2ndRandy Johnson (21–6) strikes out 6 batters in 7 innings in the Diamondbacks 10–1 win over Colorado. Arizona stays 2 games ahead of the Giants with Johnson’s 200th career victory. The 6 K’s give Johnson a season total of 372—his 8th K title and his 2nd ERA title— and leaves Nolan Ryan’s modern day single season record of 383, set in 1973, safe. Sandy Koufax’s 382 in 1965 is also safe. Johnson struck out 10 or more exactly 23 times for the third straight season, again matching the record Nolan Ryan set with the California Angels in 1973. Johnson also hits Larry Walker with a pitch, giving him 18 HBPs for the year. Mike Hampton (14–13) retaliates by plunking Johnson, upsetting the D’Back’s bench. Gonzalez hits his 57th HR for Arizona.
San Francisco keeps its NL West hopes alive with a 4–1 win over Houston. Bonds is homerless as Kirk Rueter throws 6+ strong innings. The slumping Astros drop into a tie for the NL Central with St. Louis, 5–1 winners over Milwaukee.
The Cubs are eliminated from the Wild Card race and Sammy Sosa hits home run No. 60 in Chicago’s 5-4 loss. He’s the first player in history with three 60+ HRs in a season.
3rd The A’s defeat the Rangers, 5-4, for their 98th win of the season to set a new record for victories by a wild-card winner. The A’s will end the season with a 17-game home winning streak.
San Francisco again pounds the Astros, 11–8. Bonds has no homers, but walks 3 times and scores 3. His 171 walks is a new ML record, topping Ruth’s 1923 base on balls mark. He’ll finish with 177. The Astros lose for the 7th time in 8 games.
Cubs ace Jon Lieber picks up his 20th win of the season, beating the Reds, 13–7. He’s the first Cubs 20-game winner since Maddux, in 1992. Sosa hits a 3-run HR for roundtripper No. 61, as the Cubs score 5 in the 7th. Sosa pushes his RBI total to 154 to lead the majors. Corey Patterson has 4 hits for Chicago while Corky Miller homers twice for the Reds. Cubs pitching coach Oscar Acosta resigns from the organization, effective immediately following the game and will take a job with Texas.
In arguably the latest trade ever, the Montreal Expos send Tim Raines to Baltimore so that he can play with Tim Raines, Jr., who made his debut on October 1. Senior will play in four games, going 3-for-11 with a HR.
4th The Giants defeat the Astros, 10-2, as Barry Bonds hits his 70th HR of the season to tie Mark McGwire’s ML mark. Rookie P Wilfredo Rodriguez surrenders the historic blast.
Henderson hits a HR to become baseball’s all-time career runs scored leader with 2,246. The Padres defeat the Dodgers, 6–3.
Tim Raines Jr. plays center field and Tim Raines Sr. plays left field in the Orioles’ 5-4 loss to Boston. They become the 2nd father-son duo to play in the same game, matching the feat turned by Ken Griffey Sr. and Ken Griffey Jr. The Orioles acquired the senior Raines yesterday from the Expos.
5th Barry Bonds hits his 71st and 72nd HRs of the season to set a new ML single-season mark in the Giants’ 11-10 heartbreaking loss to the Dodgers. The 1st inning blast to break the record comes off Dodgers P Chan Ho Park. Aurilia hits his 37th but the Dodgers eliminate the Giants from a possible playoff berth. The game takes 4 hours: 27 minutes, the longest 9-inning game in ML history. With the Giants eliminated, Bonds will not start tomorrow, but will hit a pinch single on the only good pitch he sees. Aurilia’s 37 homers and Barry’s 73 set a NL record for homers by teammates (110): The ML record is Mantle and Maris with 115.
The Mariners defeat the Rangers, 6-2, for their 115th win of the season to set a new AL mark. In doing so, Jamie Moyer, at age 38, becomes the oldest first -time 20-game winner in history.
