St. Petersburg Times Online: Sports
Place an Ad Calendars Classified Forums Sports Weather

printer version

A couple of survivors

GIANTS 8, BRAVES 3: Livan Hernandez improves to 6-0 in the postseason as San Francisco forces a Game 5.

©Associated Press
October 7, 2002

SAN FRANCISCO -- Livan Hernandez boasted about his postseason perfection, then backed it up.

Hernandez won again in October and the Giants battered Tom Glavine for the second time to beat the Atlanta Braves 8-3 Sunday and even their NL division series at 2.

"I tried not to put pressure on," Hernandez said. "I knew it was a big game. I do it the same as I do every day. I came into the park and batting practice and relaxed, my mind relaxed. I did not want to make a lot of mistakes ... and I won again today."

Barry Bonds drove in the first run and the Giants led all the way, sending the teams back to Atlanta for a decisive Game 5 tonight. Buses to carry the clubs to the airport for cross-country flights were lined up before it ended.

Kevin Millwood, already waiting at home in Atlanta, will pitch for the Braves on three days' rest against a fully rested Russ Ortiz.

Handed a 7-0 lead, Hernandez, the 1997 NLCS and World Series MVP, improved to 6-0 in the postseason. Even after a 12-16 regular season, he was confident before his first outing of this series.

"I never lose in October," he said.

At least one team in the neighborhood still is alive. After Oakland was eliminated by Minnesota in the AL division series across San Francisco Bay, Hernandez gave fans plenty to cheer about.

The wild-card Giants won for the first time in six tries since the 1971 NL Championship Series when facing postseason elimination.

Hernandez carried a no-hit bid into the fifth, but Vinny Castilla hit a high popup that dropped between Hernandez, third baseman David Bell and shortstop Rich Aurilia for a single.

Bell charged in too far and the ball fell behind him. Keith Lockhart followed with another hit.

Hernandez allowed three runs and eight hits in 81/3 innings, striking out six. Giants manager Dusty Baker was booed when he lifted his starter, but Scott Eyre and Robb Nen finished up.

"We were trying to make him throw strikes," Braves manager Bobby Cox said of Hernandez. "The first inning we had three (hard-hit balls) at him, but we didn't do much after that. Livan's hard to hit. He comes with so many angles at you. He's sneaky quick."

Aurilia hit a three-run homer in the third, his third hit of the game, as the Giants found the offense that eluded them in the two previous games, both losses.

Aurilia's shot chased Glavine, who threw 68 pitches in 22/3 innings. At 12-15, he has the most losses in postseason history.

Hernandez pitched a 1-2-3 first and had the raucous Pacific Bell Park fans on their feet early, waving their white "Rally Rags."

"It's more difficult to be patient when you're down by seven runs, six runs," said Atlanta's Gary Sheffield, who went 0-for-4 and is batting .071 in the series.

"He wasn't really coming over the middle of the plate today. He was throwing eephus curveballs and eephus sliders, then he'd show a fastball, so it made it look a lot faster than it really was."

Sheffield said he'd never seen Hernandez throw those pitches.

"It kind of shocked me when they came out of his hand," he said.

Bonds hit a sacrifice fly and the Giants gave Hernandez a two-run cushion in the first, and they were on their way to an easy victory.

Glavine, making his 32nd postseason start, got in trouble in a hurry.

Trying to redeem himself after losing Game 1 at Turner Field, he loaded the bases with none out in the first on a walk to Jeff Kent, sending the fans into a frenzy. They chanted "Barry, Barry!" as the slugger came to bat.

Kenny Lofton scored on Bonds' fly to right-center, the first of his three runs scored. Benito Santiago followed with a run-scoring groundout to make it 2-0, and the Giants had equaled their total from their loss the day before.

Back to Sports
Back to Top

© 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
Contact the Times | Privacy Policy
Standard of Accuracy | Terms, Conditions & Copyright

From the Times sports desk

  • F1 could weight points leader's car
  • For Earnhardt, 3 is a $1-million number
  • Da Matta locks up CART title
  • CART and Le Mans to share in future
  • Smaller fuel cells break up large packs

  • Baseball playoffs
  • A couple of survivors: Giants
  • A couple of survivors: Twins
  • NL: Rolen has multiple sprains
  • AL: Again, A's can't win when they have to

  • NFL
  • NFL notebook: O'Neal returns to Denver's good graces
  • Gramatica lifts Cards to best start in decade
  • Ravens stave off Browns comeback
  • Saints balance well in victory
  • Chargers' unbeaten run ends in Denver
  • Jags leave McNabb, Eagles in ill health
  • Dolphins defense responds
  • NFL roundup
  • Chicago to run into its greatest nemesis: Favre

  • College football
  • After win in 6 OTs, is UT ready for Dawgs?
  • Balance issues continue to impede Gators
  • Hurricanes: FSU should test streak
  • Bulls gain ground on the ground
  • Miami strengthens position as nation's best

  • Golf
  • Howell earns his first win in 68 starts

  • NHL
  • Wild puts Thrashers away in OT

  • Et cetera
  • Sports briefs

  • Bucs
  • Monster's ball
  • Bucs offense makes strides
  • Bucs feel at home with crowd support
  • Keyshawn meets vertical challenge
  • Third-quarter catch McCardell's 600th
  • ucs/Falcons quotebooks
  • Sound bites

  • Lightning
  • Lecavalier turns over new leaf
  • Assignment upsets Alexeev

  • From the wire

    From the state sports wire
  • Jacksonville's Spicer placed on IR after leg surgery
  • FIU-Western Kentucky game postponed because of Jeanne
  • Brown anxious to face old team for first time
  • Dolphins' desperate defense readies for Roethlisberger
  • Former Sarasota lineman sheds tough-guy image with Michigan
  • Rothstein rejoins Heat as assistant
  • No. 16 Florida has history on its side against Kentucky
  • FSU and Clemson QBs both off to slow starts