Arizona Diamondbacks: The All-Time Bracket
No. 1 vs. 8 seed
The 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks are an imposing bunch on paper. Schilling and Johnson both won more than 20 games, and both did so with ERAs under 3.00. That explains why they finished one-two in Cy Young Award voting, Johnson winning his third of four straight.
Outfielder Luis Gonzalez was the offensive centerpiece. Gonzalez batted .325 with 57 home runs and 142 RBIs, the best season of his career. At age 37, first baseman Mark Grace was still up to producing a .298 average; outfielder Reggie Sanders drove in 90 runs.
The 2000 Diamondbacks featured many of the same pieces, although Schilling’s arrival in a mid-season trade with Philadelphia failed to lift the team out of third place in the NL West. The finished 12 games behind the division champion San Francisco Giants and nine games out of the only available wild card spot.
Johnson was 19-7 in picking up his Cy Young, but the team otherwise lacked pitching depth. Gonzalez batted .311 with 31 homers and 114 RBIs, and outfielder Danny Bautista added a .317 average in part-time duty. At first base, Greg Colbrunn hit .313.
Game 1: The 2000 Diamondbacks had an 85-77 regular-season record for a .525 percentage. In 2001 they upped that to 92-70 .568.
Game 2: In their World Series run, the 2001 club compiled a .647 post-season record. But the percentage doesn’t matter because the 2000 team failed to play a post-season game.
Game 3: Neither team was especially adept with the stick. The 2000 club had a team 88 OPS+. In 2001 the Diamondbacks raised that to 94…not great but good enough to take a 3-0 lead in this series.
Game 4: The 2001 champions conclude the sweep with their Johnson-Schilling lead 121 ERA+. In 2000 the ERA+ was 110.
Result: 2001 in four games