In only the second doubleheader ever played at the SkyDome (the first was 1989), the Blue Jays sweep the Indians, 5–0 and 4–3 in 11 innings. Jose Cruz Jr. leads the offense by stealing 3 bases and hitting a homer, a grand slam, in his 6th straight game—a club record: he joins the 30-30 club. The third inning slam in game 1 comes off Chuck Finley. Roy “Doc” Halladay flirts with a no-hitter before Travis Fryman singles with 2 out in the 8th. Cordero added a single in the 9th. Halladay lost a no-hitter in 1999 when he gave up a 2-out 9th inning HR to Bobby Higginson in his first ML win. Halladay had been sent all the way to single A Florida State league earlier in the year, following his 10.64 ERA in 2000, the worst in ML history (for pitchers with 50+ innings).
The Expos defeat the Mets, 8-6, as New York’s Lenny Harris ties Manny Mota’s ML record with his 150th career pinch hit.
The Braves clinch their 10th straight division championship with a 20-3 gaffing of the Marlins. Kevin Millwood gives up a field goal in the 1st inning, but the Braves, led by Chipper Jones’ grand slam, score 10 runs in the bottom of the frame. Ryan Dempster allows just one hit but walks 6 before leaving in the 1st. Reliever Benito Baez gives up 8 runs in 1 2/3 IP, and OF John Mabry tries his hand in the 9th, but gives up 5 runs while recording just one out. Chipper Jones adds a triple to his grand slam and reaches the 100 RBI mark for the 6th straight year.
Albie Lopez throws a 3-hit shutout to beat the Brewers 5–0 and clinch a tie for the Diamondbacks in the NL West. With the win, Lopez avoids becoming the 1st 20-game loser in the Majors since Brian Kingman in 1980. Lopez was 5–12 with the Tampa Bay and 3–7 with the D’Backs.
Jamie Moyer, 38, wins his 20thgame as Seattle beats Texas, 6-2, at Safeco Field. For Moyer, it is his frist 20 win season. He’ll repeat at age 40.
The Orioles lose to the Red Sox, 7-5, as Cal Ripken becomes the 7th player in history to play in 3,000 career games.
6th Little used pitcher Dennis Stark and 4 relievers give Seattle a 1–0 win over Texas, handing the Rangers their only shutout of the year. Bret Boone’s solo HR, off Doug Davis, is the scoring. The win is #116 for Seattle, tying the win mark of the 1906 Cubs. Texas will beat Seattle in tomorrow’s season finale. Seattle ends the season having won the season series against all 18 opponents they faced: 13 AL teams and 5 NL. The last team to win every season series was the Tigers in 1968 against 9 AL teams. The Mariners broke the record of the 1899 Brooklyn Dodgers (as noted by Walt Wilson), who won series against 11 NL teams.
Lenny Harris breaks Manny Mota’s all-time mark for pinch hits with the 151st of his career as the Mets defeat the Expos, 4-0.
Colorado drops a 10-4 decision to San Diego. Rockies 1B Todd Helton gets a double in the game, making him the first big league player ever to have back-to-back seasons of 400 total bases. He had 405 last year. Phil Nevin starts the scoring with a 1st-inning grand slam, his fourth of the season, off Scott Elarton, then adds a solo homer in the 6thoff Elarton. In the 7thhe hits a solo shot off reliever Chris Nichting. Brian Tollber wins his 10th.
At Wrigley, Julian Tavarez takes a no-hitter into the eighth inning against Pittsburgh before giving up a bases loaded single—the only hit he allows—to Mendy Lopez. Roosevelt Brown drives in 7 runs on a pair of 3-run HRs and a sac fly. Sammy Sosa has 3 hits, 3 runs and 3 RBIs, including an inside-the-park homer for No. 63.
