SAN FRANCISCO (Ticker) -- Barry Bonds can finally see one of
biggest dreams come true on Monday night when the San Francisco
Giants look to move into the World Series as they play Game Five
of the National League Championship Series against the St.
Bonds is one step away from reaching the World Series for the
first time in his illustrious career. He had a chance with
Pittsburgh in 1992 but the Atlanta Braves scored three runs in
the bottom of the ninth inning in the decisive seventh game of
Bonds played a key role in San Francisco's 4-3 victory on Sunday
that gave the Giants a three games to one lead in the series.
He was issued a two-out intentional walk in the eighth inning
and Benito Santiago followed with a two-run homer for a 4-2
Closer Robb Nen allowed an RBI single to Jim Edmonds in the
ninth that put runners on the corners with one out. But he
recovered to strike out Albert Pujols and J.D. Drew for his
fifth save of the postseason.
"Well, yeah, we know that if we win tomorrow, we're going to the
World Series, but you know, we know we still have a lot of work
to do," Giants first baseman J.T. Snow said. "That's a good
team over there. We've played some pretty good games the last
four games, and they keep coming back at us and we keep coming
back at them."
St. Louis manager Tony La Russa was left defending his decision
to walk Bonds, which put the go-ahead run on base.
"Well, a lot of times strategy is judged on whether it works,"
he said. "So it didn't work. Bad strategy. But, you know,
Bonds is the most dangerous hitter in the game right now, and
it's tough to walk in that clubhouse with giving him a chance to
get the hit to beat you."
The Cardinals nursed a 2-0 lead until Snow came through with a
two-run double with two outs in the sixth inning to tie the
game. Starter Livan Hernandez worked in and out of trouble and
allowed just six hits through his final 5 1/3 innings.
St. Louis left 12 runners on base and wasted strong pitching
that limited San Francisco to four hits. The Cardinals suffered
their first loss in four road postseason games.
Giants lefthander Kirk Rueter (1-1, 12.38 ERA) tries for his
second victory of the LCS. Rueter was the winner in Game One as
he allowed five runs and nine hits in five innings in a 9-6
Rueter went 5-5 with a 3.02 ERA in 16 starts at home this
season. The veteran is 2-1 lifetime with a 2.02 ERA against the
"I take the same philosophy here or on the road," Rueter said.
"Even though this is more of a pitcher's park, you still have to
make your pitches because, I mean, this park has proven that
you can give up home runs. I mean, obviously, Barry hits a lot
of them here."
Matt Morris (1-1, 6.35) looks to bounce back after his loss in
Game One for St. Louis. He was pounded for seven runs and 10
hits in 4 1/3 innings in a 9-6 loss.
"You know, I'm going to go out there and keep my same game plan
that I had in Game One," Morris said. "I don't think I ever was
able to get to the execution part of it. The other day was kind
of a blur. I'm going to focus on making pitches and keeping the
ball down. I know that's what I said last time, too, but I'm
serious this time."
Morris yielded just six hits in eight innings in a 4-0 victory
here on July 23. He has allowed just one earned run in 15 career
innings at Pacific Bell Park.
The Cardinals are trying to become the first team to rally from
a 3-1 deficit in the NLCS since the Atlanta Braves did it to
them in 1996.
"You can't get down now, you have to play like there is no
tomorrow because, well, there is no tomorrow," Pujols said.