10/02/2002 03:12 am ET
Where the series stands
By Jared Hoffman / MLB.com
In any postseason series, winning the first game always seems to be an advantage. But it's certainly a bigger advantage when it's a best-of-five format such as the Division Series.
In the NLDS, teams that win the first game have gone on to win 12 of 14 series. This is the only series that features an off day between Games 1 and 2, so the Diamondbacks will have a little longer than they would like to make Game 1 a distant memory.
The Cardinals have now won their last five games against the Diamondbacks, including their last two meetings against Arizona's Game 2 starter, Curt Schilling.
Despite those defeats, Schilling might be the right man to even up the series for the D-Backs. After all, he almost single-handedly beat the Cardinals in the first round last year when he pitched a pair of complete games and allowed only one run.
While Game 2 "technically" isn't a must-win game for the Diamondbacks, if they lose the first two games started by the NL's two winningest pitchers, it'll be difficult for Arizona to rally, especially with the series shifting to Busch Stadium for Games 3 and 4. No team in the NLDS has ever rallied from a 2-0 deficit to win a series.
The Cardinals, who came into the postseason having won 21 of 25 games, are showing no signs of cooling down, especially on offense. In Game 1, the Cardinals banged out 14 hits and got multi-hit games from five starters. Thanks to seven innings from starter Matt Morris and a 10-run lead late in the game, the Cardinals key relievers got an extra day of rest.
Jared Hoffman is an editorial producer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.