Rewind: Diamondbacks vs Giants, Game #3

In the rubber match and the final game between the Giants and Dbacks, it wasn't going to be any less exciting, nor any less nerve wrecking for anyone on either side. The Giants looked good early, but in the end, the Dbacks were the ones who outlasted the faltering Giants' bullpen.

September 7, 2003 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Arizona 2 0 0 1 1 0 0 5 0 9 13 1
San Francisco 0 1 0 5 0 0 0 0 0 6 13 0

WP E. Gonzalez (2-1) 1IP 1H 0R 0ER 0BB 0SO 0HR 5.25 ERA
LP J. Nathan (9-4) 2/3IP 0H 3R 3ER 3BB 1SO 0HR 3.19 ERA
S J. Patterson (1) 2IP 2H 0R 0ER 1BB 1SO 0HR 6.04 ERA

Sir Sidney Ponson was sent to the mound to go for his 18th win of the season against another righty, Elmer Dessens, who has never won against the Giants, but neither starter will get a decision on this wild rubber match.

Ponson looked like he was on his way to an easy beginning by retiring the first two batters of the game, but he gave up a four-pitch walk to Luis Gonzalez. With a runner on first and two outs, Raul Mondesi continues to be a thorn in the side of the Giants as he hit a jack to left field, giving the Dbacks an early 2-0 lead.

The Giants scratched up one run in the second inning as Edgardo Alfonzo hit a one-out single up the middle. Rich Aurilia singled over second baseman, Matt Kata, to move Alfonzo to third base. Jose Cruz, Jr. lost an easy opportunity for an RBI as he struck out, but Yorvit Torrealba laid down a two-out bunt single for the second time this season to drive in the first run for the Giants. Ponson hit a grounder that went off the glove of Kata, but was deflected right to first baseman, Shea Hillenbrand, who had his foot on the bag for the put out on Ponson to retire the side.

In the top of the fourth, Mondesi continued his damage on the Giants as he singled and was driven in by Alex Cintron's triple to death valley.

The Giants got right back to work as Aurilia coaxed a walk after hitting two long fouls that didn't miss the bleachers by much. Cruz, in an attempt to get out of his offensive slump, hit a bunt single (aren't you loving these bunt singles?), and with runners on first and second, Torrealba drilled one up the middle, scoring Aurilia. Cruz was able to take third base on an error by center fielder, Steve Finley, who juggled the ball. Ponson laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Torrealba to second, and with one out, it brought Ray Durham to the plate.

Durham singled to drive in his first two RBIs since he came off the DL, giving the Giants the lead for the first time in the game. J.T. Snow grounded through the hole between first and second, leaving runners on first and second with one out for Marquis Grissom. After a battle of foul balls, Dessens struck Grissom out, but he wasn't out of trouble yet.

Barry Bonds came to the plate with Dessens nibbling on the outside corner, but eventually gave up a walk to Bonds on an inside pitch. With the bases loaded, Alfonzo stood at the plate and ripped a double into the left field corner, driving in Durham and Snow for the fourth and fifth runs of the innings, and driving Dessens out of the game. Southpaw Steven Randolph relieved Dessens as Aurilia went up to bat for the second time in the inning. Randolph lost the strike zone as his first three pitches to Aurilia were balls, but Randolph was able to run the count full on a called strike and a foul ball. Aurilia hit a ball that was dropping in center field, but there the Giant nemesis was again, as Mondesi made the catch to finally retire the side.

The Dbacks continued to find the beauty of death valley at Pac Bell as Kata tripled to drive in Finley, who singled with two outs, bringing the Dbacks within two of the Giants.

In the top of the seventh, pinch hitter Lyle Overbay singled and chased Ponson out of the game. Scott Eyre was summoned to face the lefty, Finley, who grounded a single past the diving Snow. Kata laid down a sacrifice bunt and Eyre walked Gonzalez to load the bases for the Giants' favorite Dback, Mondesi.

Eyre made his exit for Jim Brower, who inherited an one out, bases loaded situation. Mondesi hit a sharp lining grounder to Alfonzo, who stabbed the ball and stepped on third for one and flinged the ball over to first to complete the double play and to end the inning without any damage.

In the eighth, Joe Nathan came into the game for relief and got two quick outs, but had trouble getting out of the inning. He walked the next three batters to load the bases, leaving the game for Chad Zerbe to face Finley.

Zerbe gave up a two run double to Finley, and Matt Herges entered the game to try to end the inning, but instead gave up a two run double to Danny Bautista, giving the Dbacks a two run lead. The Giants' bullpen continued to break down as Gonzalez extended the inning by hitting a soft liner to right field to drive Bautista in for the ninth Dback run. Mondesi singled to extend the inning, but Cintron grounded out to end the inning.

Herges continued his relief duties and retired the side in order in the ninth.

In the bottom of the ninth, Cruz had a single, but Torrealba grounded into a double play to end the game. Can't win them all, good-bye Arizona for the regular season.

Game Notes: With his roundtripper, Raul Mondesi had his sixth 20-20 season... Eight out of the nine runs the Dbacks scored came with two outs... Ray Durham was taken out of the game after the bottom of the sixth, and was replaced by Neifi Perez.

SFDugout.com's Players of the Game: Yorvit Torrealba was on base three times today, and even though he promptly ended the game with a double play, he laid down a risky bunt single to drive in the first run for the Giants. Jim Brower came out of the bullpen and got a very crucial double play that saved the game at that moment for the Giants. Edgardo Alfonzo had a hand in half of the Giants' offense and initiated the very important double play in the seventh.



Sara Kwan was born in San Francisco and raised in the Bay Area. She currently writes game recaps, other articles, and is the Giant Prophet for SFDugout.com. Any comments or questions about the article, baseball, or the meaning of life can be sent to Sara at kwanchino@alpha-q.net

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