NEW YORK -- One day later, Bob Brenly stood by his decision to replace starter Curt Schilling with Byung-Hyun Kim after seven innings of Game 4 Wednesday night. Kim wound up giving up a two-run, game-tying home run to Tino Martinez with two outs in the ninth and a game-winning homer to Derek Jeter in the 10th.
|Schilling (left) asked his manager not to 'hang me out' in Game 5.
"Absolutely," Brenly told a group of reporters Thursday afternoon when asked if he was comfortable with the decisions he made.
Schilling worked out of a runners on first and second with no one out jam in the seventh -- and in the process gave Brenly some indications that he was tiring.
"That seventh inning, that was Schill's hardest inning of the ballgame," Brenly said of his ace, who was starting on just three days' rest. "I started to see some signs that he was losing it a little bit. His split-finger wasn't sharp, his location wasn't as good. They were getting better swings on him in the seventh and we talked about it on the bench that if we got a lead we were going to go to BK, no question."
Arizona built on that lead by scoring twice in the eighth, leading to a discussion between Schilling and Brenly.
"(Schilling) came over to me and his words were, 'I can go back out there, but don't hang me out,'" Brenly said. "Which to me meant that he was just willing to go out there and gut it out, which we didn't want him to do. We felt all along that BK could get the last six outs of the ballgame."
Kim struck out the side in the eighth before running into trouble in the ninth.
"If we had sent Curt back out there and he'd have struck out the side in the eighth we probably would have gone to BK in the ninth," Brenly said.
The Diamondbacks had Greg Swindell and Mike Morgan up in the bullpen to start the 10th, and Brenly said that had Jeter reached he would have gone with the southpaw Swindell to face lefty Paul O'Neill.
"It was a great ballgame," Brenly said. "It didn't work out the way we hoped it would. We had chances to put some big numbers on the board and put them in a hole early and we let El Duque wiggle off the hook. It's easy to point at BK and say he gave up two home runs and that's why we lost the game, but I don't necessarily agree with that. We had plenty of chances to blow that game open and get into their bullpen early. We just weren't able to come up with that big knock when we needed it."
MILLER TIMEOUT: Arizona catcher Damian Miller was a late scratch from the starting lineup Thursday because of a right calf strain.
Miller suffered the injury in Tuesday night's game and re-aggravated it in Game 4 Wednesday.
Rod Barajas replaced Miller in the starting lineup and made his presence felt early, singling to center in the third, throwing out Alfonso Soriano attempting to steal in the third and homering in the fifth.
SECOND GUESSING: As a veteran of the broadcast booth, Brenly knows all about the scrutiny that comes with being a Major League manager.
In the booth, he tried to point out strategy decisions in advance and "first guess" rather than second guess. In his mind, there is a big difference.
"If you cannot point something out ahead of time, it becomes the lowest form of journalism as far as I'm concerned, to come after the fact and say what should have happened," Brenly explained. "I tried never to do that when I was in the broadcast booth."
STOTT'S HOME AWAY FROM HOME: Coming to Yankee Stadium brings back some good memories for injured pitcher Todd Stottlemyre.
Stottlemyre's father, Mel, is the Yankees pitching coach and the elder Stottlemyre was a star pitcher at one time for the Bronx Bombers. When Todd was growing up, he spent many a summer day at Yankee Stadium playing in on the field with other players' kids.
"It was like a big playground for us," Todd said while sitting in the visitor's dugout before Game 5. "I just feel so lucky every time I come here because I remember how much fun I had as a kid. What a great way to grow up. I don't think I intentionally took it for granted, I just didn't know what it meant back then."
Mel is now cancer free after suffering from multiple myelona, a cancer of the bone marrow. His father's good health makes this an even better trip back to New York for Todd.
"The biggest reason it's so special is that my dad is in the other dugout and he's healthy, he's cancer free," Todd said.
TWICE AS NICE: When Mark Grace homered into the right field upper deck Wednesday, it was the second time that day he accomplished the feat. The other was during batting practice, when his shot broke the nose of a fan.
"We knew Gracie had it in him," said Brenly. "He hit a home run in batting practice that apparently knocked somebody out cold. We were not sure (if it was) from the ball hitting him or just the shock of Gracie hitting one."
Grace signed a bat for the fan who was hit.
OFF DAY OFF: The Diamondbacks will not have a workout during Friday's off day. Arizona will fly home via its charter airplane after Thursday's game, and arrive in Phoenix during the wee hours of Friday morning.
The games in New York have started after 8 p.m., meaning the Diamondbacks didn't usually get back to their hotel room until close to 1 a.m.
"It'll be nice for everybody to go home, get a good night's rest and a nice meal and enjoy a night at home with their families. And then we'll get back after it again on Saturday," Brenly said.
Steve Gilbert is the site manager of azdiamondbacks.com.