Rewind: Giants vs. Phillies, Game #1

The elements were against them. They left 23 men stranded on base. With every reason to lose this game, the Giants again demonstrated why it's sometimes better to be lucky than good.

April 25, 2003 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
San Francisco 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 5 0 7 9 0
Philadelphia 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 2 4 10 3

WP J. Nathan (2-0) 2IP 0H 0R 0ER 3BB 1SO 0HR 0.00 ERA
LP V. Padilla (3-2) 7 2/3IP 7H 5R 2ER 3BB 7SO 1HR 2.31 ERA

Rookie Kurt Ainsworth took the mound for the Giants, facing Vicente Padilla. Both righties entered the game with a 3-1 record, and an extremely well pitched game was expected. Both Padilla and Ainsworth struck out two batters in the first inning, swinging.

With one out in the second, Jose Cruz, Jr. hit his seventh round-tripper of the season to give the Giants a one run lead.

The Giants would double their lead in the top of the third. After Ainsworth grounded out, Ray Durham singled. Edgardo Alfonzo then reached base when he was hit by a 1-1 pitch from Padilla. With two outs, Barry Bonds hit a little looper to right field which fell for a double, scoring Durham. Alfonzo followed but was called out at the plate.

The Phillies got one of those runs back. In the bottom of the third and with one out, leadoff batter Jimmy Rollins singled. Ricky Ledee then slammed a double to score Rollins.

Ainsworth surrendered another run in the bottom of the fourth. Slugger Jim Thome led off the inning with a double. Mike Lieberthal followed that up with a single. Then, with men on first and third and nobody out, David Bell hurt his former team by singling to score Thome and tying the game. That would be all the runs Ainsworth would give up.

For a moment, it looked like the game was going to be rained out as a tie. The Giants continued to strand baserunners in scoring position. Finally, in the eighth inning, the Giants managed to score – all thanks to a couple of gifts from the Phillies.

After Alfonzo grounded out to lead off the eighth, Rich Aurilia hit a grounder out to second baseman Chase Utley. Utley then wildly threw the ball, forcing Thome to leap off the bag. The Giants then caught a bad break; with Aurilia standing at first, Bonds slipped in the batters box while swinging and only managed to hit a medium fly ball out toward right field. Then with two out, Cruz walked. Catcher Benito Santiago then hit a grounder off the glove of third baseman David Bell to load the bases. With J.T. Snow, the league's leading RBI man, coming up to bat, skipper Larry Bowa opted to go to the lefty, Dan Plesac.

At first, the move appeared to work. First ball swinging, Snow popped up toward left field. Exasperated, Snow threw down his bat and began to trot the bases as Aurilia, Santiago, and Cruz were already doing. Lady Luck must have been smiling upon the Giants however. Left fielder Pat Burrell lost sight the popup, and the ball fell in. Aurilia, Santiago, and Cruz all scored, and Snow went to third on the error. Terry Adams was then brought in to face Grissom who homered off the first pitch he saw from Adams to make it a five-run inning.

The Phillies would try to mount a comeback in the bottom of the ninth. Tomas Perez led off the inning with a single and advanced to second on a wild pitch. With two out, Bobby Abreu slammed a two-run shot off reliever Scott Eyre. He then walked Burrell, but finally settled down and got Thome to fly out for the last out of the game.

SFDugout.com's Player of the Game: Kudos to Kurt Ainsworth and Joe Nathan, who collectively held the Phillie offensive powerhouse to only two runs in eight innings, especially on a night where Vicente Padilla looked so tough and the conditions were so poor. Also to JT Snow who hit the three-run pop up to give the Giants the lead, once and for all. Oh, and to the weather – on normal days, perhaps Utley doesn't lose his grip and properly throws out Aurilia, Santiago's grounder is fielded cleanly by David Bell, and Snow's popup is caught.

Michelle Lo, also known as the Armchair Manager, writes recaps and other miscellaneous articles and designs some of the graphics at SFDugout.com. She can be reached by email at aznstarlite00@yahoo.com


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