Rewind: Dbacks vs. Giants, Game #3

With all the treacherous rainouts, random injuries to star players and atrocious pitching by the bullpen, the Giants may be glad that the first month of the season is finally in the books.

San Francisco wrapped up April with a 13-11 record, which places them just 1½ games behind the upstart Colorado Rockies, but ended the month on a sour note as they failed to sweep the Arizona Diamondbacks Sunday at the ballpark on Third and King.

"If you're going to have a good season, a playoff-type season, you like to win more than 15 games a month -- you have to," Giants manager Felipe Alou told the Associated Press.

"[Sunday]'s game was the first I remember that we were really out of it in the month of April. I don't recall every final score, but we had a shot at winning every one."

San Francisco had a shot in the first inning, but another controversial call by third-base umpire Laz Diaz ended any chance the Giants had of scoring off D-Backs ace Brandon Webb (4-0).

With Kevin Frandsen on second, Randy Winn on first, and only one out, the Giants were looking to get to Webb early. Barry Bonds battled the D-Backs right-hander for nine pitches, working a 3-2 count.

On Webb's 10th pitch, both runners took off and the payoff pitch was initially called a ball by home-plate umpire Ramon Armendariz. Frandsen slowed up as he approached third base, apparently assuming it was ball four to Bonds.

Third-base umpire Laz Diaz would then send the Giants into a tizzy as he called Bonds out on a check swing and consequently called Frandsen out at third as Chad Tracy tagged him on the throw from catcher Johnny Estrada.

"That was kind of a weird turn of events," said Estrada, who went 4-for-4 with a homerun and 4 RBI. "I just came up throwing to third because I assumed it would be called a strike. I didn't see him punch out Barry, I saw him make the call at third. I heard Barry say 'You've got to be kidding me."'

Webb would be the one kidding around with the Giants hitters as he tangled San Francisco for eight innings, while allowing just two runs on five hits.

Webb's dealing and Estrada's clutch hitting was all Arizona would need as they cruised to an easy 8-2 victory, dropping Giants starter Matt Cain (1-3) to his third loss of the young season.

"It was my fault," Cain said. "I gave up a two-out walk [in the third], a two-out hit -- it definitely makes you more upset when you let them do it. I threw the ball well but gave Estrada too many pitches to hit."

Cain's batterymate Mike Matheny offered some words of encouragement for the 21-year-old hurler.

"He's been throwing the ball well," Matheny said. "He kept us in the game, but we just couldn't get anything going. And Webb has one of the best sinkers in the game and there isn't a lot of room for error when you can throw the ball in the middle of the plate and guys keep hitting ground balls."

The Giants will continue to get a heavy dose of sinkers as they face another ground-ball wizard in Jake Peavy (1-3, 5.17 ERA). San Francisco will welcome the Padres to town for a quick two-game set beginning Monday.

Fortunately for the G-Men, their most consistent starter thus far, Jamey Wright (2-1, 3.34), will take the mound against Peavy at 7:15 p.m. on Levi's 501 Day.

Games notes: Moises Alou pulled up lame running to first base in the bottom of the ninth. "He said he felt something, mild," Giants manager Felipe Alou said. "He'll need a day off." The younger Alou concurred to expect Mo to be out a game or two... Barry Bonds moved past Babe Ruth for third on the all-time list with 1,357 extra-base hits. Bonds is now 20 shy of Stan Musial for second place... Bonds was caught in a pickle in the bottom of the seventh and there was cause for concern due to the abrupt starting and stopping, but notch one for the long-awaited spring climate. "It was great [Sunday]," Bonds said. "It was nice in the warm weather, and [my knee] felt good. I couldn't believe it. I got caught in that rundown and took off. I just couldn't stop once I started."... The first signs of missing J.T. Snow? Mark Sweeney booted a grounder by Luis Gonzalez in the sixth, resulting in a two-base error and an eventual run by Gonzo.

SFDugout.com Player of the Game: We have to go with Bonds for not hurting himself during the rundown in the seventh and making it through the first month of the season fairly unscathed by injury. "I expected more or less a month like that," Bonds' manager Felipe Alou said. "We got him through healthy, healthy enough to play the first of May. That was a good month. Not a lot of home runs, but a lot of RBIs and a lot of walks." So long as the Giants continue to generate runs as a function of those walks, we'll take them.



Phil Delacruz was a transplanted Giants fan, buried in the Southland. After four strenuous years in College, studying (read: partying), he's back in the beautiful "City by the Bay" – San Francisco. Do you think he should move back to LALA land? Or do you like him where he is now and appreciate the good reads? Either way, send him an e-mail at phildelacruz@aol.com to air out your frustrations or, more likely, songs of praise.

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