Rewind: Giants vs. Rockies, Game #1

Feliz tears up Rockies' pitching, going 3-4 with two bombs. But Rockies rip apart the Giants' bullpen in the ninth to come from three run down to win it big.

The Giants looked to catch a break in the weather as they traveled to Denver for their series opener against the Colorado Rockies, Friday night. Starter Jason Schmidt, who has been on a slow start this season, looked to improve his 0-2 record and 4.95 ERA right from his first pitch. In the first inning he got all three outs with just 16 pitches.

The Giants seemed like they had gotten Rockies' starter Jason Jennings early. In the second inning, after a Moises Alou strikeout, Pedro Feliz blooped a single into center field. Following Feliz was catcher Mike Matheny, who hit a rope between third and short to bring Schmidt up to the plate. However, Schmidt failed to help his own cause and grounded into a force out to end the inning.

The lights surrounding Coors Field proved to be a tough opponent for the Giants also. In the bottom of the second inning, Barry Bonds fought off the lights to make a tough catch. But that wouldn't be the only troubles San Francisco would see that inning. With runner, Garret Atkins on first, Rockies' second baseman Luis Gonzalez took a fastball from Schmidt and blasted it over Bonds' head in left for a double. Atkins scored easily, it was now 1-0 in favor of the Rockies.

In the top half of the third, Omar Vizquel set the table once again. With one out, he bunted a single right between third baseman Garret Atkins and the pitcher, Jennings. Then, with Ray Durham at the plate, he stole second easily. Durham, unfortunately grounded out to first but advanced Vizquel to third in the process. This led to Bonds' second at-bat of the game.

Without hesitation, Jennings gave Bonds the free pass to first. This proved to be a smart move as the next batter, Moises Alou grounded out to end the inning.

The Giants' inability to produce anything in the third would prove costly. After Schmidt gave up two consecutive walks to Cory Sullivan and Clint Barmes, Matt Holliday made it a 4-0 ball game with a three-run shot to left.

But Pedro Feliz didn't think much of that and in the top of the fourth, and with Lance Niekro on first, hit a two-run blast to slim down the Rockies' lead to 4-2.The home run gave Feliz a total of 11 RBI's on the year.

Schmidt's walks proved to be his worst enemy. His three walks he gave up through five innings scored.

Vizquel continued to play the role of set-up man. In the top half of the fifth, he led off the inning with a single turned into a double. After a Ray Durham fly-out, Bonds once again stepped up to the plate. And just like his previous at-bat, Bonds was given another free pass.

This just proves that even with his batting average as low as it is and with no home runs on the year, Bonds still commands a lot of respect from National League managers. Jennings, however, did not intentionally walk Moises Alou, but did, this time to load the bases. This brought up Lance Niekro with a chance to open the game for the Giants. And open it up he did. With a single to left by Niekro and a throwing error by left fielder Matt Holliday, the Giants took their first lead of the game, 5-4.

The inning wasn't over for the Giants though, not for a long shot. Well, not until Feliz's second long shot of the game to make it a 7-4 Giants lead going into the bottom half of the fifth.

Yet the cold, thin air of Coors Field allowed to the Rockies to play catch-up.

In the sixth, Schmidt allowed a ground-rule double to Cory Sullivan. Sullivan was then driven in on a Clint Barmes single to make it a 7-5 game. The five runs given up by Schmidt through his six innings pitched gave him an inflated ERA of 5.54.

The top of the seventh marked the end of the night for Jennings as Rockies' manager Clint Hurdle brought in right hander reliever, Miguel Ascencio.

Schmidt continued his struggles with the Rockies' lineup. By the end of the seventh, he had thrown 117 pitches and had issued seven hits with three walks. Manager Felipe Alou decided to call it a night for the team ace, and brought in Scott Munter for relief.

In the eight inning, the Giants once again added to their lead. With Mike Matheny on third, Vizquel found a hole in center for another single and his first RBI of the night. The score was now 8-5 in favor of San Francisco.

With the slim lead, the Giants brought in closer Tim Worrell to close up the shop in the ninth. However, closing up shop was easier said than done. Worrell gave up a solo home run to Eli Marrero to make the score 8-6. He then loaded the bases before Felipe Alou yanked him in favor of leftie Steve Kline. Kline finally gets an out on the board for the Giants but then is pulled for Armando Benitez.

Benitez's first appearance of the year couldn't come at a better time. With the bases still juiced, Benitez got Barmes to fly out to left but sacrificed a run in. It was now 8-7. Up next for the Rockies was Matt Holliday. Holliday proved himself to be a Giants killer earlier in the game but put the icing on the cake when he laced a single to right to tie up the game at 8-8. With just one out remaining for the Rockies, it was cleanup hitter Garret Atkins who closed the casket on the Giants. His line shot just over the head of Vizquel brought in pinch-hitter Choo Freeman to finalize the score at 9-8.

I guess its true what they say, "it isn't over until the fat lady sings." Sorry boys, there's always tomorrow.

SFDugout's Player of the Game: Hands down, tonight's honor goes Pedro Feliz. Feliz finally found his groove tonight and was 3-4 at the dish with 4 runs batted in. Keep it up number 7.



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