Where There's a Schill, There's a Way

He isn't even the ultimate October warrior in his own starting rotation anymore.

But October is still Curt Schilling's kind of month.

His socks are 100 percent blood-free these days.

But October is still Curt Schilling's kind of month.

He's a man whose first World Series win, 14 Octobers ago, was a 147-pitch complete-game shutout. Now, on the other hand, he's a man who had to huff and puff his way through 5 1/3 innings and 82 pitches Thursday night to add another Series victory to his ever-growing collection.

But October is still Curt Schilling's kind of month.

Oh, we know -- and he knows -- that the Red Sox's 2-1 victory over Colorado in Game 2 of this World Series won't go down in the October ledger as "The Curt Schilling Show." Not when you stack it up against Bloody Sock Month, or October 2001, or the astounding 1993 NLCS, a series in which Schilling somehow won an LCS MVP award without even winning one frigging game.

But there was still something about him, even in a game like this, that sums up why Curt Schilling is as comfortable on this dance floor as any pitcher who ever lived.

"This is the only place," he told ESPN.com afterward, "where you can find out how far you can push yourself, because it's the ultimate pass-or-fail test. There is no gray area in the postseason. You can have a mediocre season. But you can't have a mediocre postseason. You either win it all or lose it all. So when you get in this situation, it's the ultimate pass-or-fail exam.

"So many people are afraid to fail, or freeze up in games like this or at times like this. But this is liberating for me, because it's a way -- regardless of what happens, April through September -- to redefine everything anybody ever thought about you. So I look at this as an opportunity, as opposed to something to fear."

But these nights are more than just opportunities to recast public opinion or reshape his own personal legend. At this point, they're also opportunities for Curt Schilling to rewrite another line or three in the October history books. So here come the lines he rewrote Thursday:

• He's now the only starting pitcher in history who can say he's won a World Series game in his 20s, his 30s and his 40s.

• He's now one of only two starting pitchers -- Kenny Rogers being the other -- who can say he's won a World Series game after turning 40.

• And the Elias Sports Bureau reports that, by winning Series games 14 years apart, Schilling is now just the second pitcher ever to record World Series wins that many years apart or longer. Jim Palmer (17 years) is the other.

Those are very cool feats, very cool little slices of October trivia, very cool tidbits to file away for some future "Who's The Greatest Postseason Pitcher Ever?" debate.

Here, however, comes the number that's Schilling's personal favorite -- .846.

That's his career postseason winning percentage. And it's now the best winning percentage in baseball history among all pitchers with at least 10 postseason decisions.

Whether you love him or hate him, whether you root for him or against him, you have to admit this about Curt Schilling: His postseason numbers are getting downright insane.

No matter how many times you look at them, they tell the tale of a pitcher who has risen to these moments as successfully as any starting pitcher we've ever laid eyes on.

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