Rewind: Cubs vs. Giants, Game #2

The Giants were on a small winning streak, and the Cubs were on a bad losing streak coming into tonight's game. After coming home from a horrible roadtrip, the Giants won a make-up game and have taken the first game of the Chicago series behind their ace. They look to the future as they hand the ball to Matt Cain, who has been struggling this season.

Matt Cain took the mound for the Giants in hopes of keeping their streak going. He was countered by Carlos Zambrano, the Cubs' current ace in the absence of Mark Prior and Kerry Wood.

Cain continued to struggle. In the first inning. Ronny Cedeno singled up the middle to lead off the inning. While Juan Pierre was batting, Cedeno stole second and advanced to third when Pierre made a sacrifice bunt. Todd Walker grounded out, which allowed Cedeno to score the first run of the game. Aramis Ramirez flied out to end the inning.

The Giants came back to get that run back in the bottom of the first. Randy Winn led off with a walk, but Omar Vizquel grounded into a force out. With a runner on first, Mark Sweeney lined out and Barry Bonds, still sitting on 713 homeruns, walked. Steve Finley singled on a groundball to right field, and Vizquel scored the Giants' first run. However, Pedro Feliz lined out to end the inning.

The tie was short-lived as Chicago came back for more in the second inning. With one out, Matt Murton singled, and the struggling Jacque Jones jacked the ball into the right field bleachers to put the Cub back ahead.

San Francisco tried to comeback in the bottom of the second. Kevin Frandsen walked and Mike Matheny hit a double. With runners on second and third, Cain struck out. Winn hit a grounder to John Mabry at first, but Mabry threw out Frandsen, who was trying to score. Vizquel struck out to end the inning.

Cain and Zambrano pitched scoreless innings until the sixth. However, the Giants did waste a good opportunity in the fourth. Feliz led off with a double, and was moved to third when Frandsen grounded out. Matheny drew a walk, and Cain bunted him over. With runners on second and third, Winn was walked for the second time of the night. The bases were loaded, but Vizquel grounded the first pitch he saw to first, where Mabry fielded it and recorded the third out.

The Cubs broke it open in the sixth against Cain. Pierre started off the inning with a sharp liner at the feet of Cain. The ball hit Cain, but the young hurler was determined to stay in the game, and the sixth inning became a nightmare for the rookie. Walker drew a walk, and Ramirez doubled to drive in Pierre. Mabry popped out, but Murton was walked. Jones continued his tear at the plate when he smashed a double to score Walker and Ramirez, and to chase Cain from the game.

Scott Munter came in to relieved Cain. Henry Blanco hit a grounder to Mark Sweeney at first, but Sweeney could not handle it, and two more runs scored. Zambrano had a sacrifice bunt, and Cendeno grounded out to finally end the inning, but the Cubs scored five runs in the inning, all charged to Cain, making the score 8-1.

In the eighth inning, the Giants made some changes. Winn and Vizquel came out of the game, and was replaced by Dan Ortimeier and Jose Vizcaino, respectively. Brad Hennessey made his first relief appearence in place of Munter and got out of the inning without any damage.

Bonds had his last at-bat of the night in the eighth, and popped out. Hennessey finished the game off for the Giants, and the scoreboard remained at 8-1. Ryan Dempster, the Cubs' closer, got some work in the ninth inning and gave up a double to Ortimeier, but did not allow any runs to score.

Game Notes: In the seventh inning, Dan Ortimeier had his first major league at-bat this season and struck out. However, he did get another chance at the plate in the ninth and hit a double... The Cubs were on an eight game losing streak before tonight... Barry Bonds mentioned he wants to play in day games, so unless something comes up tomorrow, the plan is for Bonds to be in the lineup.

SFDugout's Player of the Game: Brad Hennessey came out and pitched two scoreless innings for the Giants. There may be big considerations regarding him and Matt Cain since Cain continues to struggle and Hennessey has pitched well. Steve Finley also had two hits and the only RBI for the Giants in the game, and Randy Winn was on base three times with two walks and a single.



Sara Kwan is a writer and co-publisher for SFDugout.com. Got a bone to pick? Just want to say hi? Comments about the article and/or the site? Hit me up: sara_kwan16@yahoo.com .

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