Right away, things looked awful for the Giants. After ending their half of the first with two consecutive swinging strikeouts, Randy Weeks started the Brewers half of the inning with a single to left. With one down, Weeks stole second, and advanced to third on a grounder by Geoff Jenkins. Carlos Lee banged out a two-run homer, giving the Brewers a quick 2-0 lead. With two down and no one on, Prince Fielder hit a single to right, and scored on Corey Koskie's double. Todd Greene was injured on the play and the Giants brought in Mike Matheny, who had been enjoying a much-needed day of rest. Koskie was thrown out at home trying to advance on the play, ending the inning.
Moises Alou tried to start a Giants comeback in the second with a leadoff double, but his teammates didn't agree to the plan and he was stranded there. The Giants had another chance to come back in the third. With two out, Randy Winn walked, and Steve Finley singled to center, moving Winn to third, but nothing came of this attempt.
The Brewers had a stroke of luck to begin the fifth when Alou dropped a fly ball from the bat of Milwaukee starter Doug Davis. Weeks walked, and with two down, Lee was again the hero (or villain) of the afternoon with a two-run double to give his team a 5-0 lead.
After six innings of work, Davis stepped off in place of Jorge De La Rosa, who promptly changed the tide of the game, walking Mark Sweeney to begin the seventh. Winn doubled down the left field line, moving the slow Sweeney over to third. Until that hit, Winn had been 0-23 against left-handed pitching. Finley hit a single that slipped past the middle infielders. Both Sweeney and Winn scored, even though Winn had stopped at third to make sure the ball made it through. De La Rosa was pulled in favor of Jose Capellan. Mike Matheny pulled a ball to left, barely over the left field wall for a two-run homer, putting the Giants within one run. But as the announcers called it, the home run was a "Rally-killing homer" as it left no one on base and allowed the pitcher to stop working out of the stretch. No further Giants got on base, and they left the inning behind by one.
Scott Munter began his game by hitting Weeks with a pitch, and Bill Hall sacrificed him to second. Jenkins promptly hit an opposite-field homer to left center, putting three runs between the Giants and Brewers.
Kevin Frandsen earned his first major league extra-base hit, a double to deep center field past a diving Brady Clark. But the Giants, in what was the typical fashion for this game, decided it was best that he did not score, and left him stranded on second as they did to Alou earlier in the game.
The Giants were unable to capitalize on any further opportunity and fell to the Brewers, 7-4.
SFDugout.com Player of the Game:
Steve Finley. Finley has been a pleasnt surprise for the Giants this year, and definetely a good pickup so far. As a part-time player, Finley has five doubles in only 64 atbats. In comparison, Edgardo Alfonzo has four hits in 36 atbats for the Angels. Today Finley went two-for five, with a nice clutch single in the seventh to begin a four-run rally. An honorable mention goes to Mike Matheny, who hit a two-run homer on a day that he was supposed to be resting. And Moises Alou, who had three hits but never scored due to his teammates stranding him on base every time.
The Giants are still in the race for the West, two games behind the Rockies. However, they have given up more runs than they've scored, a sign that they are not as good as their 14-14 record indicates.
With a 3-4 effort, Moises Alou now has a .370 batting average, keeping himself near the top of the league for batting average.
As a team, the Giants left ten men on base, and combined, the individual batters left 22 men stranded. The Brewers had five individually, and 15 as a team.
Jesse Radin writes for SFDugout.com and has been a Giants follower since 1996. The Blind Observer is Jesse's column covering all things baseball, though mainly about the Giants. Questions or comments can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
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