10/10/2002 01:33 am ET
MLB.com rates the performances
By Chris Shuttlesworth / MLB.com
If the Giants had any jet lag from having to fly overnight to Atlanta, win an emotional game against the Braves and then fly to St. Louis to face the Cardinals in a rollicking Busch Stadium, it didn't show. They scored early and often and then survived a white-knuckle charge to the finish to take Game 1 of the National League Championship Series.
One riverboat: Your performance has Proud Mary wearing a paper bag
Two riverboats: Not even hope could float your boat
Three riverboats: You're up the river but without a paddle
Four riverboats: You're rolling, rolling, rolling down the river
Five riverboats: You're as mighty as the Mississippi River
Miguel Cairo: Maybe the Cards shouldn't have fretted over putting Scott Rolen on the roster. His replacement continued to sizzle, recording three more hits -- including a two-run homer in the sixth -- before finally making an out for the first time in his postseason career.
Dave Veres: With his team breathing heavily down the Giants' necks, Veres gave the Cardinals two perfect innings late in the game and retired Jeff Kent at the end of the eighth to make sure Barry Bonds would lead off an inning.
Albert Pujols: He fumbled an early opportunity to sting the Giants by popping out with two men on, and he struck out to end the game, but his two-run homer in the fifth sparked the Cardinals' furious attempt to come back against the Giants.
Tino Martinez: Sure, he finally got a hit after 13 fruitless at-bats this postseason and scored on Cairo's homer, but he topped the team with five men left on base. His popout to end the seventh with two men on snuffed perhaps the Cardinals' last, best chance to win the game.
Matt Morris: He walked three batters in the first, but somehow managed to escape with only a single run scoring. In the second, he put the ball over the plate, and the Giants put it into play -- over and over and over, to the tune of seven runs on 10 hits over 4 1/3 innings.
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
Kenny Lofton: It took all of five pitches for the Giants to start their assault on the Cardinals, as Lofton walked to lead off the game and scored the first run. He singled with two out in the second, stole second and scored again, and for good measure added a homer in the third. Oh, and his rumble with Mike Crudale and Mike Matheny sparked a good old-fashioned bench clearing, adding a little more drama to the game.
Benito Santiago: It's hard to believe the Giants spent a good portion of the year fretting about who could bat behind Barry Bonds. The 37-year-old catcher in the 27-year-old body had three hits and four RBIs, including a homer after Bonds earned his third walk of the night. For good measure, Santiago gunned down a would-be basestealer with his classic from-the-knees throw.
Barry Bonds: Someday there'll be a support group for managers kept awake nights wondering how to stop this guy. Three times the Cardinals walked him, and only once did that work out in St. Louis' favor. The one time they pitched to him, he smacked a two-run triple.
Felix Rodriguez: How Kirk Rueter survived five innings is anyone's guess, but the reliable Rodriguez contributed two scoreless innings after Rueter was chased by Cairo's sixth-inning homer.
Kirk Rueter: St. Louis, where he watched his beloved Cardinals play as a boy, holds a special magic for Woody, and he needed every ounce of it Wednesday. He surrendered five runs on nine hits in five-plus innings, but looky there, he's got a W next to his name yet again, giving him an extra game ball.
Chris Shuttlesworth is an editorial producer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.