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World Series 2001
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11/01/2001 04:54 AM ET
Colligan: Yanks a Halloween scream

The day, Halloween. The setting, that drafty old haunted house in the Bronx. The plot, pure horror movie cliche.

But boy, is it scary.

The New York Yankees are the team that will not die. No matter what the Arizona Diamondbacks do, that pinstriped monster keeps on coming.

Arizona fired a pair of silver-bullet aces at the Yankees in Games 1 and 2 and shoved the Yankees into a shallow, desert, 0-2 series grave.

But New York clawed its way back into the series with a razor-thin Game 3 win.

So D-Backs skipper Bob Brenly -- who has obviously seen his share of slasher flicks -- wisely hit the panic button and called on Curt Schilling to start on three days' rest.

"I don't think any of us are quite sure what to expect from Curt Schilling," said Brenly before the game.

Schilling didn't disappoint. But it wasn't enough. Not against these fiends.

The anchor of the Arizona staff dominated for seven innings, and his teammates scratched out a 3-1 lead. But just when Arizona looked safe, Brenly went to the bullpen. Over his starter's protests, the rookie skipper called on baby-faced reliever Byung-Hyun Kim.

"It was an easy decision to take [Schilling] out, considering he had started on three days' rest," Brenly said. "We had a lead and we insisted all along that we wanted to go to BK for two innings if needed."

Bad move.

Attending-a-lakeside-summer-camp-frequented-by-an-axe-wielding-hockey-goalie bad.

Things looked OK for an inning and two-thirds. Kim baffled the Yankees with his sidearm delivery. And the 23-year-old Korean was one out away from putting the back-to-back-to-back World Champions on their own back ... before he left his first pitch to Tino Martinez out over the plate.

"I went up there in that situation and was looking for a fastball," said Martinez, "something over the middle of the plate I could just try to drive out, just try to take a big hack at it and I got a hold of it."

Mission accomplished. Two-run home run. Tie game, 3-3.

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"I know he's hit some big home runs," said Yankees Manager Joe Torre. "But this one is probably the biggest one he's ever hit."

This is the time in the movie when the victim stumbles and falls as he or she attempts to run away. Or fumbles with car keys as the killer lurches forward, steadily, unstoppable.

The Yankees were dead. And now they are not.

Kim was rattled. How could he not be?

The bottom of the 10th started off with a pair of cheap scares -- pop flies to right, then left from Scott Brosius and Alfonso Soriano. The D-Backs were still in it, but the end was coming. That much was clear. It was just a question of when. And how.

The clock struck midnight shortly before Derek Jeter strode to the plate. Twelve ominous chimes resonated through Yankee Stadium.

You know the rest: Jeter hits a walk-off home run, the Bronx faithful erupt, the Yankees tie the series 2-2 and the D-Backs trudge back to the clubhouse, victims of the most incredible postseason comeback of the last 15 years.

"It seemed kind of surreal at first. I didn't believe it happened," said Arizona catcher Damian Miller. "Having a chance to go up 3-1 and not have it happen is probably the biggest letdown I've had."

When the sun rises Thursday and the Jack-o-Lanterns are taken from the front stoops, maybe things will look different. Joe Torre's Yankees might not look so immortal. They might change back into that aging, no-hit, declining dynasty we saw in Games 1 and 2.

But I doubt it. Something tells me the sequels will end the same way as the original.

The horror, the horror.

Kevin Colligan is the NL Executive Producer for MLB.com. Send him your tricks or treats at kevin.colligan@mlb.com .