Rewind: Giants vs Pirates, Game #3

What could be better than sticking it out 13 innings into the freezing Pittsburgh night to force a rubber match? Winning the rubber match, of course. The Giants did so behind the effectively wild arm of Damian Moss (4-0) in a 3-1 victory over the Pirates under the bright, cold sun at PNC Park on Thursday.

April 24, 2003 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
San Francisco 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 9 0
Pittsburgh 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 7 0

WP D. Moss (4-0) 7IP 5H 0R 0ER 3BB 3SO 0HR 2.35 ERA
LP K. Benson (2-3) 7IP 9H 3R 3ER 3BB 6SO 0HR 2.36 ERA
S T. Worrell (7) 1IP 2H 1R 1ER 0BB 1SO 0HR 2.63 ERA

Barry Bonds was back in the lineup after loosening up his stiff neck the previous 2 games. J.T. Snow was on the bench with a miraculously intact arm after being drilled by former Giant Jullian Tavarez' forearm-seeking fastball the day before. Per usual, this did not stop the 2003 Giants from finding ways to manufacture runs.

All the Giants needed this day was the 3rd inning and a little "small ball." Ray Durham walked with one out. After Neifi Perez flied out, Alfonzo knocked a single of his own, sending Durham into scoring position. Bonds stepped to the plate and singled through the "wishbone defense" to send Durham home. Jose Cruz, Jr. then added to the drive by singling and plating Alfonzo. Bonds advanced to second base on the play. To complete the drive Andres Galaragga hit one to left field, scoring Bonds.

Pittsburgh starter Chris Benson (2-3) had an otherwise decent outing. But Damian Moss had the day by pitching shutout ball through 7 innings. With the stadium speed gun mysteriously clocking some of his pitches in the mid 60's to the high 80's (a great home team ruse), Moss kept the Pirates off-balance most of the game. None of his pitches were hit very hard, most inducing plenty of weak ground balls.

The Pirates finally put one on the board in the 9th inning when Tim Worrell gave up a run scoring single to Matt Stairs, bringing around Craig Wilson from second base. Despite the earned run, Worrell notched his 7th save as the Giants de-facto closer. He threw 41 pitches over 2 innings the night before.

In a moment of levity, a fan dove into the Allegheny River to fish out a long foul ball that Bonds hit out of PNC Park.

SFDugout Player of the Game: Damian Moss. He's 4-0. As the cromag naysayers lined up on San Francisco talk radio before the beginning of the season, he was one of the first to be highlighted as the new whipping boy of the Post-Baker era. Most cynics fail to remember his impressive rookie campaign as an Atlanta Brave last year. In addition, both he and Russ Ortiz had almost identical ERA's and win/loss records in 2002. Both Moss and former Royals goat Jeff Suppan are unbeaten so far this year.

Jeremy Nunes writes game recaps for SFDugout.com. He also sits up late at night trying to find a way to become a clever sports writer. He can be praised or berated at jtnunes@yahoo.com


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