CINCINNATI, OCT. 5 -- When the Pittsburgh Pirates rave about their "Killer B's," they're talking about Bobby Bonilla and Barry Bonds. Part-time first baseman Sid Bream has the proper consonant but not the lethal status.
Yet when Bream produces -- as he did with a game-tying, two-run home run during a 4-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds in Thursday's Game 1 of the National League Championship Series -- the Pirates win. They were 14-0 when he homered during the regular season.
Pirates Manager Jim Leyland refuses to be carried away with Bream's exploits. Left-hander Tom Browning started today's Game 2 for the Reds, and Bream was out of the lineup in favor of right-handed hitter Gary Redus.
"Ah, the life of a platoon player," Bream said at the batting cage this afternoon. "Hero one day, splinter gatherer the next.". . . .
When Jeff King exited today's game with a strained lower back, Leyland moved Bonilla to third base rather than Wally Backman. The rest of the team almost certainly cringed.
Bonilla was perhaps baseball's worst defensive third baseman before being moved to right field this season. He had 35 errors last year, and conceded earlier this season: "The infield wasn't really my thing."