Rewind: Giants vs Braves, Game #1

The rookie against the veteran. A classic match up. Both teams had winning streaks going into the Friday night ballgame. The Giants were 24-9, with five straight wins, while the 23-11 Braves had a four game streak going.

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

WP J. Foppert (2-2) 6IP 5H 2R 2ER 3BB 2SO 2HR 5.18 ERA
LP G. Maddux (3-4) 7IP 5H 3R 3ER 3BB 2SO 0HR 4.72 ERA
S J. Brower (2) 3IP 1H 0R 0ER 1BB 1SO 0HR 5.87 ERA

Jesse Foppert had decent control, especially in the first inning. While he gave up a 0-2 single to Braves leadoff hitter Rafael Furcal, he struck out Marcus Giles and was able to get Gary Sheffield to ground into a 6-4-3 double play. What a great inning for someone who has had a habit of giving out a few too many free passes.

San Francisco struck first in the top of the 2nd. With one out, Benito Santiago hit a single past a diving Furcal, and with two outs J.T. Snow was able to walk against Greg Maddux, despite the fact that he was 5-34 lifetime against him coming into the at-bat. Grissom lined a single into right field, and Sheffield's throw to home was high and wide. Santiago scored, and Grissom tried to advance to second when he saw the throw was off-line. However, there was miscommunication between Grissom and Snow, and Snow was still on second, so he started off for third, but it was too late, and was thrown out by catcher Henry Blanco.

The Braves tied the ballgame after just one pitch. Chipper Jones hit his fifth home run of the season. Andruw Jones almost hit a home run after Chipper Jones, but it went foul. He struck out. His franchise record of 9 straight games with an RBI was broken. Foppert began to lose some focus after the home run, and walked Robert Fick, though nothing came of it.

The game remained tied until the 6th inning, when Rich Aurilia and Barry Bonds hit consecutive singles, putting runners at first and third with no one out. Bonds stole second base, and Jose Cruz. Jr hit a sacrifice fly to drive in Aurilia and give the Giants a 2-1 lead. Santiago hit another sacrifice fly to send Bonds home and make the game 3-1. The Giants played small ball - two singles, a stolen base, and two sacrifice flies.

Jim Brower relieved Foppert after six innings, though he could have gone seven because the Braves had Vinny Castilla, Henry Blanco, and pinch hitter Matt Franco due up in the inning. During the evening, the bottom of the lineup for the Braves (including Maddux) went 1-11 with one strikeout.

Marcus Giles hit his fifth round-tripper to center to make the game 3-2 in the 6th.

The Giants flipped on the switch, in the top of the eighth, from small ball to big ball. Aurilia walked, Bonds took advantage of the shift the Braves put on him by hitting a bouncing ball to left field, and with one out, Benito Santiago hit a three run homer, making the game 6-2.

The top of the 9th brought yet more insurance for the Giants. Brower led off with an opposite-field single to right, and Aurilia walked. Jose Cruz Jr hit a home run to right field, bringing the score to 9-2, and that was where it ended.

Jason Ellison made a nice play in left field in the bottom of the 9th on a deep fly by Andruw Jones.

After the 6th inning, it looked like the Giants were on their way to their 3rd consecutive 3-2 victory. However, they added six more runs to the game to turn a pitcher's battle into a blowout. This is very good news for the Giants. They played both big ball and small ball, and could have won easily with either, yet had both.

SFDugout.com Player of the Game: Two Giants are awarded with these honors. First, the honor will go to Jesse Foppert. He pitched six innings, giving up five hits and only three walks. He kept his pitch count low, pitching only 84 pitches over six innings. Benito Santiago also deserves the award. He had a walk, a sacrifice fly, a single, and a three-run blast in the 8th and he did not leave a single runner on base.

Jesse Radin writes for SFDugout.com and has been a Giants follower since 1996. The Blind Observer is Jesse's column covering all things baseball, though mainly about the Giants. Questions or comments can be sent to videokid@videokid.com


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