Rewind: Padres vs Giants, Game #1

After a come-from-behind victory the previous day against the Brewers, the Giants managed to work the same magic again today against the San Diego Padres, scoring three runs in the bottom of the eighth for the victory. With the Los Angeles Dodgers idle tonight, San Francisco cut down their magic number to a mere four games.

September 15, 2003 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
San Diego 0 1 0 1 1 3 0 1 0 7 13 1
San Francisco 2 2 0 0 0 1 0 3 x 8 13 1

WP J. Nathan (10-4) 1/3IP 0H 0R 0ER 0BB 0SO HR 3.12 ERA
LP J. Witasick (3-5) 2/3IP 2H 2R 2ER 2BB 1SO 0HR 4.17 ERA
S T. Worrell (34) 1IP 2H 0R 0ER 0BB 1SO 0HR 2.44 ERA

Taking the mound for San Francisco was lefty Kirk Rueter. The southpaw turned in a strong 5.1 inning outing, allowing only 4 runs, one of which was unearned.

The Giants drew first blood in the bottom of the first, slashing two homers – one by J.T. Snow and the other by Barry Bonds.

San Diego snatched a run back in the following inning. In the top of the second, Phil Nevin led off the inning with a clean single. Gary Matthews, Jr. then reached on a rare error by JT Snow. The Padres, as they would all night, capitalized on the Giants' mistake. Brian Buchanan cashed in, hitting a single to score Nevin on second.

One of the strangest sacrifice bunts ever in the history of the game occurred in the bottom of the second. Benito Santiago and Marquis Grissom led the inning off with singles. Jose Cruz, Jr. then grounded into a fielder's choice. With runners on first and third, Rueter came up, presumably to bunt Cruz over to second. Rueter laid down a spectacular bunt – so spectacular that opposing pitcher, Brian Lawrence, threw it down the right field line, allowing both Santiago and Cruz to score.

In the top of the fourth, the Padres scored again. Nevin led the inning off with a double and later scored on a two out single by Gary Bennett.

The Padres threw up another run in the top of the fifth. With one out, Mark Loretta doubled. He moved to third on a flyout by Brian Giles and scored on Nevin's single.

San Diego then threw up a three-spot in the top of the sixth. With one out, Khalil Greene walked. Then Todd Sears singled. Sean Burroughs then walked to load the bases. Loretta then flew out to drive in Greene. Then Giles cleared the bases with a booming triple.

The Giants managed to scratch one of those runs back. With the bases loaded, Alfonzo walked to drive in Lance Niekro who came to pinch run for pinch hitter Marvin Benard.

Khalil Greene walked again to lead off the top of the eighth and later scored on a single by Loretta.

The Giants finally managed to scrouge up some offense in the bottom of the eighth. With Rod Beck looming in the bullpen, the Giants threw up three runs to take the lead. Snow led the inning off with a walk and Bonds followed suit. Alfonzo then singled to score Snow. Santiago added a single of his own to score Bonds. Feliz came in to pinch run for Alfonzo and made one of the more decisive plays of the game. With one out, Marquis Grissom flew out deep to right field. Feliz tagged up and advanced to third, playing by the book. This turned out to be extremely crucial because with Cruz batting, pitcher Jay Witasick threw a splitter that bounced wildly in front of the plate to score Feliz, the go-ahead run.

Tim Worrell, who blew his last save against San Diego, closed this one out for his 34th save.

Game Notes: Barry Bonds' homer in the first was the 655th of his career. He is now only five shy of tying his godfather, Willie Mays. Lance Niekro scored the first run of his major league career.

SFDugout.com's Player of the Game: The Giants used a tonload of pitchers, but tonight's win would not have happened if not for the works of Edgardo Alfonzo. For this past week, Alfonzo has been on fire. What makes it even more important is the fact he's doing it behind Bonds after all those intentional walks. And for that Fonzie, you get tonight's call. Also, as I've said recap after recap, kudos to the pen! Another good performance tonight.



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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