Or at least a formerly hot pitcher on the mound. From the get-go, the situation was dismal. Veteran Dustin Hermanson gave up three runs in the top of the first, thanks to a two-run homer from Brian Giles and some small ball that brought Ryan Klesko in to score.
The Giants failed to answer in the bottom of the inning. Nor did they score in the second or third.
In the top of the fourth, the Padres rallied again to score three more runs. After 3.2 innings and two r uns scored, manager Felipe Alou took Hermanson out of the game and brought in Brian Cooper for long relief with men still on base. Another man would score, and Cooper helped the Giants get out of the inning, but for the Padres, six would be enough.
Down by six in the bottom of the fourth, the Giants bats finally found some life. Marquis Grissom started the inning with a line drive single to right, and Barry Bonds followed it with this 667th career homer, this one coming off Padres starter Brian Lawrence. Following a groundout by Michael Tucker, Pedro Feliz, too, went yard on Lawrence.
The Padres answered in the fifth with more small ball, bringing in yet another insurance run. The Giants came back to score one in the sixth and another in the seventh.
Behind the Giants one-run seventh was some notable managerial strategy: To pitch to Bonds—ultimately, to intentionally walk Bonds—manager Bruce Bochy put lefty Eddie Oropesa on the mound. With the left-handed-batting Michael Tucker coming up to bat, Alou put Hammonds in to pinch hit for the right-fielder. Once Hammonds was announced, Bochy got right-hander Akinori Otsuka out of the bullpen to pitch to Hammonds, which gave Bochy the last call as to the advantages. Not so much of a waste of the only bullpen lefty, after all.
Cooper was solid in long relief, ringing up goose-eggs for the Padres in the sixth and 2/3 of the seventh, with Wayne Franklin getting the last out of the inning. Jason Christiansen pitched a scoreless eight, but the ninth was not so kind. Rookie David Aardsma came in to pitch and the Padres beat him up a bit, scoring two more runs that brought them to a total of nine and took Aardsma's ERA from a miniscule 1.80 to a much heftier 4.50.
The Giants would not be able to reciprocate, and they were left with five. Padres closer Trevor Hoffman shut down the Giants in the ninght as Edgardo Alfonzo came in to pinch hit for Aardsma and singled, but was quickly erased on a Ray Durham double play. J.T. Snow lined out for the third and final out, and the Giants exited with a loss: 9-5 Padres.
SFDugout Player of the Game: Barry Bonds extended his streak to seven consecutive games with at least one home run, and he continues to thrill fans, despite the fact that the Giants can't seem to win much of anything. (Also: Padres manager Bruce Bochy gets some credit for this, because he, more than other managers, will take the chance and pitch to Bonds.)
Amy Lew has been writing close to anything and everything for SFDugout.com since its inception. . A Giants fan since age eight (1994), she writes ‘Who's Hot and Who's Not,' does her fair share of special features, and serves an unofficial editor. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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