Noah Lowry came within one controversial out of pitching a complete game shutout, as his 8 2/3 inning five-hit gem led the San Francisco Giants to a 5-0 victory over the visiting Philadelphia Phillies at a cool and foggy SBC Park – gotta love City summer weather!
As Lowry cruised through the Phillies lineup, the Giants got all the runs they needed in the bottom of the third. With one out, J.T. Snow lined a single to right field off of Phillies starter John Lieber (12-11) that scored Mike Matheny (who had doubled down the line to start the inning) and moved Omar Vizquel (who was hit by a pitch) to third. Moises Alou then allowed the two infielders to walk home, as he put a Lieber offering into the left field bleachers for a three-run home run and a 4-0 Giants lead.
As has been the case most of the season. the young Giants lefty then proceeded to help his own cause at the plate. In the bottom of the sixth inning, Michael Tucker led off the inning with a double, then moved over to third on a Matheny grounder. Lowry then skied a fly ball deep to center field for a sacrifice fly to plate Tucker and give the Giants a commanding 5-0 lead.
The lead was commanding since Lowry (10-11) struck out six, walked one, and was in command for most of the game, and when he got into trouble, his defense bailed him out. With the bases loaded and nobody out in the top of the seventh, Lowry struck out Phillies second baseman Chase Utley, then induced former Giant David Bell to ground to short, where Vizquel shovel-passed the relay to Durham at second to start a beautiful double play.
Pitching his way into the ninth inning, Lowry retired the first two men, but was robbed of a complete game shutout when Phillies All-Star outfielder Bobby Abreu was called safe on the second of two brilliant pirouette plays on the night by Vizquel (replays showed that Abreu should have been called out on the play). Manager Felipe Alou thought that was enough pitches for Lowry, and brought in LaTroy Hawkins, who promply struck out Pat Burrell looking to end the game in a relatively crisp 2 hours and 13 minutes – a sure sign of a well-played game.
SFDugout Player of the Game: Duh! Lowry was one bad call from pitching a complete game shutout, but nothing should detract from his performance – masterful. Most of the Phillies batters looked off-balanced all night.
Notes: A large portion of the television feed was devoted to a young Giants fan sitting in the stands who had a loose front tooth. To the dismay of this writer and his friends, the lad successfully removed the tooth on camera. Way to go, Fox… Vizquel (can he please play in a Giants uniform until he's 45 or so?) stole his 20th base of the season, the first Giant to steal that many since Marvin Benard stole 22 in 2000… For the season, Lowry is batting an impressive .273, which is higher than three of the Giants regular position players that played tonight's game.
Don Shin eats, breathes, thinks, and bleeds in Orange and Black. Pac Bell Park officially opened on his 25th birthday (the one year he decided to move out of the Bay Area!!!). For the 2000 playoff drive, he dyed his hair orange while studying in Korea. He watched Game 6 of the '02 World Series at a restaurant in LA, and couldn't finish his meal afterwards. Feel free to write him at email@example.com to commiserate, cheer, and complain.
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