Rewind: Giants vs Dodgers, Game #1

The Giants defense shined through as they go four for four against the Dodgers and pick up their seventh win on the road, which makes a franchise best. The only things the sold out L.A. crowd got to see were the Dodgers ommitting three errors and spectacular Giants defense and pitching.

April 18, 2003 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
San Francisco 3 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 5 11 1
Los Angeles 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 4 3

WP J. Schmidt (2-0) 7.1IP 4H 1R 1ER 4BB 8K 0HR 2.36 ERA
LP K.Brown (1-1) 5IP 8H 5R 5ER 2BB 3K 1HR 4.03 ERA

The two veteran pitchers, Jason Schmidt and Kevin Brown meet again on the mound, but this time in Southern California, and this time, the players will be able to go home on time.

In the top of the first inning, Neifi Perez, who took the place of Ray Durham at second base - Durham is still experiencing pain from a groin injury he received during a game last week - led off with a single. Barry Bonds and Jose Cruz, Jr. were walked, which loaded the bases for the Giants with two outs. Benito Santiago grounded a single through the hole between second and third base to score Perez. J.T. Snow then hit a bloop to center field, which scored Bonds and Cruz. Snow picked up RBI number nineteen and twenty. Marquis Grissom grounded out to shortstop to end the threat for the Dodgers.

Ironically, Brown had no trouble retiring Edgardo Alfonzo and Rich Aurilia, who both had very good success in the past against Brown. In the bottom of the first inning, Dave Roberts led off with a single, and then proceeded to steal second base. Adrian Beltre put down a sacrifice bunt to advance Roberts to third base. Shawn Green hit a single to drive Roberts home. Brian Jordan hit a falling fly ball to right field which was impressively caught by Cruz. Green, either assuming the ball would fall or that there were already two outs, had too big of a lead to second base after Cruz caught the out, and was trapped. Cruz threw the ball back to first where Snow tagged Green out for a double play to end the inning.

In the top of the second inning, Alfonzo gets on base with an attempted spectacular play by the infielders of the Dodgers. Shortstop Cesar Izturis gloved Alfonzo's ground ball and without picking the ball out of his glove, flings it to second baseman Alex Cora. Cora, who had no control whatsoever of the ball after he caught the feed from Izturis, fired the ball to first baseman, Fred McGriff. McGriff had no way of catching the ball as it went well over his head - Alfonzo got an additional base on the overthrow. The Dodgers infield ruined another defensive play as the next batter, Aurilia, hit a ground ball to shortstop. Izturis thought he had the ball in his glove, and picked up his glove too early, without the ball in it. Aurilia was easily safe at first. Bonds hit a deep fly ball to center field, but was caught by Shawn Green for the third out.

In the bottom of the second inning, Schmidt gave up two hits and had runners on second and third when he struck out Brown to end the threat and the inning. Grissom made an amazing one-handed catch as he was running towards left field to avoid anymore damage.

The Giants hitting continued throughout the game. In the top of the third inning, Cruz singled and Snow hit a double to drive in Cruz - that's RBI number twenty-one for Snow. In the top of the fourth inning, Aurilia hit a slow grounder up the 3rd baseline for an infield single. Bonds hit one to right field and misjudgment by Cora allowed Aurilia to advance to third. Cora thought he was right on the ball, as he got ready to pick it up on the first bounce. Instead, the ball bounced between his legs and into right field, giving the Dodgers their third error of the game. In the top of the fifth, Grissom hit his second jack of the season, and his first one in his trip back to L.A. Grissom's first homerun was also against the Dodgers in the first season game between these two teams.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, the Giants showed off their Gold Glovers with two breath taking back-to-back defensive plays. Bonds made a diving catch while running towards the far left side of left field. As Bonds was on the ground after he made the catch, a disgusting Dodgers fan poured beer onto Bonds. Note to the Dodgers: next time you sell alcohol to your fans, please make sure it doesn't end up on the field and on our players. This spectator was identified and removed from the game. Following Bonds' sensational catch, Snow caught a line shot that was aimed right at him and tagged the batter out at first.

In the top of the seventh inning, the Dodgers tried to make up for the three errors committed in the game. Roberts made an impressive diving catch to rob Santiago of a hit.

In the bottom of the eighth, the Giants' great defense continued as Cruz made another marvelous diving catch. Scott Eyre relieved Schmidt, who pitched seven and a third innings and retired ten batters in a row, striking out eight. After striking Green out, Eyre was relieved by Felix Rodriguez, who ended the inning with one pitch to Jordan, who popped out. In the bottom of the ninth inning, Rodriguez retired the last three batters for the Dodgers to end the game. Player of the Game: The excellent Giants defense was what won the game. Even though I am a strong believer in defense wins games, I have to give props to JT Snow for the offensive end, who picked up his twenty-first RBI. The bullpen of Scott Eyre and Felix Rodriguez also deserves some recognition, but the actual player of the game honor belongs to Jason Schmidt. He pitched a solid seven and a third innings with eight strikeouts and had twelve out of his last thirteen batters retired in the end of the seventh inning. This was truly pitching at its best.

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