7th Rickey Henderson gets the 3,000th hit of his career, a leadoff bloop double, as the Padres lose to the Rockies, 14-5. Ricky then leaves the game. The game is the final one of Tony Gwynn’s career. Gwynn pinch hits in the 9th and grounds out, then walks around the field shaking hands with hometown fans. Larry Walker, who sits, wins his third NL batting title in three years at .350. Walker and Rockies teammate Todd Helton (.336) become the first teammates to finish 1-2 since John Olerud (.363), Paul Molitor (.332) and Roberto Alomar (.326) were the top 3 for Toronto in 1993.
The Astros defeat the Cardinals, 9–2, to clinch their 4th NL Central crown in 5 years. The loss leaves the Cardinals with the NL wild card spot. Albert Pujols ties Emmet “Snags” Heidrick (1899) for most hits by a Cardinal rookie when he makes his 194th
The Giants beat the Dodgers, 2-1, as Barry Bonds extends his ML record with his 73rd HR of the season. He will finish the year with a slugging percentage of .863 to break Babe Ruth’s all-time single-season record. Bonds will have 411 total bases, 3rd in the NL behind Gonzalez and Sosa. He also is the only player besides Kevin Maas to have more than 20 homers and not double his home run total in RBI. (Maas had 21 HR, 41 RBI, in 1991).
Carlos Beltran hits a 2-run homer and a 9thinning grand slam, off Adam Bernero, to pace the Royals to a 10-4 win over Detroit.
The Cubs lose to the Pirates in their final game of the season, 4-3, but they become the first team in ML history to not allow an opposing pitcher to throw a complete game against them all season. Sosa closes out 2001 with his 64th homer in his final at-bat of the game and sets a new franchise record with 103 extra base hits, six more than Hack Wilson smacked in 1930. He also finishes with another franchise record of 425 total bases, the 7th best all-time total, 2 ahead of Wilson, and the most in the majors since Stan Musial’s 429 in 1948. His 160 RBIs is the highest total in the NL since Chuck Klein knocked in 170 in 1930; Sammy’s RBI total for the past 4 years also breaks Klein’s four-year mark set in 1929-32. To finish out the record day, 5 Cubs pitchers combine for 12 strikeouts as the staff sets a Major League record with 1,246 strikeouts. The Yankees do the same, setting an AL mark with 1,266 strikeouts.
9th The Braves defeat the Astros in the opener of their NL Divisional Series, 7-4, behind Chipper Jones’ 3-run HR. Shortstop Julio Lugo’s error sets up the deciding blast, as Rudy Seanez gets the victory in relief.
The Diamondbacks take the first game of their Divisional Series as Curt Schilling outpitches Matt Morris in hurling a 3-hit, 1-0 shutout. Steve Finley gets 3 hits for Arizona and drives home the game’s only run.
In Seattle, Bartolo Colon strikes out 10 while hurling 8 innings of a 6-hit shutout as the Indians take the opener of their Divisional Series with the Mariners, 5-0. OF Ellis Burks gets 3 hits for Cleveland, including a HR. The action in the bullpen comes when Indians P John Rocker throws water on some heckling fans. According to Rocker, the fans’ reaction is the media’s fault—”You guys should see the monster you’ve helped create. They wouldn’t be there if not for the biased coverage, so thank you for making my life on the road hell.”
10th The Braves take a 2-games-to-0 lead in their series with the Astros behind Tom Glavine’s 1-0 victory. SS Julio Lugo’s throwing error aided the winning run, which crossed the plate on a double play.
St. Louis evens its series with Arizona by defeating the Diamondbacks, 4-1. Woody Williams notches the win for the Cardinals, who get a 2-run HR from rookie Albert Pujols. Randy Johnson takes his record 7th consecutive playoff loss for Arizona.
The Yankees fall to the A’s, 5-3, in the first game of their Divisional Series. Terrence Long hits a pair of HRs for Oakland and Jason Giambi adds another. Mark Mulder gets the win for Oakland while OF Johnny Damon goes 4-for-4.
11th The Mariners even their series with the Indians with a 5-1 victory. Mike Cameron, Edgar Martinez, and David Bell smack homers to back the pitching of Jamie Moyer, who gets the win.
