Bruised Gonzalez gets back in swing for Diamondbacks

Hobbled outfielder joins fun with 2 hits

M. Williams has 2 doubles in 1 inning

World Series


November 04, 2001|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF

PHOENIX - Though changes were made in the Arizona Diamondbacks' lineup last night for Game 6 of the World Series, they didn't affect outfielder Luis Gonzalez, whose status had been uncertain because of nagging injuries.

Gonzalez is vague about his ailments besides admitting that his left wrist remains sore after being hit by Yankees Game 2 starter Andy Pettitte, who returned to the mound last night. Gonzalez also was hit on the left foot by an Orlando Hernandez curveball in Game 4, which could explain his reduced mobility in left field.

Before going 2-for-4 last night, Gonzalez was 1-for-7 with a walk since being nailed by Hernandez, leaving his Series average at .222. He was slow to reach a bloop single by Scott Brosius in the sixth inning of Game 3 that won the game. He also didn't get to Paul O'Neill's looping single in Game 4 that preceded Tino Martinez's dramatic ninth-inning homer, or Bernie Williams' pop-up in the eighth inning of Game 5 that deflected off shortstop Tony Womack's glove.

Danny Bautista, who started in center field last night over Steve Finley, replaced Gonzalez in left field during Game 5. Last night, with Arizona leading 15-0 in the fourth inning, David Dellucci pinch ran for Gonzalez and replaced him in left field.

"It's been bothering me a little bit. I'm still getting treatment," Gonzalez said of his wrist. "This is the postseason. You've got to run out there and do whatever you can. Obviously I'd like to be doing a lot better offensively, and neither team is really swinging the bat that well."

Arizona manger Bob Brenly, seeking more right-handed hitters last night against left-hander Pettitte, gave Greg Colbrunn the start at first base over Mark Grace, who was batting .133 with a home run in the Series. Colbrunn didn't have an at-bat before last night, but that didn't stop Brenly from using him in the clean-up spot, where he went 2-for-5.

Jay Bell, who struck out in his only Series at-bat, replaced Craig Counsell (.050) at second base. Counsell, the Most Valuable Player in the National League Championship Series, was 1-for-20 with seven strikeouts. He homered off Mike Mussina in Game 1 and tied a Series record with three sacrifice bunts in Game 4.

"Andy Pettitte is tough on everybody, but he's especially tough on left-handed hitters," Brenly said. "We watched some videotape from Game 2 and thought all our left-handed hitters had very few good swings against him."

Catcher Damian Miller returned after missing Game 5 with a sore calf muscle, an injury that occurred two nights earlier.

"I don't know that I could put a percentage on what he's playing at, but he says it feels a lot better than how it felt a couple days ago," Brenly said of Miller. "He passed all the tests in the training room."

`New York, New York'

As the Diamondbacks congregated on their home field to celebrate their Game 6 victory, "New York, New York" blared over the public address system. The song has become the Yankees' anthem, whether in victory or defeat, and clearly was meant to tweak the three-time defending world champions.

Manager Joe Torre didn't seem offended. "They do that in Baltimore, too," he said. "You know, the fans are having fun. This is their ballpark."

Torre hardly up in arms

Torre said he considered using a non-pitcher to finish up the game and save his bullpen, but it wasn't necessary once Brosius popped up to end the Yankees' two-run sixth. He would have pinch-hit for reliever Randy Choate if Brosius had reached, and didn't want left-hander Mike Stanton going more than two innings.

"O'Neill volunteered. I know [Luis] Sojo has been volunteering all year," Torre said.

Brenly toyed with the idea of using closer Byung-Hyun Kim, who blew saves in Games 4 and 5. "But given the score of the ballgame , we decided better to give BK the day off and have him fresh and ready to go tomorrow. I heard some fans chanting, `We want Kim.' We thought about bringing him in for the last out, but then you let your emotions enter into it."

Follow the leader

Being an impressionable rookie works out fine for Yankees second baseman Alfonso Soriano. His veteran teammates have made a big impression on him.

"I see the way these guys carry themselves and they all have a lot of confidence in themselves, and that helps me to have a lot of confidence in myself. I look at myself and say, `Why can't I play like that and be that confident?' " he said.

"As far as being a rookie, they always help me and give me positive feedback. Never anything negative, just always trying to maintain a positive frame of mind."

Right street, wrong way

Two of the three home runs allowed by Kim in Games 4 and 5 were to right-handed hitters, who had taken him deep only twice in 179 at-bats during the regular season. Both of those homers were by Colorado's Jeff Cirillo, on April 18 and Sept. 14, in the thin air of Coors Field.

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