Rewind: Giants at D-Backs, Game #2

Saturday, September the 11th, 2004, marked the three-year anniversary of the cowardly attacks against America, which ironically gave rise to heroes in the form of service men and women in New York. In Arizona, the only thing rising where the loud boos resonating from the hometown crowd as Diamondbacks Manager Al Pedrique ordered Barry Bonds to be intentionally walked in a 5-0 ballgame.

As cowardly as those terrorist attacks were on America, Pedrique commemorated them with his own gutless display in the top of the seventh inning, much to the chagrin of the paying crowd who expected to see Bonds continue his assault on the record books.

"If I'm Bonds, I'm ticked off. If I'm a fan who bought a ticket coming out here, with this team advertising that Bonds is coming into this city, I'd be upset as well," said a flabbergasted Mike Krukow during the Giants telecast.

The Diamondbacks (43-99) are now one defeat short of a 100-loss season and have been trotting out a team that resembles their Triple-A farm club. Still, Pedrique insists on intentionally walking Bonds in a somewhat meaningless game for the D-Backs, which he should be implementing a winning attitude upon. Walking Bonds in a cowardly fashion does not instill any confidence in his young pitchers.

"If Al Pedrique is saying that he owes it to the National League West or anybody else in a wild-card race, to play this game to the best of his abilities, to win, then he should be playing his veterans; he's not, he's playing his rookies," a puzzled Mike Krukow said during the game.

Krukow added, "Once you make the decision to play away from your veterans and play your young people, then you know what? All bets are off. Then intentionally walking a guy in a 5-0 game, to me, I think that's a personal thing with Pedrique and Bonds. He doesn't want to see him hit a homerun or challenge a record."

In the first inning, Bonds did challenge a record: His own for most walks in a single season with his 199th walk, setting up an Edgardo Alfonzo RBI-single for the first run of the game.

The Giants (78-65) added another run in the fourth inning on the strength of Ray Durham's run-scoring double to plate Dustan Mohr, giving San Francisco a 2-0 lead.

In the fifth inning, Bonds came up again only to be walked on four pitches by Stephen Randolph (2-5), drawing thunderous boos from the fans at Bank One Ballpark. His 200th walk set up a huge inning as Marquis Grissom's double added two runs, while A.J. Pierzynski singled home another to extend the lead to 5-0, heading into the bottom of the fifth.

The five runs seemed more than enough for Giants starter Noah Lowry (4-0) who was impressive in his first start after recovering from strep throat. The rookie left-hander spotted his fastball exceptionally well, hitting 90 MPH consistently, while locating his deadly changeup much better than in his previous road starts.

Lowry pitched seven strong innings, allowing only one earned run, a hook-job homerun by pinch-hitter Chad Tracy off the fair pole, on four hits, while striking out four.

Dave Burba came on in relief in the bottom of the eighth inning with a runner on first base and quickly induced a double-play groundball on the first pitch he threw to Luis Terrero. Burba then retired the next batter to end the eighth inning.

A Giants game would not be complete without the bullpen running into trouble in the late innings. Burba allowed back-to-back singles to open the bottom of the ninth inning, before giving way to closer Dustin Hermanson.

After surrendering a Scott Hairston RBI-double to cut the Giants lead to three, Hermanson got help from his defense.

Chad Tracy hit a deep flyball to right-field that looked like it would tie the score, but Mohr made a heroic leaping catch in front of the right-field fence before crashing into it, then bounced off the wall to fire a strike to second base, doubling up Hairston, who was running on the play.

"I just caught it and threw it back in,'' Mohr said. "I was confused. I didn't know what happened. I just saw people off bases and walking around and I'm just pointing, `Tag him, tag him.'''

Alan Zinter scored on the play by tagging from third base to make it 5-3. Hermanson then retired Carlos Baerga on a grounder to preserve the victory for the Giants, his 12th save in 14 opportunities.

On a day now commonly known to us as "Patriot Day," a day in which Americans "will never forget," Pedrique showed that his managerial tactics should make him history soon and, hopefully, if justice is served, he will not last long as a manager in the major leagues.

There's no place for cowards like him in the show.

Game Notes: Lowry became the first Giants pitcher since Juan Marichal in 1960 to start his big league career with four consecutive victories... The Giants continued to place themselves in a position to win the wacky wild-card race as the Astros, Padres, and Marlins all lost on Saturday... Ray Durham booted another grounder which was ruled an infield hit, leading to the Diamondbacks late rally in the ninth.

SFDugout's Player of the Game: Dustan Mohr for his heroic catch in the bottom of the ninth inning. If position players could get saves, Mohr definitely earned one on that spectacular leaping catch to rescue the Giants from blowing another win.

Phil Delacruz was a transplanted Giants fan, buried in the Southland. After four strenuous years in College, studying (read: partying), he's back in the beautiful "City by the Bay" – San Francisco. Do you think he should move back to LALA land? Or do you like him where he is now and appreciate the good reads? Either way, send him an e-mail at to air out your frustrations or, more likely, songs of praise.

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