Rewind: Giants vs. Pirates, Game #1

22-year-old Giant rookie Jesse Foppert took the mound against the Pittsburgh Pirates in his first major league start, pursuing his first big league win. Pitching the first of three games in Pittsburgh, he was trying to prevent the Giants from suffering two consecutive losses for the first time this season.

April 22, 2003 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
San Francisco 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 2 9 0
Pittsburgh 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 x 5 6 0

WP J. Suppan (4-0) 7IP 7H 1R 1ER 2BB 4SO 1HR 1.37 ERA
LP J. Foppert (0-1) 4IP 5H 5R 5ER 4BB 3SO 0HR 9.00 ERA

Foppert got into trouble almost immediately as the bottom of the first inning turned into an epic 46-pitch debacle. He struck out leadoff batter Kenny Lofton to lead off the game, but was obviously struggling with his control. Six of the next seven batters reached base as the Pirates batted around and put up a five-spot in the first inning. Matt Stairs drove in the first run with a base hit to right, and Pokey Reese and Jack Wilson each picked up two-out, two-run doink singles to add to Pittsburgh's lead. Foppert, who did not give up an extra base hit in the game, hit a batter and allowed two walks and three singles in the inning. He settled down over his last three, allowing only two singles and a pair of walks, but his pitch count ultimately worked against him and he was lifted from the game after four innings.

Jim Brower, who gave up six runs in one third of an inning his last time out, bounced back with two perfect innings in relief of Foppert. He was followed by southpaw Scott Eyre, who threw a 1-2-3 of his own. Joe Nathan came on in the eighth and surrendered a leadoff double to Kevin Young, but left him stranded at third to maintain his 0.00 ERA.

The Pirates were outhit by the Giants 9-6 and didn't score a single run after their five-run first, but they took advantage of the opportunities with which they were presented in the early part of the game. The Giants went the opposite way, stranding eight runners and going 1-12 with men in scoring position.Coming into the game, the San Francisco was hitting over .300 in those situations. That average dropped considerably in the loss. Pirates starter Jeff Suppan smothered the Giants, allowing only one run in 7+ innings. The run came on an Edgardo Alfonzo homer in the third inning, which made the score 5-1. The Giants did not score again until the ninth, against Pittsburgh closer Mike Williams. Neifi Perez, pinch-hitting for reliever Joe Nathan, singled on the first pitch he saw to drive in Marquis Grissom from third and break a string of 11 consecutive outs recorded by the Giants with runners in scoring position. That run brought San Francisco within three, and with two out and two on, Alfonzo strode to the plate as the possible tying run. The comeback was not to be, however, and Alfonzo grounded out to end the threat and the game.'s Player of the Game: Edgardo Alfonzo. His bat showed real signs of life for the first time in the early season as he went 2-5 with a monster home run, driving in his seventh run of 2003. The bullpen was outstanding as well, giving up only one hit and blanking the Pirates over the final four innings.

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