How does Giant Manager Roger Craig see the National League Championship Series between the Mets and Dodgers?
"I kind of have to pick the Mets, but I think if Orel Hershiser wins the first game (for the Dodgers), it could turn the series around," Craig said during the Giants' weekend series at Dodger Stadium.
"The first game is the key, and Hershiser is going to be tough to beat. He's on a roll. He's like an Olympic athlete. He's performing at the highest level of his ability. If he gets beat, it'll be 1-0 or 2-1."
Craig, whose Giants won the National League West last year and lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in the playoffs, said he believes the Mets have an edge over the Dodgers in offense and bullpen balance. He said the Giants' regular-season superiority over the Mets stemmed from his pitchers' ability to keep the hitters off balance.
"They're a fastball-hitting team," he said. "If you don't throw a lot of off-speed stuff, they'll kill you.
"But it's amazing how that works. A lot of people consider them the best team in baseball. Yet we beat them fairly easily and couldn't beat the Phillies or Pirates."
Could it be mental for the Dodgers?
"Sure," Craig said. "Right now I'd feel good about playing the Mets. The Dodgers have to erase what happened, and I'm sure Tommy (Lasorda) will work on it. That's over. This is the real thing now."