Rewind: Padres vs Giants, Game #1

The San Francisco Giants slumped into Monday's series opener against the San Diego Padres riding a four-game losing streak. They sent 22-year-old righty Jerome Williams to the mound, looking to best David Wells and the Padres to put themselves back in the win column.

Things started atrociously for the Giants. Second baseman Ray Durham booted two consecutive ground balls to open the game, immediately creating a scoring opportunity for the Padres. But Williams bore down, looking sharp as he retired the next three hitters to strand both runners on base.

Wells, who pitched seven shutout innings against the Giants in the first regular season game at Petco Park, quickly quieted any thoughts of replicating the feat, yielding a run to the Giants' offense in the bottom half of the first. Jeffrey Hammonds, starting in right field for San Francisco, lined a double to left field to pick up his first career hit against Wells. Marquis Grissom followed with an RBI single to give the Giants a 1-0 lead.

After going down in order in the second inning, the Giants made some noise in the third, putting a three-spot on the board by way of four consecutive two-out hits. Hammonds ignited the rally with his second double of the game. Grissom then drove in both his second and third runs of the game with one swing of the bat, scorching Wells' 2-0 offering into the left field seats. Barry Bonds made it back-to-back, sending a hanging fastball over the center field wall for his 666th career home run, and after three, the Giants led by a comfortable score of 4-0.

Jerome Williams, meanwhile, was pitching a beauty, retiring thirteen Padres in a row after the first two batters of the game had reached base. The Padres didn't threaten until the fifth, when Williams hit Ramon Hernandez in the shoulder with a 2-2 pitch. Hernandez got as far as third base when, with one out, Khalil Greene doubled to center field, but Williams struck out Wells and got Sean Burroughs on a weak groundout to first base to keep the Padres scoreless.

Williams couldn't keep the Padres from scoring in the sixth, however, as a single, a walk, and a sacrifice manufactured San Diego's first run of the night. Still, the Giants maintained their lead.

Williams ran into a little more trouble in the seventh. After two were down, he surrendered a single to Burroughs and then walked Mark Loretta, prompting Felipe Alou's walk to the mound and his call to southpaw Wayne Franklin, who was throwing alongside Jim Brower in the bullpen.

With two on and two out, Franklin fell behind 2-0 to San Diego slugger Brian Giles, but Giles, hitting under .150 on the season, popped out to shortstop Neifi Perez to end the threat.

The score remained 4-1 Giants until the top of the ninth. Veteran Matt Herges, playing the closer role in the early absence of Robb Nen, came on to try to close it out. He got the first two outs of the ninth on three pitches, inducing a fly ball to right field and a grounder to short. But then Terrence Long, pinch-hitting for San Diego reliever Antonio Osuna, hit a ground-rule double to keep the Padres alive. The next batter, Burroughs, drove him in, dumping a ball right in front of Grissom in center field for a run-scoring single. Then, with the score 4-2 and Burroughs at first, Herges served up a single to Loretta, bringing the go-ahead run to the plate.

Alou then went to his fourth reliever of the night, bringing in left-hander Jason Christiansen to face Giles. With the outfield playing deep to avoid giving up extra bases, Giles flared a ball to left, keeping it inside the line to plate Burroughs from second. Suddenly it had become a 4-3 game.

Once more, Alou made the call to the bullpen, this time for sinkerballer Jim Brower. Phil Nevin, 3-6 lifetime against Brower, was up next. With the tying run in scoring position, he took a ball before fouling off three consecutive pitches. Then, with the count at 1-2, he hit a rocket on one hop to first baseman JT Snow, who scooped it up and took it to the bag himself, recording the final out of the game to notch the win for the Giants.

Players of the Game: Jerome Williams, Jeffrey Hammonds, Marquis Grissom, and Barry Bonds. Williams pitched a beautiful game, mixing up his pitches and changing speeds effectively to limit San Diego to one run in 6 2/3 innings of work. Hammonds, starting in his first game since coming off the disabled list, went 2-4 with two doubles and two runs scored, also providing solid defense in the most difficult right field in the Majors. Grissom finished 2-4 with a home run and three runs batted in and was the center of the three-run third-inning rally. Coming into Monday's game, Bonds had taken 394 different major league pitchers deep in his career. With nobody on and two out in the third inning, Bonds welcomed Wells to the club.



Stephanie Moy is a diehard Giants fan, born and raised in the city by the bay. She welcomes comments, questions, criticism and praise at a_hole_in_the_bucket@hotmail.com.

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