10/10/2002 5:22 pm ET
Cards, Giants ready for Game 2
No team has come back from 0-2 deficit at home
By Jared Hoffman / MLB.com
ST. LOUIS -- After losing Game 1 of the NLCS, tonight's second game will be pivotal for the Cardinals. While the Giants are assured of carrying at least a split into Pacific Bell Park for Game 3 Saturday, the Cardinals are trying to avoid the type of deficit no team has overcome.
Since the LCS switched to a best-of-seven format in 1985, only two teams have rallied from 2-0 deficits -- the 1985 Cardinals and the 1985 Royals. Each dropped its first two games on the road, meaning no team has lost its first two at home and rallied to win. Since 1986, 10 teams have fallen into 2-0 deficits and all have lost.
In an effort to avoid that, the Cardinals shook up their lineup a bit for tonight's game. Hot-hitting Miguel Cairo, 7-for-8 since replacing the injured Scott Rolen at third base, will move up to second. J.D. Drew will hit seventh.
The Cards also will need a strong start from Woody Williams, who will be appearing in his first game since Sept. 20, because of an injury to his side and ribcage. Williams didn't face the Giants this season but has been tough on almost everyone at Busch Stadium, going 8-2 with a 2.91 ERA in 14 career starts. He was 5-1 with a 2.12 ERA in nine home starts this season.
San Francisco's Game 2 starter, Jason Schmidt, was 13-8 with a 3.45 ERA in the regular season but only 5-3 with a 5.02 ERA on the road. Schmidt was 0-2 with a 6.00 ERA in two starts against the Cardinals this season and each time was impressed with the lineup.
"Both times I walked away thinking that it was probably the best lineup I faced all year," said Schmidt. "They have power through the order. They can all hit for average. They have got some speed. Coming in here, you definitely have to make your pitches against these guys because they can beat you anywhere through the order."
The respective leadoff men for each club will be worth keeping an eye on. Kenny Lofton of the Giants, who hit .350 and scored five runs in the Division Series against Atlanta, scored three runs in Game 1 and was 2-for-4 with a walk and stolen base. St. Louis' Fernando Vina, who hit .600 against Arizona in the Division Series, was 0-for-5 in Game 1.
Look for Barry Bonds to continue to receive walks, even though that strategy didn't necessarily work for St. Louis in Game 1. Bonds walked three times and one those walks preceded a two-run homer by Benito Santiago. When he did get a chance to bat, Bonds belted a two-run triple in the second inning.
Tino Martinez got his first hit of the postseason last night for St. Louis but left five men on base, including three in scoring position.
"Well, if Tino has the uniform on with the birds and the bat, then he's one of our keys," said La Russa. "Whoever plays for us, they are keys. There's no extra pressure on Tino."
But the Giants have put a lot of pressure on the Cardinals to win Game 2. Another near-perfect night for baseball is in store for a Busch Stadium sellout crowd, with game time temperatures in the upper 60s.
Jared Hoffman is an editorial producer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.