Rewind: Cubs vs Giants, Game #3

Alex Gonzalez will never see another fastball up in the zone at Pacific Bell Park… ever.

May 1, 2003 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 R H E
Chicago 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 4 5 12 1
San Francisco 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 8 1

WP J. Cruz (1-0) 2IP 0H 0R 0ER 0BB 2SO 0HR 5.02 ERA
LP T. Worrell (1-1) 2IP 4H 4R 0ER 0BB 2SO 2HR 2.30 ERA

Damian Moss (4-0) can rest easy tonight knowing that he won't be tagged for the 5-1 loss against the Cubs on Thursday afternoon at Pacific Bell Park. That is no salve for the sting left behind by Alex Gonzalez and Sammy Sosa's 10th inning heroics, off of Giants' closer Tim Worrell, that changed a pitching duel into batting practice for the Cubs.

Moss and Cubs wunderkind Mark Prior (4-1) locked green horns in a duel that lasted their entire time on the mound. Both pitchers left the game with the score tied 1-1.

J.T. Snow continued his bid as the hardest out in baseball in the first inning by driving in his 26th RBI of the season, bringing in Nafi Perez. The shot was nearly a grand slam, but Moises Alou found a way to glove the ball away from an outreaching fan along the left field wall.

Alex Gonzalez tied the score in the 6th inning when he drove a home run just over the glove of Marquis Grissom in center field. The score would remain deadlocked until the game entered extra-innings.

Book-ending the fantastic pitching by both Moss and Prior were defensive gems. The most notable was from Snow tracking a foul ball into the Cubs' stairwell, straddling the railing with his legs and coming up with a catch synonymous with his 6-consecutive gold gloves (1995-2000). Yorvit Torrealba also provided 2 spectacular throws to 2nd base: one picking off Mark Grudzielanek as he tried to complete a failed hit-and-run, and another to gun down a speedy Cory Patterson. Damian Moss held up his end by picking-off Moises Alou at first base for the 2nd time in the series.

Real old-time baseball came in the third inning when Prior plunked Bonds in the upper leg area with another "out of control" pitch. Not only are the Cubs first in the National League in hit batsmen, it was the 3rd time in 2 games that he was shown some horsehide. Bonds showed some rare ire after the hit, gesturing and barking at Prior while sauntering towards the mound. Prior, to his credit, did not back down either. Benches cleared, Dusty Baker had a micro time-out with Barry to assure him it was no big deal, and Bonds took his base. If it was intentional or not remains to be seen. Baseball's unwritten rules will balance the equation, eventually.

In the bottom of the 10th inning Tim Worrell threw a high and in the zone fastball that Alex Gonzalez punched over the left field wall for a 3-run homer, bumping the score to 4-1. The fans that shows up just to see Sammy Sosa do his thing were sent home happy when he followed Gonzalez's game winner with his 2-out blast (his 6th on the year) to the Arcade section along the right field wall. The score would have been less if not for an error by Edgardo Alfonzo on a ground ball, spoiling a chance to at least make a play at first, allowing the remaining runners to remain safe.

Baker's Cubs took the series 2-1 and headed out of town to take on the Colorado Rockies on Friday.

SFDugout.com Player of the Game: Yorvit Torrealba. Normally the starting pitchers would get a nod in a low-scoring situation. The story within the game was Torrealba's performance behind the dish. He has been making his case for heir apparent of the mainline catching duties while backing up Benito Santiago. In an era when most major league catchers couldn't find second base with an AWACS plane, his 2 strong throw-outs and his pitch calling while working with Moss has earned him today's honors (and that's ignoring him going 0-4 with 3 strike outs).

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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