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World Series 2001
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11/04/2001 06:17 AM ET
'Right' moves made by Brenly
By Carrie Muskat
MLB.com
Inserting Baustita in the lineup paid off for Brenly.
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WorldSeries.com Report

PHOENIX -- Arizona manager Bob Brenly went from goat to genius in one game.

Brenly opened himself up to more second-guessing when he adjusted his lineup for Game 6 of the World Series against Yankees' left-hander Andy Pettitte.

The Diamondbacks, facing a must-win situation, inserted three right-handers into the lineup for Saturday's game.

It worked.

The D-Backs romped 15-2 over the New York Yankees to force a deciding Game 7 at Bank One Ballpark. Arizona collected a World Series record 22 hits.

"We feel we're capable of doing that on any given night," Brenly said. "You certainly don't anticipate it against Andy Pettitte in Game 6 of the World Series but that was a hungry bunch of hitters that we sent up to the plate tonight."

Danny Bautista had just five at-bats in the World Series before Saturday. He went 3-for-4 with a team-high five RBI, hitting a RBI single in the first, a RBI single in the second, a two-run single in the third, and was credited with a RBI when he reached on an error in the fourth.

Smart move, Bob.

In an attempt to generate more offense, Brenly pulled first baseman Mark Grace, center fielder Steve Finley and second baseman Craig Counsell and inserted Greg Colbrunn, Bautista and Jay Bell, respectively.

Colbrunn, who started nine games at first all season, batted .235 against left-handers, while Bautista hit .239 and Bell .224 during the regular season compared to Grace's .295, Finley's .235 and Counsell's .338.

Grace was hitting .133 with a home run in the five World Series games so far, Counsell has one hit in 20 at-bats for a .050 average, and Finley was batting .357.

"All the lineup changes involve inserting another right-handed bat into the lineup," Brenly said. "We feel Andy Pettitte is tough on everybody and he's especially tough on left-handed hitters. We watched the video from Game 2 and thought our left-handed hitters had very few good swings against him. We felt we were better served getting as many righties as we could."

In Game 2, Pettitte gave up four earned runs on five hits over seven innings and took the loss. The Yankees starter didn't last that long Saturday, serving up six runs on seven hits over two-plus innings.

Brenly did his homework before making the changes.

"It's always tough to sit anybody down," Brenly said. "Mark Grace is a guy who's done some amazing things for us as well. Steve Finley has had a great second half.

"These are the things that we've done throughout the regular season," Brenly added. "After reviewing video tape and talking to other coaches and managers around baseball about how to attack Pettitte, we decided to go with this lineup.

"In a perfect world," he said, "with this right-handed offensive juggernaut that we're putting out there, we're thinking we'll get a lead early and put those guys in for defense later."

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Which is exactly what the D-Backs did, although Grace and Counsell got the entire night off.

Colbrunn also made a great over his shoulder catch of Bernie Williams' pop up in foul territory to end the first inning. And Bell made a leaping catch of a line drive by Alfonso Soriano to end the second.

The three also contributed offensively -- but it seemed as if even Brenly's son, Michael, one of the bat boys, got a hit.

Bautista went 3-for-4 with five RBIs, Colbrunn was 2-for-5 with a RBI, and Bell was 1-for-5 with one RBI.

The Yankees stayed with left-handed Tino Martinez at first base. In Game 2 against Arizona lefty Randy Johnson, New York manager Joe Torre went with a right-handed lineup and started Randy Velarde at first and he went 0-for-3.

"If (Johnson) makes a mistake, I'd probably rather have Tino there than anybody else," Torre said.

In fact, Torre was so sure he would start Martinez, who hit a huge game-tying homer in the ninth inning in Game 4, he told him so during the workout.

"He said, 'Good,' and we'll see what happens," Torre said.

"It's no surprise when I pitched in Game 2, I faced a predominantly right-handed lineup," said Johnson, who threw a three-hit shutout which gave Arizona a 2-0 lead in the Series. "It's not that big a deal to me."

Martinez did single in the second inning and flew out in the fourth. And then he was pulled from the game after five.

Brenly could breathe a little easier. He has had to answer questions regarding Schilling's innings for several days. Now, he can relax.

After the stress of the three games in New York, it must have been nice to relax sit back and not need to need to over-manage.

"What stress?" Brenly said.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com.