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World Series 2001
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10/15/2001 02:29 AM ET
Gurnick: D-Backs proved they had winning formula
PHOENIX -- When the Atlanta Braves read that scouting report on the Arizona Diamondbacks, they'll wonder if the real one got mixed up with that of some also-ran.

Two starting pitchers. No cleanup hitter. A bullpen without a reliable closer.

And the Arizona Diamondbacks are in the Final Four?

Go figure. Go figure Bob Brenly, who took it personally when the hometown fans booed Matt Williams and kept putting his name in the playoff lineup as the 0-fers piled up.

Go figure Tony Womack, treated equally rudely by Diamondback fans most of the year.

Go figure that pair would combine to win the clincher.

Before the season ended, many scouts believed the Diamondbacks would be the most dangerous team in the playoffs, should they make it, because Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson can take charge of a short series. As we just saw, Schilling can do it himself.

Based on what Schilling has done in the past week and what he might do in the next two weeks, it is important to remember that the deadline for turning in Cy Young ballots was before the start of the playoffs.

That honor will likely go to Johnson. But if the Cy Young was awarded to the pitcher you'd most want on the mound to clinch a do-or-die game, well, we know how Brenly would vote.

Who's sizzling: Curt Schilling (big surprise). Randy Johnson will probably win the Cy Young Award and Luis Gonzalez will finish high in MVP voting, but is there anybody on the Diamondbacks more critical to the team's success than Schilling?

Who's fizzling: The St. Louis offense. The Cardinals hit .271 with runners in scoring position during the season, and .061 in the playoffs.

Fearless prediction: Don't know who Arizona's fourth starter will be, but it won't be Albie Lopez.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com.