Rewind: Giants vs Marlins, Game #3

It was pivotal Game 3 of the NLDS today, and no one expected any less of a nail-biting, heart-pounding contest. Coming into an almost must- win situation, the young Wild Card Marlins would not give in to the Giants, who experienced another game of defensive breakdown.

October 3, 2003 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 R H E
San Francisco 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 1 3 12 1
Florida 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 4 8 1

WP B. Looper (1-0) 1IP 1H 1R 0ER 2BB 0SO 0HR 0.00 ERA
LP T. Worrell (0-1) 1 2/3IP 3H 2R 2ER 3BB 0SO 0HR 6.75 ERA

The Giants specifically gave veteran lefty, Kirk Rueter, an entire week to rest in preparation for the playoffs. He battled another lefty, Mark Redman, who ended the season on a three game winning streak.

The Marlins jumped ahead early in the game when Luis Castillo hit a one- out double. With a runner on second, Ivan Rodriguez started his day with a two-run jack to left field, putting the Marlins ahead by two.

However, Rueter settled down after that, but the Giants were not able to capitalize on the runners they put on base against Redman until the sixth inning, when Rueter was already out of the game. Barry Bonds started the rally with an infield single, then the hot hitting Edgardo Alfonzo singled to put runners on first and second with no outs.

Andres Galarraga proceeded to hit what looked to be a potential double play comebacker to Redman, who threw past the shortstop, Alex Gonzalez, who was covering, but second baseman Castillo was backing up on the play and received the ball that enabled him to throw to first to get Galarraga out on a close play.

Jose Cruz, Jr. hit a ground out to bring Bonds home, which brought pinch-hitter, Pedro Feliz, to the plate. Feliz ripped a base hit into left field to bring in Alfonzo as the tying run of the game.

Matt Herges relieved Rueter in the sixth as they mounted a threat with a Derek Lee double, but Herges was able to fan Juan Encarnacion and Mike Lowell to end the inning.

One of the turning points came in the seventh as the Giants looked alive with another base runner. Marquis Grissom led off the inning with a single, which brought Rich Aurilia to the plate.

Aurilia was having a rough game, where his first hit was taken away by Juan Pierre in centerfield, but on a ball that was hit off the end of the bat into left field, it looked like the Giants' shortstop would put San Francisco ahead with his first postseason bomb. However, Jeff Conine made a spectacular leaping catch right on top of the fence to rob Aurilia of an extra base hit and a possible roundtripper to chase Grissom back to first base.

Bonds was intentionally walked, and with Alfonzo at the plate, the Giants gambled and sent Grissom to third. However, ten time Gold Glover Rodriguez threw Grissom out by plenty, giving the Giants two outs. Alfonzo walked, and Galarraga struck out against reliever Carl Fox.

Herges continued pitching in the seventh and struck out the side. In the eighth, Scott Eyre was summoned to pitch against the lefty Pierre after Herges got the first two outs.

Eyre retired Pierre, and the game was handed over to Joe Nathan. Nathan could not find the strike zone and walked the first batter he saw, which brought Felipe Alou to the mound to take the ball away from Nathan. The game was handed to Felix Rodriguez, who kept the Marlins off the scoreboard for two innings.

Tim Worrell entered the game in the bottom of the tenth and got into a jam with the help of a dropped ball by Neifi Perez, who took over at second base for Ray Durham. The bases were loaded, but Worrell got pinch hitter, Lenny Harris, to pop out to end the inning.

The battle of the bullpens continued on until the top of the eleventh, where former closer, Braden Looper, was in the game. He promptly walked the lead off man, Aurilia, and was forced to face Bonds. Bonds hit a sharp grounder that deflected off the glove of Gonzalez and flew into right field, allowing Aurilia to take third base.

Alfonzo delivered again with a base hit to drive in Aurilia as the lead run, and still with no outs and runners on first and second, Yorvit Torrealba was at the plate. Torrealba was asked to bunt the runners over, which he did successfully, and it brought Perez to the plate, who was intentionally walked. However, Looper got out of the inning as neither Cruz nor pinch hitter, Jeffrey Hammonds, was able to capitalize.

Worrell looked confident coming into the bottom half of the eleventh with a one-run lead. His first pitch to Conine was hit to medium deep right field, where Cruz was making a routine run of the ball towards the foul line. As Conine slowly jogged up the first baseline, he watched the ball drop out of Cruz's glove, and hurried his last few steps to first.

That unraveled a chain of events. Worrell was shaken up by the error, and walked the next batter, Gonzalez. Miguel Cabrera was asked to bunt them over, which he did. The bases were full for Pierre, who grounded a chopper right to Worrell, where Worrell made a barehanded stop and barehanded throw to home, forcing Conine out.

Rodriguez was down on a 1-2 count before he drilled a two hit, bases loaded single into right field to give the Marlins Game 3.

Game Notes: With the do-or-die game on deck, the Giants may go with ace, Jason Schmidt, on three days of rest instead of rookie Jerome Williams.

Players of the Game: The bullpen collectively of Matt Herges, Scott Eyre, Tim Worrell, and especially Felix Rodriguez we very sharp in today's game and kept the Marlins off the scoreboard. Edgardo Alfonzo just continues to have a smoking hot second half, as well as postseason. He had three hits in today's game, and leads the Giants offensively in the postseason.



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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