The A’s take the 2nd game of their series with the Yankees, 2-0, behind the pitching of Tim Hudson. Ron Gant homers for the A’s, who escape a two-on, nobody-out threat by the Yankees in the 9th.
12th Atlanta defeats Houston, 6-2, to sweep their Divisional Series and move into the NLCS for the 9th time in 10 seasons. Paul Bako, Julio Franco, and Chipper Jones hit HRs to back the solid pitching of starter John Burkett. The game is the Astros 14th loss in their last 16 postseason games.
Arizona takes a 2-games-to-1 lead in its Divisional Series with St. Louis with a 5-3 victory. Craig Counsell’s 3-run homer in the 7th inning is the deciding blow. Starter Miguel Batista gets the win for the Diamondbacks.
Minnesota manager Tom Kelly announces his retirement after 15 years at the Twins’ helm.
13th Cleveland routs Seattle, 17-2, behind rookie pitcher C.C. Sabathia to take the lead in their Division Series. Omar Vizquel leads the Indians with 4 hits and 6 RBIs—1 short of the Division Series record.
Jorge Posada’s 5th inning solo homer accounts for all the scoring as the Yankees defeat Oakland, 1-0, to stay alive in their Division Series. Mike Mussina gives up just 4 hits in 7 innings to get the win.
The Cardinals defeat the Diamondbacks, 4-1, behind rookie hurler Bud Smith to even their Division Series at 2 games apiece. Fernando Vina hits a 2-run HR for St. Louis.
14th Seattle ties its series with Cleveland at 2 games apiece with a 6-2 victory. Down 1-0, the Mariners score 6 times over the final 3 innings. Edgar Martinez’s 2-run homer in the 9th caps the scoring as Freddy Garcia gets the win.
Yankee bats finally come alive as New York defeats Oakland, 9-2, to even their series at 2 games apiece. Orlando Hernandez gets the victory as he improves his postseason mark to 9-1. OF Bernie Williams drives home 5 runs to lead the Yankees. Oakland OF Jermaine Dye fractures his leg when he fouls a ball off his left shin. He will miss the rest of the postseason and the start of spring training next year.
The Diamondbacks advance to the NLCS with a 2-1 victory over the Cardinals. Tony Womack’s 2-out single in the bottom half of the 9th plates the winning run and makes a winner out of Curt Schilling.
15th The Yankees defeat the A’s, 5-3, to move into the ALCS. In doing so, they become the first team ever to win a best-of-5 series after losing the first 2 games at home. SS Derek Jeter gets a pair of hits to break Pete Rose’s postseason record with 87. David Justice hits a PH HR for NY while Mike Stanton gets the win in relief. Jason Giambi goes 4-for-4 for Oakland.
The Mariners advance to the ALCS with a 3-1 win over Cleveland in the deciding game of their Division Series. Ichiro Suzuki gets 3 hits for Seattle, Mark McLemore drives home 2 runs, and Jamie Moyer gets the win.
16th Randy Johnson stops his postseason losing streak with a 2-0 win over the Braves in the opener of the NLCS. Johnson allows 3 hits and strikes out 11. Reggie Sanders and Luis Gonzalez drive home runs for the Diamondbacks.
17th The Yankees take the first game of the ALCS with a 4-2 win over the Mariners. Andy Pettitte gets the victory while Paul O’Neill hits a 2-run HR for New York.
Braves P Tom Glavine stops Arizona, 8-1, to even Atlanta’s series with the Diamondbacks at 1 game apiece. Marcus Giles, Javy Lopez, and B.J. Surhoff all homer for the Braves.
In the Arizona Fall League Championship game, Mike Hessman of the Phoenix Desert Dogs hits a two-out walk off grand slam in a 12–8 win over the Grand Canyon Rafters. The slam caps an 8-run 9th that started with back-to-back homers by Lamont Mathews and Mark Ellis.
