Rewind: Dodgers vs. Giants, Game #1

The San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers came into a head-to-head battle tied for the lead in the National League West, each team looking to take sole possession of first place with a win. Veteran southpaw Kirk Rueter and 2002 rookie sensation Kazuhisa Ishii faced off with identical win-loss records of 7-2.

June 23, 2003 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 R H E
Los Angeles 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 2 10 0
San Francisco 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 9 1

WP F. Rodriguez (3-0) 1IP 1H 0R 0ER 0BB 0K 0HR 3.93 ERA
LP E. Gagne (1-2) 1/3IP 1H 1R 1ER 1BB 1K 0HR 2.06 ERA

Kirk Rueter, with a lifetime record of 9-9 against Los Angeles, pitched six crafty innings of quality baseball. Despite giving up eight hits and three walks, he shut out the Dodgers, weaving in and out of trouble with the help of solid defense behind him. The Dodgers hit into three double plays with Rueter on the mound and stranded at least one runner in five of the first six innings.

Ishii also pitched in and out of trouble, surrendering two runs on eight hits and two walks in his 5 2/3 innings. Andres Galarraga drove in the first run with his sixth home run of the year, blasting a 2-0 pitch over the center field wall to lead off the second inning. The second run scored with two outs in the fifth inning, when Marquis Grissom blooped a single to shallow center to drive in Rueter from second base.

The score remained 2-0 Giants through eight full innings, as both teams got good work out of the bullpen – the Giants from Scott Eyre, and the Dodgers from relievers Guillermo Mota, Tom Martin and Paul Quantrill. However, in the ninth inning, closer Tim Worrell allowed two unearned runs and blew his fourth save of the season.

Worrell walked leadoff batter Ron Coomer on a 3-2 pitch, and Adrian Beltre followed it up with an infield single. The Dodgers were in business with runners at first and second and nobody out. After pinch-hitter Daryle Ward popped out to Pedro Feliz, recent triple-A callup Larry Barnes hit a potential double play ball to Ray Durham at second base. Durham juggled it and tried to flip the ball to Rich Aurilia covering second base, but instead threw it away. The ball went into shallow center field, and pinch-runner Jason Romano came in to score while Beltre went to third on the play. Cesar Izturis drove in Beltre from third on a groundout, tying the game at two apiece. With two out and pinch-runner Dave Roberts standing at second base, Paul Lo Duca hit a ball down the line in right, and only Jose Cruz, Jr.'s diving catch kept the game tied.

Paul Shuey retired the Giants in order in the bottom of the ninth, sending the game into extra innings. Worrell came back out for the tenth and set down the heart of the Dodgers' order 1-2-3, and Shuey pitched another perfect inning to push the game to the eleventh. Felix Rodriguez relieved Worrell, who allowed a leadoff single to Jason Romano but got out of the top of the eleventh unscored upon with the help of a double play groundout.

In came dominating Dodger closer Eric Gagne, 29-29 in save opportunities this season with 68 strikeouts in 39 innings. Opponents were batting at an embarrassing clip of .135 against him, and he had only given up eight earned runs all year. Barry Bonds, one stolen base shy of becoming baseball's first 500/500 man, led off the inning with a walk. Three pitches later he stole second base without a throw, establishing a new major league record and becoming the first man in baseball history to reach the unprecedented milestone. After sliding into second, he uprooted the base and threw it into the dugout, waving his helmet toward the stands in recognition of the applause of the 42,000 fans that cheered his accomplishment.

Just a few minutes later, the fans were given more to cheer about. After Galarraga struck out, Benito Santiago came up to bat with one down and Bonds still at second base. Santiago, who had gone 0-4 on the night, singled through the hole on the left side of the infield on the first pitch he saw, bringing Bonds home to score the winning run and putting the Giants back atop the NL West.

SFDugout's Players of the Game: While Rueter, Eyre, and Cruz deserve recognition for their contributions, Benito Santiago and Barry Bonds are the players of the game. Santiago came up against arguably the premiere closer in all of the major leagues with a chance to play hero after going 0-4 in his first four appearances. He wasted no time, jumping on the first pitch to drive in the lead run and win the game for the Giants. Bonds not only got on base against Gagne; he not only put himself in scoring position to make Santiago's RBI single possible, but he boldly went where no man had gone before and made history with the 500th steal of his Hall of Fame career.



Stephanie Moy is a diehard Giants fan, born and raised in San Francisco. She loves hearing feedback - good, bad, or otherwise - so if you're so obliged, contact her at a_hole_in_the_bucket@hotmail.com

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