10/11/2002 00:53 am ET
MLB.com rates the performances
By Chris Shuttlesworth / MLB.com
The Giants showed up with shovels in hand Thursday and dug a nice big hole for the Cardinals to fall into -- namely, a 2-0 hole heading to San Francisco for two or three (the Cards hope) games. As good as Jason Schmidt looked against St. Louis, he hasn't even been the Giants' best pitcher this postseason. Is that a collective "gulp" we hear from St. Louis fans?
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
Rick White and Jeff Fassero: As well as Woody Williams pitched, he still allowed three runs, while White and Fassero gave up none to keep hope alive for the Redbird faithful. Fassero did what few pitchers managed to do all year -- he struck out Barry Bonds to snuff an eighth-inning threat.
Eduardo Perez: Just when it looked like Jason Schmidt might post a shutout against the Cardinals, Perez put an end to such thoughts -- and Schmidt's night -- by ripping a solo homer in the eighth inning. It cut the lead to 3-1 and suddenly made a comeback seem possible.
Woody Williams: Two better pitches to Rich Aurilia and he could be sporting the five-riverboat badge of honor. He gave St. Louis more than it could have hoped for, going six innings to spare the bullpen worn out by Matt Morris' short outing in Game 1, and he struck out seven in his first start since Sept. 20.
Tino Martinez: Just call him Tin-0-fer. He went hitless in three at-bats (plus a walk), including a flyout in the ninth that wasn't even deep enough to bring home Jim Edmonds from third.
Edgar Renteria: The St. Louis shortstop watched his counterpart club two homers, while his contribution was a miserable 0-for-4 day at the plate. He struck out to end the seventh with two runners on base and then grounded out to end 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
Jason Schmidt: He said he learned from his sixth-inning meltdown in his lone Division Series start, and what a lesson it must have been. Before allowing Eduardo Perez's pinch-hit homer with two out in the eighth (both strikeouts), Schmidt had allowed only three Cardinals singles and one walk while mowing down eight batters via strikeout.
Rich Aurilia: All night, TV broadcasters referred to Aurilia's season as a "down year." Well, it may have been down by his own impressive standards set in recent years, but he's getting hot at the perfect time, smacking two homers to give him four this postseason, along with 11 RBIs.
Robb Nen: OK, he can't hit. But no one's paying him for that. With the tying run at the plate, the closer trotted in during the eighth inning and got an inning-ending forceout before pitching a scoreless ninth to seal the victory.
Kenny Lofton and Benito Santiago: "Don't test me," your momma used to say, and that's just what Lofton must have been muttering when the Cardinals sent J.D. Drew from third on a shallow flyout to center in the third inning. Lofton hurled a throw home to Santiago, who dove back to tag out Drew and complete the inning-ending double play that preserved the Giants' slim lead.
The suicide squeeze: You gotta love any move with such a dramatic name. The Giants saw teams pull off the bold play a couple of times this season, and they couldn't have picked a better time to spring it on the unsuspecting Cardinals, tacking on an insurance run in the ninth. Dusty Baker made all the right moves, double-switching in the previous inning to put Martinez in the pitcher's slot and then having the nerve to ask Martinez to execute the squeeze to bring home J.T. Snow. Credit to Martinez and Snow for actually pulling it off.
Chris Shuttlesworth is an editorial producer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.