|June 24, 2003||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
LP O. Perez (4-6) 6IP 4H 2R 2ER 2BB 2K 1HR 4.44 ERA
Pre-game ceremonies in honor of Barry Bonds achieving his 500-500 career last night, left Bonds between home plate and the pitcher's mound giving a short but heart warming speech that left a crowd of 42,000+ emotional and appreciated. But Bonds knows as well as anyone else that when it's time to play ball, it's time to play ball.
On the Dodgers' fifth game this season in San Francisco, the Dodgers look to tie with the Giants on top of the NL West as they send Odalis Perez to the mound, who hasn't won any of his last five starts, against the Giants' ace, Jason Schmidt. Last time these two faced off, Schmidt won the battle, shutting out the Dodgers and limiting them to three hits. Perez didn't perform too badly either, giving up two runs on a few hits. But tonight, as expected, these two pitching greats kept each opposing team off the scoreboard throughout the early parts of this game.
Finally in the sixth inning, the Dodgers scored first, gathering another unearned run against the Giants' defense. Cesar Izturis reached base on a throwing error by Rich Aurilia to Andres Galarraga. Dave Roberts singled, moving the speedy Izturis to third. Paul Lo Duca was hit on his left hand by a 97 mph heater from Schmidt, loading the bases with one out. Shawn Green hit a fly ball caught by Jose Cruz, Jr. in right field that enabled Izturis to tag and score from third, giving the Dodgers a 1-0 lead. After working into a deep count against Schmidt, Brian Jordan hit a grounder so softly to shortstop, that it enabled him to beat Aurilia's throw to first. With the bases loaded again, Darryl Ward was at the plate with two outs. Ward fouled off pitch after pitch from Schmidt, but ultimately struck out on a high fast ball that ended the threat from the Dodgers and gave Schmidt and the Giants a sigh of relief.
The Giants came back in the bottom of the same inning as Ray Durham hit a one-out single. Perez was called for a balk while trying to pick off Durham. Perez would have had Durham picked off, but with the balk called, Durham moved to second. The balk call was being argued by the Dodgers' skipper, Jim Tracy, who was eventually thrown out of the game by first base umpire, Angel Hernandez, because of the argument. With two outs and having the first runner in scoring position of the night, Marquis Grissom smacked a two-run lightning bolt jack into the left field bleachers, his eleventh of the season and fourth against the Dodgers. Grissom is sure adjusted to this rivalry stuff, and he's having no problem working for the other side either. The Giants took a 1-2 lead.
Perez would not let the balk call go and continued to exchange words with Hernandez after the inning ended. Hernandez proceeded on to throw Perez out of the game in the beginning of the seventh inning. Paul Quantril came in the game for Perez in the seventh.
After a sweat breaking sixth inning, Schmidt didn't want to play around anymore. He retired the Dodgers in order in the seventh and eighth innings with eighteen pitches.
The Dodgers were looking to comeback in the ninth as Jolbert Cabrera was hit by a pitch and with one out, Darryl Ward singled into right field. Cabrera rounded second and headed for third as Cruz decided to hold off on throwing to third base and instead hit his cut off man, Aurilia. Aurilia saw that Ward was off the base at first, and fired the ball to Galarraga where Ward was picked off for out number two. A good fundamental throw and a heads up on the catch may have saved the game for the Giants. What could have been a profitable inning for the Dodgers ended in misery as Adrian Beltre grounded out to Durham to end the game.
Despite grounding into three double plays and scoring only two runs, two runs was all that was needed against the Dodgers with Jason Schmidt pitching. I guess the Giants don't need to give Schmidt the run support they lack in his outings when playing against the Dodgers.
Game Notes: In all five games against the Dodgers at Pac Bell, the Giants have won by one run, and two have gone to extra innings. Schmidt pitched his fourth complete game- his three shut outs lead the majors.
SFDugout.com's Player(s) of the Game: How many people can pitch two complete games against the Dodgers in five days? Not many, but Jason Schmidt can. In these two games, Schmidty has truly proven to be an ace and one of the greatest arms in baseball today. Marquis Grissom continues to kill his former team and eventually saved the game offensively for the Giants. Despite having a horrific offensive night, the Giants' defense of Edgardo Alfonzo, Rich Aurilia, Ray Durham, and Jose Cruz, Jr. made some spectacular plays, especially in the later innings, to help Schmidt and the Giants preserve the lead. How many times do I have to say it? Defense wins games
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 The Giant Prophet for SFDugout.com. Sara can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org