18th New York wins its 2nd straight game in Seattle, 3-2, to take a 2-game-to-0 lead in the ALCS. Mike Mussina gets the victory and 3B Scott Brosius drives in 2 runs for the Yankees.
Houston manager Larry Dierker resigns. Dierker led the Astros to 4 division crowns in 5 seasons at the helm, but never made it past the first round of the playoffs.
19th Curt Schilling’s 4-hitter gives the Diamondbacks the lead in the NLCS as Arizona defeats Atlanta, 5-1. Schilling fans 12 for Atlanta as Craig Counsell gets 3 hits and Steve Finley drives home 3 runs.
20th The Diamondbacks take a 3-1 lead in their series with an 11-4 victory over Greg Maddux and the Braves. Six of Arizona’s runs are unearned as a result of 3 Atlanta errors. Luis Gonzalez hits a 3-run homer for Arizona while Andruw Jones connects for the Braves. Brian Anderson gets the win in relief of starter Albie Lopez.
The Mariners clobber the Yankees, 14-3, to win their first game of the ALCS. Bret Boone ties an ALCS record with 5 RBIs as Jamie Moyer gets the win. Boone, John Olerud, and Jay Buhner all homer for Seattle.
21st The Diamondbacks defeat the Braves, 3-2, to win the NLCS and reach the World Series for the first time in their history. They get to the Series faster than any expansion team in history, doing so in the 4th year of their existence. Randy Johnson gets the win for Arizona. Erubiel Durazo’s PH 2-run HR is the key blow. Craig Counsell is named the NLCS MVP.
The Yankees take a 3-1 lead in their ALCS matchup with Seattle, defeating the Mariners by a score of 3-1. Bret Boone’s 8th inning HR broke a scoreless tie, but Bernie Williams hits a HR in the bottom half of the inning to tie the score. NY wins on Alfonso Soriano’s 2-run dinger in the 9th. Mariano Rivera gets the victory in relief.
22nd At Oakland the Mariners lose to the A’s, 11-2, for their third straight loss. It is the first time this year they’ve lost three straight. They will lose tomorrow as well.
27th The Diamondbacks pound the Yankees in the opener of the WS by a score of 9-1 behind Curt Schilling. Schilling hurls 7 innings to win his 4th game of the postseason. Craig Counsell and Luis Gonzalez homer for Arizona as Mike Mussina takes the loss.
At the Vet, the Reds edge the Phillies, 2-1, the margin of difference being a straight steal of home in the 6thby Reds rookie catcher Corky Miller. It will be his only ML steal.
28th Arizona jumps out to a 2-0 Series lead as Randy Johnson hurls a 3-hit shutout. Matt Williams hits a 3-run homer for the Diamondbacks, his third WS homer, all for different teams. No one else has done that. Andy Pettitte takes the loss for New York.
Arizona’s Curt Schilling is announced as the winner of the annual Roberto Clemente Award for his contributions to the game both on and off the field.
Commissioner Bud Selig says it is possible that two major league teams could be eliminated by the start of next season. The Montreal Expos, Florida Marlins, Minnesota Twins, and Tampa Bay Devil Rays are the teams mentioned as most likely to be eliminated.
30th Roger Clemens and Mariano Rivera hurl the Yankees to a 2-1 victory in Game 3 of the WS. Jorge Posada homers for New York while Scott Brosius’ 6th-inning single drives home the winning run. Brian Anderson takes the loss for Arizona.
31st In a thrilling contest, the Yankees defeat the Diamondbacks, 4-3 in 10 innings, to tie the Series at 2 games apiece. Tino Martinez’s 2-out, 2-run HR in the bottom of the 9th ties the game, and Derek Jeter’s blast in the bottom of the 10th wins it for New York. Both homers come off Byung-Hyun Kim who relieved Curt Schilling in the 8th inning. Mariano Rivera gets the win in relief for the Yankees.
Joe Falls of The Detroit Newsis voted the J.G. Taylor Spink Award, and will be inducted into the writer’s wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame next summer.