Rewind: Cubs vs. Giants, Game #3

Winning for the first time since Apr. 14, Jamey Wright brought his record to 3-3 and pitched seven and a third, giving up only two runs. The Giants provided him with great run support, something lacking in his last few starts. While Barry Bonds is yet to tie Babe Ruth in homers and the Giants did not utilize the long ball at all, the team still managed to score nine runs with only two-extra base hits.

The contest got started off in the right way with a groundout, and the Giants half of the first was something out of a dream. Randy Winn led off with a walk, Omar Vizquel singled on a grounder that was right out of the reach of John Mabry, moving Winn to second. Lance Niekro cleared the bases with a double, giving the Giants an early 2-0 lead. With a runner on second and no one out, Sean Marshall wisely decided to walk Barry Bonds to allow for a potential double play.

However, their wishes were to no avail, as Pedro Feliz singled to left, scoring Niekro and moving Bonds to second. Steve Finley bunted for a single, loading the bases for Mike Matheny, who singled and gave the Giants their fourth run. Kevin Frandsen hit into a fielder's choice, but luckily, the Cubs were only able to get Matheny out at second, and Feliz managed to score on the play. Despite having only one down and runners at the corners, the Giants would not cause any further damage, as Jamey Wright was out on a sacrifice bunt and Winn, batting for the second time in the inning, flied out.

The game remained 5-0 until the 3rd. Feliz led off the Giants half of the inning with a single. Finley grounded to first to move Feliz down to second, and Frandsen singled to score Feliz, making the game 6-0 in the favor of the Giants.

In the fourth, Winn led off with a walk, but remained on first with two men down. However, Bonds walked and Feliz reached on an infield hit. Finley took full advantage of the bases-loaded, two-out situation by hitting a three-run triple to right, busting the game wide open with more insurance for Wright, who was cruising through the game.

It wasn't until the eighth that the Cubs had any threat against the Giants. Jerry Hairston, Jr. led off with a double, and a triple by Freddie Bynum finally put the Cubs on the board. Ex-Giant Neifi Perez grounded out to drive in Bynum and give the Cubs their second run. Steve Kline took over for Wright and managed to get out of the inning without any further trouble.

The ninth looked like trouble for the Giants. Jeremy Accardo entered the game and allowed Aramis Ramirez to start things off with a single. Mabry moved Ramirez to second with a ground ball, and Will Ohman, a Cubs' reliever who batted for himself, had an infield single. On the play, Ramirez made it to third on a throwing error by Feliz. Henry Blanco drove in Ramirez on a sacrifice fly for the Cubs third and final run. With runners at the corners and two down, and the Cubs still down by six runs, Bynum struck out to end the game.

Game Notes: The Giants are now just three games back in a rather close NL West. (The Rockies have dropped two games in a row)... Pedro Feliz has brought his batting average up to .250, though his OBP is only .273... The Giants pitching remains their weakness, as they have given up more runs (187) than any other NL team... Steve Kline has had success so far as a reliever, allowing only a .231 batting average to opposing players... Jamey Wright had no problem with the Cubs' 1, 2, 3 or 4 hitters. None of them had a hit, including Juan Pierre, who had great numbers against Wright coming into this game.

SFDugout's Player of the Game: This honor goes to Pedro Feliz, though not just for today, but for his general improvement during the month of May. He left April with a .207 batting average along with only two home runs in 92 at-bats. In May, he's hit .300 and already has three homers in 40 at-bats. Honorable mentions must go to both Steve Finley and Jamey Wright. Finley hit yet another triple, and now has seven on the year. Ironically, if he continued his current pace, he'd end up with 37 triples and only five home runs by the year's end. Jamey Wright had his first great outing since he was robbed of a win by the bullpen on Apr. 20, and his first win since Apr. 14.



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 electricbassguy@gmail.com

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