All signs point to Glavine in Game 5

Decision is not final, but Cox seems ready to go with Braves' lefty

NLCS notebook

October 21, 2001|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF

Atlanta Braves manager Bobby Cox said he's still deciding who will start tonight's Game 5 of the National League Championship Series. All indications point to left-hander Tom Glavine, who won Game 2 in Arizona.

The other candidate is Kevin Millwood, who wasn't active for the Division Series and pitched one inning in relief during Friday's 5-1 loss.

"Right now I'm leaning toward Tommy," Cox said. "We wanted to give Millwood one inning [Friday] night. He still could pitch easily. It would be good for him. But we're leaning toward Glavine right now."

No second-guessing

Even though he threw 128 pitches in Game 3, with Arizona safely ahead down the stretch, Curt Schilling never wanted to come out. An earlier exit might have made him fresher if the series goes to a seventh game, but Schilling wasn't second-guessing manager Bob Brenly.

"Well, last time I checked on the roster, it said `P' next to my name, not `MGR.' I'm the pitcher, not the manager," he said. "I have no idea how many I threw, but I felt fresh, I felt good. He's watched our pitch counts all year long and curtailed just from throwing complete games. I'm as fresh as I could be. When I get the ball again, no matter when that game is, I'll be ready and I'm sure I'll feel fine."

The Diamondbacks hope so because Schilling is lined up for Game 7 if it becomes necessary. He's the first pitcher since Los Angeles' Orel Hershiser in 1988 to toss three straight complete games in the same postseason. He's also 4-1 with a 1.70 ERA in seven career playoff appearances, allowing 11 runs and 37 hits, with 58 strikeouts, in 58 1/3 innings.

"With the lead in the ninth inning, we thought about going to the bullpen," Brenly said, "but what Curt Schilling has got going in this postseason is something special and I thought he deserved a chance to go out there and finish that ballgame."

Finley on a roll

Though his season had some rough stretches, former Oriole Steve Finley has straightened himself out in the playoffs.

Before last night, Finley was batting .393 (11-for-28) with five RBIs in eight games, including the Division Series.

"He's been huge," said Schilling. "He did not get down on himself. He struggled through the first half when a lot of guys might have packed it in, but skipper stuck with him. He was a major, major reason why we won the games that we won in the second half.

"I think the thing I'm proudest of is the fact that he's never, ever, allowed his offense to affect his defense. Having a Gold Glover out there every start is a huge, huge advantage for us."

Caminiti back home

Players taken off the postseason roster usually remain with their clubs. Atlanta's Jesse Garcia, a former Orioles' infielder, is one example. So is catcher Eddie Perez. But infielder Ken Caminiti, signed by the Braves after being released by the Texas Rangers, has returned home.

Caminiti, used at first and third base by the Braves, was removed from the NLCS roster when they added Millwood. Don't look for him to be added if Atlanta reaches the World Series.

Asked if Caminiti was done for the year, Cox said, "I think so, yeah."

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