Rewind: Giants At Dodgers, Game #1

Just keep repeating "It's good for the rivalry, It's good for the rivalry." The Giants lost a heartbreaker after new closer Armando Benitez was unable to finish off the Dodgers in the Los Angeles home opener.

For the first time this season, it wasn’t the offense that let the Giants down, it was all that pitching and defense the Giants went after. And worse, the breakdowns occurred against the Dodgers. Again!

Armando Benitez was only able to get two outs with a 3 run lead before loading the bases, and giving up a base hit to left field. What made it worse was that Jason Ellison, coming in to try and make a play at the plate, misplayed the ball, and the winning run came in unearned.

And, as if things couldn’t get bad enough for Giant fans, there was this to consider: Who started the rally with a one out double? Ex-Giant Rickey Ledee. Who scored the winning run? Ex-Giant Jeff Kent.

All this negated a great start for the Giants, who scored 8 runs in 3 innings on Jeff Weaver before knocking him out of the game. The Giants started their rally with five base hits in the first, 4 in a row, along with Ray Durham getting hit by a pitch. It got the Giants 5 runs to take an early lead.

Pedro Feliz followed that up with a 3 run home run, his first of the year, in the 4th inning. That was the shot that knocked Weaver out of the game.

Several Giants had good offensive days. Feliz was 2 for 4 with 4 RBI and a walk before being taken out for a pinch runner, Ellison, in the 8th inning. Hot hitting Edgardo Alfonzo went 4 for 5 with an RBI and is now batting .519 for the young season. And Mike Matheny was 3 for 5 with a double.

Kirk Rueter had a rough start. He gave up 5 runs, 4 earned, in 5+ innings pitched. The 6th inning started with Omar Vizquel, who has wowed Giants fans with his spectacular defense, made an uncharacteristic error. After giving up a single and a walk, Rueter was lifted for Scott Eyre. Eyre first gave up a pop fly for a sacrifice, but Tucker dropped the ball, which allowed a run to score.

The two errors were part of the day’s defensive woes. Feliz bobbled a ball in the 2nd inning, and of course there was Ellison’s play in the 9th. In all, the Giants gave up 2 big unearned runs off of those 4 errors.

The Giants and Dodgers go at it again to wrap up this short series Wednesday at 9 PM.

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