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Grace: D-Backs still confident
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Division Series
10/02/2002 03:45 am ET 
Grace: D-Backs still confident
Veteran likes chances for split with Schilling
By Mark Grace / Special to MLB.com

    Mark Grace   /   1B
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 190
Bats/Throws: L/L

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Veteran first baseman Mark Grace just completed his 15th season in the big leagues. The three-time All-Star, who started the Diamondbacks' ninth-inning rally with a single off Mariano Rivera in Game 7 of last year's World Series, has agreed to provide daily column for MLB.com throughout the Division Series.

Randy (Johnson) didn't have his stuff tonight, and give credit to their hitters. In all reality, Randy wasn't horrible. He gave up six runs and six hits, but what put it away was when they put up that touchdown in the seventh inning. That put the game away, and we were within striking distance the whole game.

I thought we swung the bats well early, but that huge inning put it away. Credit to them.

On the controversial call on Junior (ruled out at first to lead off third), we ended up scoring a run in that inning anyway. Momentum was with us. But Bill Miller is a good umpire. Sure, he missed one. But you can't blame wins and losses on umpiring. It's only because tonight St. Louis was better than us. The umpiring was the same for both teams, and I'm not going to blame any umpire. That's not the way to do it.

We were feeling good and scored a couple of early runs off Matt Morris. In order to beat him, he's not going to give up big innings very often. We had a couple of opportunities to put up big innings but he made the pitches when he had to. That's the way you have to beat him in low-scoring games. Score a run here, a run there, but that wouldn't have been enough tonight. They just had a little too much firepower tonight.

Back to WorldSeries.com We didn't expect to sweep these guys. Last year, something we remember, is going back to St. Louis 1-and-1. And if Curt can pitch like we know he can we'll go back 1-and-1 again and it's a brand-new series.

I've always said, if my life depended on one game, I'd want Curt Schilling pitching.

Our confidence is still high. You have to be confident. That's one game. Sure, we're disappointed we're down 0-1, but as I said we didn't expect to sweep 'em. We have to go out there Thursday, pick up the pieces, come back here and have a good workout tomorrow.

There's nobody panicking here. We know that these things ... it's hard. It's hard to win series. But I'm fully confident in the talent we have that we can go out there and win three.

Mark Grace's NLDS column appears as told to Rich Draper, a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.



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