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World Series 2001
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11/01/2001 04:28 AM ET
Mayo: D-Backs will heal quickly
Byung-Hyun Kim and the D-Backs are taking their brutal loss well.

NEW YORK -- There are a few ways baseball teams can deal with a loss as devastating as the one handed to the Arizona Diamondbacks in Game 4 of the World Series on Wednesday.

There's defiance: It doesn't matter at all. A loss is a loss and we'll be ready tomorrow.

There's calm rallying: We've overcome adversity all year long and we'll do it again tomorrow.

And then there's something you almost never see in a Major League clubhouse after something like this happens: honestly dealing with how tough it is to take such a loss.

To be sure, there was plenty of talk about adversity and coming back among the D-Backs. You can't expect a cliche-free clubhouse. But there were just as many thoughtful pauses, long exhales, and refreshingly honest responses to what had just occurred.

And that's exactly why there will still be plenty of life left in the D-Backs for the remainder of the Series.

"It seemed kind of surreal at first. I didn't believe it happened," Damian Miller said of the home runs in the ninth and 10th innings that gave the Yankees their improbable 4-3 victory. "Tino's homer was more of a letdown than Derek's. We had a real good feeling heading into the ninth inning. It was disheartening to say the least.

"Having a chance to go up 3-1 and not have it happen is probably the biggest letdown I've had."

I hate to get all psychoanalytical here, but the best way to deal with adversity is to address it head-on. Not to dance around it with doublespeak, not to evade the issue, but to do exactly what Arizona is doing: admitting how you feel about it.

The Diamondbacks were crushed with two swings of the bat. There's no way to get around that. And many of the D-Backs didn't even try.

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"When I ran out of room [on Jeter's home run], it took the breath out of me," Reggie Sanders said. "It's going to be tough. It's a very tough loss."

You want to just gather up the D-Backs for a group hug, don't you? But they don't need our help. This team of savvy veterans knows exactly what needs to happen next in this very quick healing process. The first step is group therapy.

"As a team, we'll sit around and talk about what happened," Sanders said. "We'll sleep on it, look at the game tomorrow and then continue to work and continue to believe."

The next step is the re-focus. Yes, it was a sudden and devastating loss. Yes, they blew a lead in the ninth. Yes, they may have even wasted Curt Schilling's start.

"We have to understand that we as a team have to move ahead," Sanders said. "We thought we had it in the bag and it didn't work out that way. You have to chalk it up, it's 2-2, and we have to come back tomorrow and re-focus."

That's right, Reggie. It's not like they're down 3-0 here. Or down at all. The series is simply tied. The Yankees are back in this series with an exclamation point, but by no means does that mean the Diamondbacks are out.

"The way you rebound is you put it behind you and look at it as a three-game series," Miller said. "You win two out of three, you win a ring. May the best team win."

Even if they lose Game 5, they still have Randy Johnson going on his normal turn for Game 6 and Curt Schilling, who doesn't seem to be bothered by short rest, back for Game 7. And both of those games are back at the BOB. That's not an ideal situation, but it should help Arizona rest a little easier.

"I'm so physically and mentally spent after a game like this, I won't have trouble sleeping," Miller said.

There's that line in "A Few Good Men." You know the one I mean, when Tom Cruise yells, "I want the truth," and Jack Nicholson responds, "You can't handle the truth!"

The Diamondbacks all handled the truth head-on, surprising in this day of formulaic responses to our questions. And that's why none of them should have trouble drifting off and coming back ready for what lies ahead.

Jonathan Mayo is a senior writer for MLB.com.