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Nervous Schilling Tosses Shutout


Nervous about pitching in the city where he was a high school and junior college star, and knowing his Philadelphia Phillies were in dire need of a victory, Curt Schilling changed his pitching strategy Monday night.
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  • The result was a three-hitter and his major-league-leading 11th complete game of the season as the Phillies beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-0.

    "I was very nervous tonight, as nervous as I've been in a couple of years probably," Schilling said. "Every coach that I ever played for before I went professional was here. Twenty guys from my junior college team that went to the world series were here. A lot of them I haven't seen in 10 or 12 years."

    Schilling grew up in Paradise Valley, a 15-minute drive from Bank One Ballpark. He estimates at least 180 friends, family and former teammates showed up to watch him "and another 70 that I recognized when I got here."

    They saw a masterful performance as Schilling, the NL strikeout leader with 226, abandoned attempts to fan batters and instead tried to fool them.

    "I realize now that 300 strikeouts isn't going to happen," he said. "I think that's going to make it easier on me. I need to mix it up more. Obviously, teams have made adjustments to the fastball thing, and I haven't made adjustments."

    When he adjusted Monday, he struck out five, walked one and threw just 94 pitches as the Phillies got just their second victory in 12 games.

    "That's normally about six innings for me," he said of the pitch count.

    Hard-luck Omar Daal (5-7) nearly pitched his third onsecutive complete game, giving up four hits and one earned run in 7 1/3 innings. He lost 2-0 to the Chicago Cubs in his last start on Tuesday.

    "Omar knows what we think of him," Arizona manager Buck Showalter said. "Very recently he lost a game close to the same way. He understands how frustrating it is."

    Doug Glanville singled off the glove of third baseman Matt Williams to drive in the game's first run in the eighth, then Glanville scored on a two-out wild pitch by Arizona reliever Bobby Chiounard. Rico Brogna led off the ninth with his 16th home run to make it 3-0.

    Neither team could get a runner beyond second base through seven quick innings.

    Daal retired 13 in a row between Gregg Jefferies' one-out single in the first and Bob Abreu's two-out single in the fifth and had given up only three hits through the seventh.

    But he walked Desi Relaford to lead off the eighth. Schilling's two-strike bunt moved Relaford to second, despite protests from Arizona manager Buck Showalter that the ball had bounced off of Schilling and should have been an out. Replays showed the ball appeared to bounce off the catcher's mask to stay fair.

    "That's a big play for us," Phillies' manager Terry Francona said, "and we'll take it. I don't think it was a bad call. It just looked kind of funny."

    Glanville followed with an RBI line drive off Williams' glove. Left fielder Bernard Gilkey threw wildly to home plate on the play, allowing Glanville to move to third. Chiounard replaced Daal and, after Jefferies flied out to left, the reliever threw a wild pitch to allow Glanville to score and make it 2-0.

    Schilling allowed just a leadoff single to Matt Williams in the second before Andy Fox doubled with one out in the sixth. The only other hit he allowed was Jay Bell's double in the seventh.

    Fox doubled down the left-field line with one out in the sixth, but Bernard Gilkey grounded out to shortstop and Travis Lee was called out on strikes to end the inning. Bell's ground-rule double bounced into the Arizona bullpen in left field with two outs, then Karim Garcia flied out to the warning track in center for the second time in the game.

    Notes

  • The Diamondbacks play 30 of their remaining 45 games at home.
  • Williams is 6-for-13 since coming off the disabled list on Aug. 3.
  • Schilling has pitched at least seven innings in all but three of his 26 starts but had managed only six innings in his previous two.
  • The Phillies are 2-5 with five games left on their 12-game road trip.

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