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World Series 2001
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10/29/2001 12:34 AM ET
MLB.com hands out cacti awards
By Kevin Czerwinski
MLB.com
Well, the first two games of the World Series can be looked at in two ways. The Diamondbacks are on the verge of dethroning the three-time defending champs. Or, the Yanks have Bob Brenly's team just where they want them. New York has made a habit of coming back from 0-2 deficits in the postseason, so who's to say this year won't be any different.

Well, the D-Backs don't seem to be all that concerned after taking a huge bite out of the Big Apple. Will they be able to finish their meal when they hit the Bronx this week? We'll see.

Kevin Czerwinski has been following the World Series for MLB.com and here are some of his observations on Game 2.

One cactus: You are vulture bait
Two cactuses: Umm, yes, that crystal pool is a mirage.
Three cactuses: You have a mouthful of cactus juice, but your face is killing you.
Four cactuses: You have a full water canteen, SPF-60 sunblock and a slick pair of Ray-Bans.
Five cactuses: Lawrence of Arabia has nothing on you.

. YANKEES


P Andy Pettitte
Andy was dandy but not dandy enough. He matched Randy Johnson almost pitch for pitch into the seventh inning before getting plunked with a come backer off the bat of Danny Bautista. The next batter, Matt Williams, took him to the far reaches of The BOB, sending the southpaw to defeat. Sure, he deserved a better fate. Once that desert fever takes over, though, it's hard to combat.


3B Scott Brosius
For starters, he went 0-for-3 and left three men on against the Big Unit, including striking out looking when the Yanks had first and second and no one against Johnson in the eighth. With the game that tight and so much riding on the pitch, Brosius had no business looking at a close pitch let alone arguing the call after he got rung up. He also made a costly flub in the seventh that hurt Pettitte. Reggie Sanders sent a hot, but manageable, grounder to Brosius that should've been a double play. But he bobbled the ball for a split second, costing the Bombers the twin killing. The inning was prolonged and Williams later put the game out of reach.


1B Randy Velarde
Joe Torre went to facts and hunches, not to mention a right-handed bat, to face Randy Johnson. Velarde came into the game hitting close to .500 in his career against the Big Unit, so the percentages were in Torre's favor. Though this Randy wasn't all that dandy, he managed to negotiate a walk off Johnson and played a decent first base.

. DIAMONDBACKS


P Randy Johnson
The Big Unit handled the Yanks with some serious heat. And yes, it was a dry heat. The Bombers couldn't touch Johnson for much of the evening, who looked like Danny Almonte cutting through a Bronx little league team. He allowed three hits and fanned 11 in one of the most intimidating World Series performances in recent memory.


3B Matt Williams
He turned a nail-biter into a joke with his titanic seventh-inning shot off Pettitte. Williams has struggled at times this postseason and was booed during the NLDS at The BOB. But, he was brilliant Sunday night as the D-Backs kicked the Yankees when they were down. He's the first guy to hit a homer for three different teams in the World Series but the chrome-domed one didn't limit his contribution to the plate. He played flawless defense behind Johnson, picking up six assists, including starting an inning-ending double play in the eighth that killed the Yanks only rally.


CF Danny Bautista
Give Bob Brenly credit. He's known just when to insert Bautista into the lineup and have it pay off. He did in the series against the Braves and Bautista came through. Such was the case Sunday night. Bautista drove in a run and had a pair of hits, including the shot back up the box off Pettitte that set up Matt Williams' backbreaking homer.


RF Reggie Sanders
Quiet and effective, Sanders picked up another hit Sunday. He scored two runs, bringing his total to four runs scored for two games. Reggie won't get a candy bar named after him but he'll have the gratitude of his teammates. Capping a career year with a fine postseason.

Kevin Czerwinski is covering the World Series for MLB.com.