Arizona Diamondbacks History: Tony Womack sends D-backs to the NLCS

The St. Louis Cardinals starved off elimination by winning Game 4 of the 2001 National League Division Series, but Tony Womack and the Arizona Diamondbacks would have the last hurrah

While we enjoy the thrills and soak in the moments of both League Championship Series, Venom Strikes is taking back at great postseason moments in the history of the Arizona Diamondbacks that happened on the same day.

This is the first of a series of posts that will highlight glorious October triumphs for our beloved D-backs.

Take a trip down memory lane with us!

The 2001 D-backs’ run to the World Series began with a clash against manager Tony La Russa and the St. Louis Cardinals.

Right hander Curt Schilling got the ball in game one for manager Bob Brenly and led his team to a 1-0 victory in front of 42,251 fans at Bank One Ballpark in Phoenix. Steve Finley‘s 2-out RBI single to center field off Cardinals starter Matt Morris, which scored Damien Miller, provided the only run support Schilling would need.

The Cardinals surprisingly got to D-backs ace Randy Johnson before he could even settle into Game 2. Albert Pujols first career postseason home run gave the Cardinals a 2-0 lead after a half inning and the Cardinals would add a run in the second. Johnson pitched eight innings. But for the second night in a row, the D-backs’ bats could only score one run. St. Louis added a run in the ninth and won Game 2, 4-1.

With the series evened at one game a piece, the back-and-forth nature that would ultimately define a series between two evenly contested teams took form. The D-backs took Game 3 in St. Louis, 5-3, putting the Cardinals on the brink of elimination. But the Cardinals took Game 4 by the same score they won Game 2 and forced a win-or-go-home Game 5 back in Phoenix.

The first eight innings

Schilling and Morris tied for the NL lead with 22 wins apiece in 2001 and both were on the mound in a decisive Game 5.

Schilling kept the Redbirds off the scoreboard through the first seven innings. Morris held the D-backs scoreless through three innings.

It took a solo home run to left field off the bat of outfielder Reggie Sanders on a hanging curveball to get the D-backs on the board first.

With the D-backs still clinging to a 1-0 entering the top of the eighth inning, right fielder J.D. Drew stepped up to the plate with two outs and drove an 0-1 pitch from Schilling just over the wall in right to tie the game at one run a piece!

Despite giving up the game-tying blast, Schilling came back out for the ninth. He retired the 5-6-7 hitters and sent the game to the bottom half of the ninth.

Dave Veres came in for St. Louis and surrendered a leadoff double to Matt Williams. Mike Cummings came in to pinch run and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt groundout by Miller.

Steve Cline replaced Veres on the mound and intentionally walked Greg Colburn to set up a possible double play.

Tony Womack had other ideas. Womack blooped a 2-2 pitch to left field to score Cummings and send the D-backs to the National League Championship Series for the first time.

It all happened on this date 16 years ago. 

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