10/04/2002 00:04 am ET
MLB.com rates the performances
The best and worst of Game 2: Giants at Braves
By Chris Shuttlesworth / MLB.com
The Braves looked like the mighty, mighty Braves on Thursday, showing the Giants, hey, even our pitchers without a mantel full of Cy Young Awards are pretty darn good. Thus, Atlanta gets the lion's share of the game balls handed out for their series-squaring, 7-3 victory.
One peach: The last piece of fruit from the bottom of the bin
Two peaches: Mom packed this instead of a candy bar?
Three peaches: Juicy and refreshing
Four peaches: A tasty cobbler
Five peaches: Warm slice of delicious pie, a la mode
Mark DeRosa: Quick, name the Braves' regular second baseman. Trick question -- they've used DeRosa, Keith Lockhart, Marcus Giles, Jesse Garcia and even a splash of Rafael Furcal this season. But DeRosa was The Man on Thursday, hitting a double and a triple, scoring twice and driving in a pair.
Kevin Millwood: J.T. Snow's game-tying homer in the second was merely a buzzing fly in Millwood's ear, one that he waved away with nary a care. He gave up three hits (two of them solo homers) over six innings to lead his club to a rousing victory, and never fear, Braves fans, he's ready for Game 5 if it's necessary.
Javy Lopez: The catcher gave the Braves the lead for good with his second-inning homer, the first of back-to-back jobs by Atlanta to set the Giants on their heels. Lopez led off the fourth with a single and later scored to officially put the game into rout-dom.
Vinny Castilla: If Giants starter Kirk Rueter could consider Lopez's bomb just an "oops," Castilla sent the message that this wasn't going to be Woody's night. He followed with a shot of his own and later walked and scored on DeRosa's two-run triple.
John Smoltz: Admit it, the bomb he surrendered to Barry Bonds was entertaining. But that blip aside, the closer struck out all four batters he faced in the non-save situation to finish out the game.
One cable car: Broken down in the middle of rush-hour traffic
Two cable cars: Standing in a long line waiting for your turn
Three cable cars: Packed with tourists, but enjoying the ride
Four cable cars: Climbing halfway to the stars
Five cable cars: Atop Nob Hill, and you get to ring the bell
Giants bullpen: Starter Kirk Rueter absorbed all the damage Thursday night, as Manny Aybar, Jay Witasick and Felix Rodriguez threw five zeroes up on the board. The trio allowed two lonely Braves baserunners on a walk and an eighth-inning single.
J.T. Snow: After driving in a pair of runs in Game 1, Snow seemed to get the Giants back in the game with a second-inning, game-tying homer. He added a single in the seventh, the only frame in which the Giants got two men on base.
Barry Bonds: Like much of the Giants' offense, Bonds also struggled at the plate for most of the night, striking out to start the second and quietly fouling out and flying out in his next two at-bats. But after being robbed of a homer by Andruw Jones the previous night, Bonds made sure the only person who could catch his ninth-inning shot off Smoltz was a fan in the stands.
Kirk Rueter: Entering Game 2, Woody had a 0.79 ERA in 11 1/3 postseason innings. Exiting Game 2 without recording an out in the fourth, he now sports an ERA over four. Only once this season had the lefty been bounced that early, also surrendering six earned runs in three-plus innings on June 10.
Giants offense: "Led" by Jeff Kent's 0-for-4, two-K night, San Francisco bats remained meek most of the night, save for Snow's performance. Kenny Lofton and Reggie Sanders recorded late-game singles to stay out of the 0-fer club, but David Bell took a bagel and struck out with two men on base in the seventh to kill the Giants' last real hope.
Chris Shuttlesworth is an editorial producer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.