CINCINNATI, OCT. 12 -- Barry Bonds's unexpected criticism of teammate Jeff King created tension on the Pittsburgh Pirates -- and Manager Jim Leyland's flip-flopping of his pitching created confusion -- tonight before the Reds defeated the Pirates, 2-1, in Game 6 of the National League playoffs.

And it pointed out the biggest difference between the 1990 Pirates and the 1979 NL champions, who also played Cincinnati in the playoffs: This team will never be known as Family.

Few Pirates were willing to talk about Bonds's accusation that King unnecessarily pulled himself from the lineup before a 3-2 victory in Game 5 on Wednesday night.

Privately many Pirates said Bonds's shoot-from-the-lip remarks were untrue and unwarranted and could only create unnecessary problems.

The usually low-key King, who apparently was pulled by Leyland, uttered an expletive when told of the remarks and was dissuaded by teammate Gary Redus from confronting Bonds in a clubhouse filled with reporters.

Leyland also was unhappy with the unexpected distraction and became upset when asked why Bonds would choose such a time and a place to air his opinion.

"To criticize a teammate is out of line," Leyland said. "All Barry Bonds should worry about is playing left field and getting some hits. That's his responsibility. He doesn't have anything to do with setting the lineup. . . .

"The last thing on my mind was one of our players would rip a teammate."

After a season in which Bonds downplayed his image of being a self-centered egotist, several Pirates -- who did not want to be identified -- said the rift further exacerbated the differences between Bonds and his teammates.

"There are some people on this team who won't forget about it," a player said.

"Why would he say something like that?" King said. "I wanted to play and I told {Leyland} I wanted to test my back in infield {practice}, and the next thing I know I'm out of the lineup."

Bonds made the remarks without being asked about it in two extensive postgame interview sessions. Later he complained that his statements were taken out of context and overblown.

"It's almost like a compliment, trying to get him motivated to play," Bonds told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

One prediction that Bonds made didn't come true. He said he'd bet that Bobby Bonilla would play third base tonight "so King can rest his back for spring training." King started at third.

Leyland said he intentionally misled reporters over his pitching plans for Game 6 because he didn't want to be distracted by questions.

Leyland said he and the coaching staff decided "three or four days ago" to start right-hander Ted Power, a former Red who previously hadn't started a game this season. Leyland apparently hoped to prod Reds Manager Lou Piniella into starting a left-handed-dominated lineup, then bring in left-hander Zane Smith after an inning or two.

"I'm just trying to utilize our strength, and that's pitching," said Leyland, who has been criticized for carrying two more pitchers and two fewer position players than the Reds.

"We don't have any tomorrows. We've got to do everything we can to win this game. Today."

Leyland may have decided several days before to start Power, but he didn't tell Smith, who was sent to a pregame news conference Thursday as the Pirates' starter. Smith asked several reporters Wednesday night if they knew Leyland's pitching plans, because he didn't.

Smith, 6-2 with a 1.30 ERA with the Pirates, can become a free agent after this season.