|June 27, 2003||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
LP T. Lilly (5-6) 6 2/3IP 7H 5R 5ER 3BB 6K 2HR 4.83 ERA
Williams had a bit of a rocky start. After getting the first two outs of the inning, he allowed back to back singles. However, the young righty managed to coax a ground out from Ramon Hernandez to end the inning.
From then on, it was Jerome Williams night – though he did get a bit of help in the third. With one down and one on, Miguel Tejada scorched a 1-1 pitch to right field that looked to be at least a double for sure. Streaking across the grass, Jose Cruz, Jr. made an amazing snowcone catch to rob Tejada and then fired a strike to first to double up Scott Hatteburg to end the inning.
And of course, it was just fitting that Cruz came up in the bottom of that inning and slam one out of the park. Baseball wouldn't have it any other way. Cruz's homer was the first of 9 hits and 6 runs for the Giants.
The scoring would continue off Lilly in the next inning. Marquis Grissom who struck out in the first inning swinging led off the inning with a single up the middle. Barry Bonds then came up to bat and appeared to have flied out. The Giants caught a major break when a balk was called on that pitch, thus making the ball dead. So instead of one out and Grissom at first, it was no outs and Grissom at second. Bonds ended up walking.
The Giants then caught another break on the next play. Benito Santiago hit a fly ball to center, and Grissom decided to test Eric Byrnes's arm. Byrnes's throw was right there, and Chavez managed to swipe the shoulder of the baserunner milliseconds before he touched the bag, but Grissom was called safe. Bonds also advanced on the throw. That turned out to be a major play because with two outs, Pedro Feliz singled to score both runners. The inning should have been over, but instead, two runs were added to Lilly's ERA.
In the sixth, Barry Bonds did what Barry Bonds does best. For the second time in his career, Bonds hit a homer that wowed everyone in the park. It soared through the air and then out of the park, landing into McCovey Cove – the 27th splash hit by a Giant in Pac Bell's short history.
The Giants added yet another run in the seventh when Benito Santiago walked with the bases loaded. Pedro Feliz capped off the scoring for the night when he homered to the opposite field in the bottom of the eighth.
But the real story of the night was the young rookie throwing for the Giants. Jerome Williams did what no other pitcher had done all season – throw a complete game shutout against the A's. He became the first rookie pitcher to throw one for the Giants since Mike Remlinger in 1991. Williams did it, throwing only 96 pitches. And he finished the game in style, striking out Ramon Hernandez for the last out of the game.
SFDugout.com's Player of the Game: Well, this is a no-brainer. Anytime a pitcher throws a game like that, he gets the call for sure. Also, mentions to Jose Cruz, Jr. for his spectacular catch and assist as well as his encore homer and Bonds for that Bondsian homer. And one last mention: Benito Santiago. Too often catchers are forgotten in complete game shutouts, but they are, obviously, extremely important to the rhythm of the pitcher. Williams also says that Benito has been helpful and a great mentor. Oh yeah, and of course, props to Benni for providing us with that Kodak moment… a pie in the face of the rookie on TV. Classic.
Michelle Lo, also known as the Armchair Manager, writes recaps and other miscellaneous articles and designs some of the graphics at SFDugout.com. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org