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NATIONAL LEAGUE DIVISIONAL SERIES

St. Louis vs. Arizona

October 01, 2002|Chicago Tribune

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CARDINAL ANALYSIS

STRENGTHS: Veteran lineup features home run potential from six players. Rolen, Edmonds, Renteria and Marrero are Gold Glove-caliber defenders.

*--* CARDINALS' PROJECTED LINEUP P Player Avg HR RBIs 2B Fernando Vina 270 1 54 RF Eli Marrero 262 18 66 CF Jim Edmonds 311 28 83 LF Albert Pujols 314 34 127 3B Scott Rolen 266 31 110 SS Edgar Renteria 305 11 83 1B Tino Martinez 262 21 75 C Mike Matheny 244 3 35 P Matt Morris 169 0 3

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WEAKNESSES: Rotation is suspect. Morris struggled down the stretch after a hamstring injury, left-hander Chuck Finley hasn't won a postseason game and Woody Williams left his last start because of back stiffness.

KEY RESERVES: OF J.D. Drew (.252, 18 HR, 56 RBIs), IF/OF Miguel Cairo (.250, 2 HR, 23 RBIs), OF Eduardo Perez (.201, 10 HR, 26 RBIs).

TEAM BATTING: .268 (Second in NL).

TEAM PITCHING: 3.70 (Fourth in NL).

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*--* DIAMONDBACKS' PROJECTED LINEUP P Player Avg HR RBIs SS Tony Womack 271 5 57 2B Junior Spivey 301 16 78 CF Steve Finley 287 25 89 1B Mark Grace 252 7 48 3B Matt Williams 260 12 40 RF Quinton McCracken 309 3 40 LF David Dellucci 245 7 29 C Chad Moeller 289 2 16 P Randy Johnson 135 0 8

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DIAMONDBACK ANALYSIS

STRENGTHS: Went 55-15 in games started by Johnson or Curt Schilling, but Schilling went 0-2 with a 6.94 ERA down the stretch. Veteran group knows what it takes to win it all after beating the Yankees in 2001.

WEAKNESSES: Injuries to Luis Gonzalez and Craig Counsell have weakened the lineup. Gonzalez led the team in six offensive categories. Arizona's bullpen ranked 14th in National League ERA.

KEY RESERVES: 1B Greg Colbrunn (.333, 10 HR, 27 RBIs), 1B Erubiel Durazo (.261, 16 HR, 48 RBIs), C Damian Miller (.249, 11 HR, 42 RBIs).

TEAM BATTING: .267 (Third in NL).TEAM PITCHING: 3.92 (Sixth in NL).

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KEYS TO THE SERIES

The Cardinals are among baseball's hottest teams, having won 21 of their last 25 games after a power surge by newcomer Rolen. They beat Johnson three times last year--including once in the postseason--and defeated Schilling twice this season. Expect more scoring than last season, when the Diamondbacks eked out a 3-2 division series win over the Cardinals but scored only 10 runs in the five games.

RECORDS: Cardinals 97-65, Diamondbacks 98-64

HEAD TO HEAD: Cardinals, 4-2.

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