Rewind: Giants At Pirates, Game #1

What do you do when your highly paid, very important closer goes down with an injury for four months? How about taking the pressure off the bullpen by throwing a complete game? Enter Brett Tomko.

Brett Tomko came up big when the Giants needed a little more time to figure out the bullpen situation.

Tomko threw a complete game, giving up only 2 runs on 5 hits, and letting manager Felipe Alou take another day to figure out who’s going to close by closing his own tight game.

"Nothing was really solved tonight,” Alou said, with a smile that usually doesn’t accompany a statement like that. "The bullpen thing is still up in the air, and I've got to leave him in there. He was throwing well. He was really popping the ball."

Tomko ran into a rough patch in the fourth inning, which saw Pittsburgh collect their first three hits and score both runs, but after allowing a double in the 5th, Tomko shut Pittsburgh down. He gave up only a walk the rest of the way. That was his only walk while striking out 7.

Meanwhile, former farmhand Jason Ellison made the most of getting a chance to play with Pedro Feliz giving J.T. Snow a day off and opening a spot in the outfield. Ellison went 3 for 5, collecting hits in his first 3 at-bats, giving him 8 hits in 8 at bats over the last 4 games before his streak was broken. The streak was the first of that length since Livan Hernandez did it in August of 2001. Ellison raised his average to .467, and started the 2 run rally that started the game.

The first inning rally was a streak breaker itself, breaking Pittsburgh’s streak of 18 scoreless innings. The win also gave San Francisco it’s first three game win streak since the opening weekend of the season.

The winning run came in on Mike Matheny’s second home run of the year, a solo shot to left field in the 6th. It was nearly Matheny’s 2nd home run of the game, as Matheny had also launched a shot to the 410 foot corner of left center that Alou thought was knocked down by the wind.

Matheny earned the Bonds treatment, by receiving an 8th inning intentional walk to load the bases, though that was more to call Felipe Alou’s bluff that he might pull Tomko.’s Player of the Game: Brett Tomko, who else? His complete game, the first of the year for the Giants, couldn’t have come at a better time. The bullpen situation may be sorted out in time, but it might not be best to have the first post-Benitez save situation be a close game so soon after the injury. By finishing his own game, Tomko took the pressure off a bullpen that not only is in disarray, but has let him down this year, too.

Game Notes: Ellison’s 8 hit streak was part of a 9 time streak for getting on base, as it had been preceded by a walk…By holding the lead, the Giants avoided facing Pittsburgh closer Joe Mesa. Mesa and Giant shortstop Omar Vizquel have had a well publicized feud, but their possible reunion on the field will be postponed at least one more game…Jerome Williams, who was sent down to Fresno earlier this week to take advantage of off days and work on his pitches, pitched Friday for the Grizzlies and had a rough time. Williams threw 4.1 innings, giving up 9 hits 4 walks and 6 runs (5 earned) while striking out only 2.

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