Rewind: Cardinals vs Giants, Game #2

Warm sunshine streamed down on Pacific Bell Park, the best address in baseball, making it a perfect day for some afternoon baseball. After Jerome Williams pitched another brilliant game the night before against perhaps the best offense in baseball, the Giants went into today's game, looking for the two-game sweep.

July 8, 2003 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
St. Louis 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 3 7 3
San Francisco 3 3 0 0 1 0 0 1 x 8 12 0

WP J. Brower (5-1) 4.1IP 2H 1R 1ER 0BB 2K 0HR 3.60 ERA
LP D. Haren (0-2) 5.2IP 5H 1R 0ER 0BB 3K 0HR 6.23 ERA

Kirk Rueter started the game for San Francisco, looking for retribution from his horrendous start in St. Louis just a few days before. Things started off poorly for the southpaw. On the second pitch of the game, Bo Hart tripled. Jim Edmonds then flew out to score Hart.

Neither starter lasted more than 2 innings. Rueter only lasted 1.2 innings before he was taken out with a strained shoulder. Jim Brower came in and pitched 4.1 innings of relief.

Meanwhile, the Giants offense started rolling. With one out in the bottom of the first, JT Snow worked an 11-pitch walk. Marquis Grissom then hit what should have been a double play ball except his bat broke, distracting Scott Rolen. Rolen's throw was way off, and Snow managed to advance to third. Jose Cruz, Jr. then slammed a homer into McCovey Cove for his fifteenth of the season, thus giving the Giants a lead they would never let go.

The Giants added yet another three runs in the second. The rally started by a single off the bat of Brower. Leadoff man Ray Durham then followed that up with a double, advancing Brower to third. After Snow struck out, Marquis Grissom hit a slow grounder to shortstop Edgar Renteria who charged and threw home. Brower managed to avoid the tag and was called safe at home. Durham and Grissom then advanced to second and third on a wild pitch. Cruz drove home Durham with a flyout to left field. Edgardo Alfonzo sent Grissom home on a single to cap off the second three-run rally.

Cardinals starter Danny Haran making the second start of his career could not get out of the second. He was tagged by the Giants for the second loss of his major league career.

The Giants defense was spectacular today. Cruz robbed Scott Rolen of extra bases in the top of the first. Then, in the top of the third, Alfonzo made a dazzling play to throw out Rolen from his right knee. After that close play, manager Tony LaRussa came out to argue and was almost immediately tossed.

Yet another run was tacked on in the fifth. Alfonzo singled to lead off the fifth, and Neifi Perez reached on an error by second baseman Bo Hart. With men on first and third, Pedro Feliz flew out to score Alfonzo.

St. Louis finally managed to get to Jim Brower in the top of the sixth. Jim Edmonds doubled to lead off the inning, and Albert Pujols singled to score Edmonds.

After Brower, Joe Nathan came out of the bullpen and tossed two scoreless innings. Nathan allowed only one hit and struck out 4 of the 6 men he faced.

Andres Galarraga came in to pinch hit for Nathan in the eighth and hit one a long way to make the score 8-2.

Felix Rodriguez came in to close out the game. The Cardinals tried to start a rally and managed to score a run before Rodriguez finally recorded the last out, getting Mike Matheny to ground out to Alfonzo.

SFDugout.com's Player of the Game: Today's game had many stars, but first place goes to the bullpen, namely Jim Brower. Brower! What a guy! He starts, he throws long relief, he closes games, and he can hit! What can't he do? And kudos to the ‘pen in general – 7.1 quality innings of work. Oh, and of course Jose Cruz, Jr. Can I just say… it's about time? Anyway, anyone who drives in half the runs scored deserves a mention. And he got a splash hit. He joins the elite group of "Giants with Splash Hits Whose Name is not Barry Bonds" – member count: 3.



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 aznstarlite00@yahoo.com

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