonds (2)|

Albie Lopez looked to close the door on the Cards. Opposing him would be Bud Smith. Smith got into trouble in the top of the 1st when Steve Finley singled home a run to make it 1-0 Diamondbacks. But J.D. Drew's RBI single tied the game in the bottom half of the inning. Then Jim Edmonds hit the go-ahead home run in the bottom of the 2nd to put the Cardinals up for good. Then Fernando Vina's two run homer in the 3rd gave the Cardinals insurance. Both bullpens held the other team to nothing for the rest of the game as the series was once again tied.

Game 5, October 14

Bank One Ballpark in Phoenix, ArizonaLinescore
Road=St. Louis|RoadAbr=STL
WP=Curt Schilling (2-0)|LP=Steve Kline (0-1)|SV=
RoadHR=J.D. Drew (1)|HomeHR=Reggie Sanders (1)|

In the clinching Game 5, Matt Morris once again faced Curt Schilling. Both pitchers were on their game, allowing only one run throughout the entire game. Morris was the first to falter in the bottom of the 4th when he gave up a solo home run to Reggie Sanders. Schilling was masterful and was 4 outs away from winning the series. He was working on a 1-0 4 hit shutout when J.D. Drew tied the game with a solo homer of his own in the 8th. Schilling pitched a complete game and the D'Backs now had to get him the win. A leadoff double by Matt Williams gave the D'Backs a good chance. A sac bunt by Damian Miller put pinch runner Midre Cummings on third. After Colbrunn was walked intentionally, Cummings tried to steal home on the squeeze play attempt and got caught. Colbrunn went to second and Danny Bautista came on to pinch run. Then Tony Womack delivered the series winning single to left field. The Diamondbacks won their first postseason series ever and were now going to their first ever NLCS.

Composite Box

2001 NLDS (3-2): Arizona Diamondbacks over St. Louis CardinalsLinescore
Road=Arizona Diamondbacks
Home=St. Louis Cardinals
H1=3|H2=1|H3=3|H4=2|H5=0|H6=0|H7=1|H8=1|H9=1|HR=12|HH=29|HE=3Total Attendance: 231,321 Average Attendance: 46,264|


"It's a little blooper...and that ball drops! Here comes Bautista! And the Diamondbacks...WIN! WOMACK DELIVERS! The Diamondbacks are going to the National League Championship Series against Atlanta! How about that?!" - Greg Schulte


External links

* [http://www.baseball-reference.com/postseason/2001_NLDS1.shtml Astros vs. Braves at Baseball-Reference]
* [http://www.baseball-reference.com/postseason/2001_NLDS2.shtml Diamondbacks vs. Cardinals at Baseball-Reference]

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