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MLB.com rates the performance
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League Championship Series
10/15/2002 00:32 am ET 
MLB.com rates the performance
By Jared Hoffman / MLB.com

The Giants punched their ticket to the World Series with a 2-1 victory over the Cardinals, coming from behind in the latter half of the game for a second consecutive night. The Giants will be trying to win their first World Series since moving to San Francisco in 1958. The Cardinals, who haven't won a World Series since 1982, have won 90 or more games the past three seasons but have failed to advance past the NLCS.

Cardinals

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


Matt Morris: In Game 1 of the NLCS, Morris allowed seven run in only 4 2 /3 innings, including four runs in the second inning after retiring the first two batters. He was much sharper this time out. The first-inning problems that have plagued him much of the season were absent as he retired the first nine batters he faced and didn't allow a hit until there were two outs in the fifth. Officially, he was credited with the loss but when came out of the game with two outs in the ninth, he had allowed only one run.


Mike Matheny: The Cardinals catcher had at least one hit in every one of St. Louis' eight postseason games. In Game 5, the Cardinals had nine hits but the only extra-base hit was Matheny's leadoff double in the seventh. That same inning, Matheny scored the Cardinals' only run of the game.


Fernando Vina: Although he only went 1-for-4, Vina did something the Cardinals have had a tough time doing most of this series -- driving in a runner from third base. In the top of the seventh when the Cardinals had runners at the corners and nobody out, Vina hit a sacrifice fly to left to score Mike Matheny from third for the game's first run.


Middle of the order: The Cardinals' 3-4-5 hitters in the form of Jim Edmonds (No. 3), Albert Pujols (No. 4) and Eduardo Perez and J.D. Drew (No. 5) went a combined 3-for-11 (.272) with one walk but didn't drive in any runs. Those three spots left 10 men on base.


Steve Kline: The Cardinals left-handed reliever found himself in the same spot he was last postseason -- standing on the mound in the ninth inning after giving up the game-winning hit in a 2-1 loss. The Cardinals brought in Kline to face the left-handed hitting Kenny Lofton with runners at first and second, and Lofton ripped the first pitch from Kline into right field to score David Bell.

Giants

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


Kirk Rueter: After not looking sharp in his previous two starts this postseason and carrying a 7.07 ERA into his Game 5 start, Rueter turned in a strong performance. While he might not have been quite as dazzling as his counterpart, Matt Morris, he equaled Morris where it counted by throwing six shutout innings, despite St. Louis having two runners on base in three of those innings.


Kenny Lofton: He picked up one of the biggest highlights of his career when he ripped the first pitch from Steve Kline into right field to drive home Bell from second and give the Giants a series-clinching 2-1 victory. Lofton reached base four times and was the only player in this game from either team with three hits.


David Bell: Bell was the player who got the Giants' ninth-inning rally started. After Matt Morris retired the first two batters, Bell got a base hit to center field to keep the inning alive and later scored the game-winning run on Kenny Lofton's hit to right field. Bell also got the Giants' first hit of the game and their only extra-base hit when he doubled in the bottom of the fifth.


Felix Rodriguez: In his seventh relief appearance of the postseason, Rodriguez allowed his first run. Rodriguez started the seventh in relief of reliever Kirk Rueter and gave up a leadoff double to Mike Matheny, who later scored on a sacrifice fly. On a sacrifice bunt by Matt Morris, Rodriguez should have thrown out Morris instead of trying to get Matheny at third. It provided the Cardinals with an extra out, but they didn't take advantage


Jeff Kent: He was never able to drive in a run in the NLCS and missed some big chances in Game 5. Kent came up with two runners one and one out in the fourth and popped up. In the sixth, the Giants put the first two runners on, but Kent hit into a double play. He came up with two on in the eighth but didn't get a chance as he was hit by the first pitch.

Jared Hoffman is an editorial producer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.




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