However, in the first inning, it looked like he would break out of it. Schmidt put the game in motion with two straight strikeouts to start the game and forcing slugger Chad Tracy to fly out to left. Even though it was only the first inning, it looked as if the 11-year veteran wasn't going to pull any punches, his fastball was already reaching 95 miles per hour.
Last night also marked the professional debut of Giants' prospect, second baseman Kevin Frandsen.
With his parents in the crowd, Frandsen looked to come up clutch in the first inning. Manager Felipe Alou slipped the rookie into the second spot in the lineup, right behind leadoff man Omar Vizquel and in front of center fielder Randy Winn. With Vizquel on first, Frandsen failed on his first attempt to make an impact and grounded into a double play.
In the second inning it appeared Schmidt's love for his fastball quickly came back to nip him in the rear. Despite whiffing two more strikeouts, the Diamondbacks attacked Schmidt and racked him for two runs on three singles and a walk. It was apparent that if the Giants wanted to come out of this game with a win, the bats would have to wake up.
Schmidt looked to rebound from his dismal performance in the second, with a better outing in the third. In Arizona's half of the inning of the plate, all they could manufacture was a walk given up to clean-up hitter Luis Gonzalez. Schmidt allowed that one walk but also struck out Jeff DaVanon to bring his strikeout total to five.
The bottom half of the third was poised for the Giants to put some runs on the board. Arizona starter Miguel Batista loaded the bases full of Giants for Randy Winn. Now with Schmidt on third, Vizquel on second and Frandsen on first, Winn hit a lazy fly ball to left for out number one. Winn's fly-out brought up the big boy of Giants' lineup, Barry Bonds. On the first pitch from Batista, Bonds smoked a double down the right field line that cleared the bases and gave the Giants the lead. With one swing of Bonds' boom-stick, it was now 3-2 in favor of San Francisco.
It wasn't over for Batista.
After Bonds, it was the always dangerous Moises Alou. With the count even at 2-2, Alou went opposite field and drilled the ball to right. Bonds scored easily and the Giants' lead was now 4-2.
With the run support now available to him, Schmidt went back to work with a revival of confidence. Through only four innings, the team ace recorded seven strikeouts.
Because of Vizquel getting caught in a rundown in the fourth inning, Kevin Frandsen had to wait until the fifth inning for his third at-bat. The wait was worth it. Frandsen lined up a rope right up the middle for his first big league hit.
As the tradition goes with all rookies, the ball he sent up the middle was collected and sent back to the Giants' dugout.
Frandsen's stay on the bases was short lived. After a Winn single down the right field line, Frandsen advanced to third. Then Bonds came up and continued to light up the scoreboard, he scored Frandsen for his fourth R.B.I. of the game. After Bonds, Pedro Feliz kept the momentum going with a single to left to drive in Winn and moved Bonds over to third.
The Giants had finally woken up their bats, it was now 6-2 in favor of the orange and black. They stayed that way in the sixth as Vizquel, Frandsen and Winn hit back-to-back-to-back singles to increase San Francisco's lead to five runs. Through six, the Giants had a commanding 7-2 lead.
Once again, with the added run support, Schmidt continued to cruise through the Arizona lineup. Through seven innings of work he had nine strikeouts, with only two walk and two runs given up. The end of the seventh inning also marked the end of Schmidt's night as skipper Felipe Alou handed the ball over to left-handed reliever Steve Kline. Kline followed in Schmidt's footsteps and easily retired the side in the eighth.
Kevin Frandsen continued to impress the home crowd at AT&T Park and racked up his third single of the night in the bottom half of the eighth. Even then the Giants' bats did not go to sleep, with Frandsen on third and Jason Ellison, who was pinch-running for Bonds, Moises Alou took a Greg Aquino delivery and gave it to the fans in left field. The three run bomb was Alou's sixth of the year and put the score at 10-2.
The Giants, with one inning left to play, were in cruise control.
Through all nine innings, the Giants collected a total of 18 hits, an average of two per inning. Jeremy Accardo was brought into the ninth to close up shop for the Giants. And close up shop he did. It was three up and three down for the hard throwing right-hander as he collected two strikeouts along the way.
An all around performance by San Francisco put the last nail in the coffin for the Diamondbacks as they take the first game of the series, 10-2.
SFDugout's Player of the Game: This one was a tough one. There were so many great performances all by different players. But I'm going to go with a three-way tie. First up, Jason Schmidt, his nine strikeout performance helped him to his first victory of the year. Second was the big guy, Barry Bonds. Bonds was 3-4 with a double and 4 RBI's. And last but not least, Kevin Frandsen. The rookie shined in his debut also going 3-4, Definitely a great way to start a career.
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