|June 7, 2003||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
LP M. Maroth (1-11) 6IP 6H 2R 2ER 1BB 3K 1HR 5.35 ERA
The ace of the Giants, hard throwing Jason Schmidt goes to the mound against the 1-10 Mike Maroth of the Detroit Tigers. Maroth is the first pitcher in several years to have gathered ten losses by the month of June, not a very impressive title to get. The Tigers had two jacks in yesterday's game, but the Giants came back today with two times as much force.
The Giants wasted no time in the bottom of the first inning as leadoff hitter, Marquis Grissom, jumped on the first pitch he saw for a single. Ray Durham continued his hot hitting by following Grissom's hit with a single. Both Durham and Grissom extended their ten game hitting streaks to eleven games. Grissom was able to tag for third base on a deep fly out by Rich Aurilia. Barry Bonds followed with a single and collected RBI number thirty-five to score Grissom, giving the Giants a 0-1 lead. Benito Santiago continued his struggle and struck out while Andres Galarraga hit a drive towards the gap in the outfield, but was caught for the third out, ending the Giants first inning threat.
In the top of the second inning, the Tigers looked to bounce back as Schmidt gave up a lead off single to Kevin Witt and a walk to Brandon Inge with one out. Warren Morris hit a sharp ground ball to Galarraga at first, where Galarraga threw to second for a forced out on Inge. The slumping Omar Infante struck out the end the inning and possible rally for Detroit.
Jose Cruz, Jr. has heard an earful of his slump in the last month and a half. He has not hit a homerun in eighty-four at-bats. After hitting the ball hard yesterday and having some days off, Cruz jacked his ninth homerun of the year to give the Giants a two run lead. Schmidt also got his first hit of the year after going 0-24, but was stranded.
Bonds was walked unintentionally intentionally and had his fifth season and 498th career stolen base.
After the battle between Schmidt and Maroth went for four more innings, the Tigers finally put one on the board in the top of the seventh. Infante singled and while attempting to steal a base, Schmidt threw a wild pitch to give Infante third base. Pinch hitter Eric Munson singled to make it a one run game, and to erase the possibility of a shut out.
But that difference wouldn't stay for long. In the bottom of the seventh, Tigers reliever Chris Spurling gave Marvin Bernard a pinch-hit single with two outs. This also gave Grissom a chance at the plate, where he slammed his ninth jack of the year to left field, giving the Giants a more comfortable 4-1 lead.
After eight strikeouts and seven innings, Felix Rodriguez relieved Schmidt in the eighth inning, who got out of the inning without giving up any more runs.
The Giants weren't done. It was homerun derby time for the Giants in the bottom of the eighth. Aurilia finally got a hit to fall in shallow center for a single after hitting the ball hard in all three of his previous at-bats in this game. With Bonds in the batter's box, the Tigers sent left-hander Steve Avery to the mound to get Bonds out. In good old Barry Bonds fashion, he jacked his 15th season and 628th career homerun into the crowd. This gave the Giants a "Barry good" lead of 1-6. The Giants were STILL not done. Steve Sparks relieved Avery, as Galarraga decided to give the sell out crowd at Pac Bell Park more reasons to cheer for him as he smacked his 4th homerun of the year into the bleachers. This solo roundtripper is El Gato's career 390th and gave the Giants a very satisfying 7-1 lead.
Jason Christiansen went to the mound, in the ninth, to try to get the final three outs for the Giants, which seemed like an easy task with a six run lead. Inge led off the inning with a stand up triple and Warren Morris drove him in on a single. Christiansen gave up a walk to Infante and that brought the Giants' closer, Tim Worrell, to the mound to face pinch hitter, Matt Walbeck. The Tigers would not let up, as Walbeck singled into right field to advance all the runners, loading the bases. Alex Sanchez picked up two RBIs as he hit a single into the gap down the middle, making the score 4-7. Craig Monroe grounded out as another run scores with two outs. With Sanchez at second, Worrell wisely walked Dmitri Young, who had a successful career against Worrell. This brought Shane Halter to the plate, and with the tying run on second base on a double steal issued by Sanchez and Young, Halter struck out against Worrell, giving the Giants a win and a sigh of relief.
Still, tipped hats to the Tigers for never giving up. They came into this series demanding respect, and in these past two games at Pac Bell, they proved that they deserve to be recognized as a Major League team, and as a worthy opponent.
SFDugout.com's Players of the Game: Jason Schmidt pitched another win-worthy game with eight strikeouts, collected his first hit of the season, and got his win as the Giants came through with offense. Marquis Grissom and Ray Durham provided continuous hot hitting, and Jose Cruz, Jr. is finally climbing out of his slump with a jack. Barry Bonds and El Gato each drove in three runs, which proved to be the difference in the ballgame. Tim Worrell deserves some props because despite being in a big jam, inheriting two base runners, and with no outs and the game on the line, he kept himself together and got the final out of the game for the Giants. Felix Rodriguez has another impressive outing. And last, but CERTAINLY not least, the Giants' spectacular defense prevented to give the Tigers any freebies.
Sara Kwan was born in San Francisco and raised in the Bay Area. She currently writes game recaps, other articles, and is one of the Two Giant Prophets for SFDugout.com. Sara can be reached at email@example.com