10/07/2002 5:30 pm ET
Braves, Giants ready for Game 5
By John Schlegel / MLB.com
ATLANTA -- The Giants and Braves are in unfamiliar territory but glad to be there, as they head into their National League Division Series Game 5 matchup Monday night at Turner Field.
While the Braves have participated in the Division Series each of the eight years of its existence, this is the first time they've gone to a Game 5. The Giants, meanwhile, also haven't seen an NLDS Game 5, having been bumped in three games in 1997 and four in 2000.
As the teams hit the field for an 8:31 p.m. ET first pitch, the Giants and Braves will be vying for the right to face the Cardinals in the NL Championship Series.
In a battle of right-handers, Russ Ortiz (14-10, 3.61 in 2002 regular season; 1-0, 2.57 in Division Series) will be on his full four days' rest for the Giants, taking on Kevin Millwood (18-8, 2.24 in '02; 1-0, 3.00 in DS) on short rest. Ortiz was the winner in the Giants' 8-5 Game 1 victory, and Millwood pitched the Braves to a 7-3 Game 2 victory.
The Braves have previously avoided Game 5 by sweeping four of their first seven Division Series, winning three of four twice and being swept once. Monday's game marks the seventh decisive postseason game in Braves franchise history, with the Braves taking four of their first six such matchups.
The Giants will be trying to become the first team in Division Series history to come back from a 1-2 deficit and win a deciding fifth game on the road. They are 1-4 in series-deciding games in their history, most recently losing Game 7 of the 1987 NLCS to St. Louis.
John Schlegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.