For the third time in their history, the Cardinals are playing the Giants in a National League Championship Series.
The Cardinals won four of seven against the Giants in the 1987 series. The Giants won four of five against the Cardinals in the 2002 series. If the Cardinals win the 2012 version, it will give St. Louis back-to-back NL pennants for the first time since 1967-68.
Here are top 5 facts to know about each of the first two Giants-Cardinals league championship showdowns:
1987 NL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES
_ Jose Oquendo hit a three-run home run off Atlee Hammaker that propelled St. Louis to a 6-0 victory in Game 7. Boxscore During the 1987 regular season, Oquendo hit only one home run. It also came against the Giants _ a two-run shot off Craig Lefferts on July 25 at Candlestick Park. Boxscore
_ Mike Aldrete, bench coach for the 2012 Cardinals, batted .325 during the regular season for the 1987 Giants. In the seven-game NLCS against the Cardinals, however, he was 1-for-10 (.100 batting average).
_ Vince Coleman had 109 stolen bases during the ’87 regular season for the Cardinals, but swiped just one in the league championship series.
_ Tony Pena tripled and scored the lone run (on Oquendo’s sacrifice fly) in the Cardinals’ 1-0 Game 6 victory. Boxscore Pena, the Cardinals’ catcher, hit .381 (8-for-21) in the series but didn’t have a RBI.
_ Ken Dayley saved two of the Cardinals’ four wins in the league championship series and didn’t allow a run in four innings pitched over three games.
2002 NL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES
_ Mike Matheny, manager of the 2012 Cardinals, hit a solo home run off Russ Ortiz, helping St. Louis to a 5-4 victory in Game 3. Boxscore Matheny, the Cardinals’ catcher in 2002, batted .316 (6-for-19) in the five-game NLCS.
_ David Bell, the Giants’ third baseman and a former Cardinal, hit .412 (7-for-17) in the league championship series.
_ Barry Bonds, the Giants’ left fielder, hit one home run and was walked 10 times in this NLCS.
_ Tim Worrell, brother of former Cardinals reliever Todd Worrell, was the winning pitcher in two of the Giants’ four victories.
_ Matt Morris, a 17-game winner for St. Louis in 2002, was 0-2 with a 6.23 ERA in this series.