Giants defeat Cardinals
4 games to 1
|Game||Date||Winning Team||Losing Team|
|1||Oct. 9||SF 9||STL 6|
|2||Oct. 10||SF 4||STL 1|
|3||Oct. 12||STL 5||SF 4|
|4||Oct. 13||SF 4||STL 3|
|5||Oct. 14||SF 2||STL 1|
Managers: Baker, Dusty, SF; La Russa, Tony, STL
MVP: Santiago, Benito
NLDS: San Francisco over Atlanta (3 games to 2); St. Louis over Arizona (3 games to 0)
The Cardinals had home-field advantage, but the Giants won both of the first two games at Busch Stadium. The Cards survived Barry Bonds' three-run homer to win Game 3, and then the strategy of intentionally walking Bonds reared its ugly head.
Following his record 73-homer season of 2001, Bonds had dropped to 46 homers in 2002 as opponents nearly doubled his number of intentional passes (68). But intentionally walking him hadn't worked for Braves manager Bobby Cox in the NLDS, and it failed again in what became a pivotal situation in the NLCS.
In Game 4, with the score tied at 2 in the bottom of the eighth, Cardinals manager Tony La Russa had right-handed reliever Rick White walk Bonds so he could pitch to the right-handed-hitting Benito Santiago. With a full count, Santiago then sent his second home run of the NLCS into the left-field seats at Pacific Bell Park, giving the Giants a 4-2 lead and securing his eventual NLCS MVP honors. San Francisco won the game, 4-3, and took a 3-1 series lead.
Game 5 came down to the bottom of the ninth, when Kenny Lofton's dramatic walk-off single -- the biggest hit of his career -- scored David Bell from second. Cardinals starter Matt Morris had hit Lofton with a pitch earlier in the game, and La Russa replaced Morris with Steve Kline for the final at-bat. Bonds said afterwards that "Kenny got the last slap."
Bonds was the first player out of the dugout to reach Lofton in the wild celebration scene between first and second. Bonds had delivered six RBIs in this series, and at long last, in his 17th season, he had the monkey off his back with his first pennant.
San Francisco was back in the World Series for the first time since the 1989 Bay Bridge Series against Oakland that was marred by the Loma Prieta Earthquake.