Either way, that second of the two runs, giving the Marlins a 7-5 lead, proved to be decisive when the Giants scored once in the ninth and Rodriguez -- the 10-time Gold Glove catcher who was virtually unwanted as a free agent last winter and seems determined to use the playoff stage to show teams what they missed -- then did what Torrealba couldn't.
He held a throw from left fielder Conine despite a fierce collision with Snow for the final out of the 7-6 victory in which San Francisco's ongoing defensive breakdowns were compounded in every other way.
An ineffective and seemingly spent pitching staff that had ranked second to the Dodgers in most NL categories allowed 20 runs in the three consecutive Marlin wins after Schmidt's shutout, and an inconsistent offense illuminated the extent to which Barry Bonds is the league's most valuable player.
When the bat is taken away from him with the frequency Marlin Manager Jack McKeon did it, and as many NL managers did it, it's hard to believe the Giants generated enough offense to rout the West.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Monday October 06, 2003 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 0 inches; 22 words Type of Material: Correction
Baseball -- San Francisco Giant pitcher Jerome Williams was misidentified as Jason Williams in a Sports article Sunday on the baseball playoffs.
Consider that their six runs in Game 4 came only after they went two for 27 with runners in scoring position in the first three games.
Although Edgardo Alfonzo was nine for 17 and drove in five runs while batting behind Bonds, Aurilia was two for 15, Marquis Grissom two for 14 and the jittery Cruz, coming off a bad second half, went hitless in 11 at-bats on his way out of San Francisco.
All of that basically permitted McKeon to win the Battle With Barry.
The Giants' left fielder was two for nine with no home runs and eight walks, six of which were intentional.
At 39, he is still without a World Series ring.
"See y'all in spring training," is all he would say after this latest disappointment meant that for Bonds -- and the Giants -- there would be nothing super about Sunday at all.