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Giants Have Inside Stuff

National League: Sanders, a former Brave, is happy to share whatever he knows about Maddux and Glavine.

October 05, 2002|JASON REID | TIMES STAFF WRITER

SAN FRANCISCO — The San Francisco Giants are benefiting from Reggie Sanders' bad experience with the Atlanta Braves.

The Giant right fielder spent one unproductive season with the Braves in 2000, batting .232 with 11 home runs and 37 runs batted in, but he learned a lot about how Cy Young Award winners Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine approach batters.

The Giants followed Sanders' tips in Game 1, getting 10 hits against Glavine and chasing him after five innings in an 8-5 victory at Turner Field, and they're hoping to have similar success today against Maddux in Game 3 at Pacific Bell Park.

"I've seen how they pitch and seen how they approach different hitters," said Sanders, who singled off Glavine and scored in the Giants' three-run second Wednesday. "It's fastballs on the outside part of the plate, consistently going to stay on the outside part of the plate."

Of course, that's not exactly a news flash, considering Maddux and Glavine have openly discussed working the corners throughout their stellar careers. But Sanders provided insight into what the Giants could expect in specific situations from the Braves' 1-2 pitching punch.

"I didn't realize what students of the game those pitchers were," Sanders said. "For them, they prepare themselves like a Curt Schilling, like a Randy Johnson. They have already played the game before they have played it. They have a plan and they stick with it.... That's why they've been so successful."

*

Barry Bonds, hoping to have his first productive postseason, was busy off the field during the first two games in Atlanta, fulfilling his role as godfather to Gary and DeLeon Sheffield's three-week-old son, Jaden.

"Barry wouldn't let me hold my son," the Atlanta right fielder said. "He said to Jaden, 'You're going to learn from a real baseball player.' That's all right. He'll make a lot of money."

Sheffield said Bonds, two for eight with a solo home run and two runs, isn't fazed by media criticism of his playoff history.

"Me and Barry talk about it a lot," said Sheffield, who left the Dodgers in January.

"Barry is not feeling any tension whatsoever in this series. The family life, and all the other things you've got going on in your life, are really important to you, so you really don't care about [criticism]."

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