Rewind: Rockies vs. Giants, Game #1

The Giants get revenge on a divisional foe, Colorado. Travis Ishikawa makes the best of his big league debut. Jason Schmidt helps the bullpen by going seven strong innings and giving them a deserved rest. Revenge for the series in Colorado is sought and found.

Coming into Friday's night game, the San Francisco Giants are 1-2 against the Colorado Rockies so far the year. One of the two losses came in Colorado where the Giants held a 8-5 lead coming into the ninth, but due to the collapse of their bullpen, San Francisco lost 9-8. However, the Giants were looking to prevent that from happening again with their ace, Jason Schmidt, on the mound.

Schmidt got off to a quick start. In the first inning he retired the top of the Rockies' order and recorded two strikeouts along the way. Among his first inning casualties was the always dangerous Todd Helton, who he got swinging to end the inning.

San Francisco played the waiting game with Rockies' starter Jeff Francis, and it paid off. After giving up a walk to Omar Vizquel, Francis struck out Steve Finley. After successfully striking out Finley, Francis then threw an off-speed pitch a little too close to Barry Bonds, and hit the Giants' slugger to put him on first base. This brought up Ray Durham, who, in his career against Francis, was as dominant they come.

Durham wasted no time. On Francis' second delivery, the second baseman hit a line drive into left field. The Durham double to left scored Vizquel from second easily and advanced Bonds to third. Unfortunately, that's where the Giants' production for the inning ended as Mike Matheny flied out to left to end the inning. After six outs, it was 1-0 in favor of the Giants.

The Rockies were looking to strike back in the top half of second. Matt Holliday and Jason Smith (not to be confused with Jason Schmidt) pounced Schmidt for two straight singles to start off the inning. After Holliday and Smith both advanced to third and second respectively, Schmidt got himself out of the jam and got Miguel Ojeda to fly out to end the inning. San Francisco, looking to continue the run production, got off to a quick start. Third baseman Pedro Feliz took an 0-1 delivery from Francis and turned it into a single. With the lead-off man of the inning on, it was now up to the rest of the Giants' lineup to bring him home. First up in the attempt to bring Feliz home was Travis Ishikawa.

The Giants get revenge on a divisional foe, Colorado. Travis Ishikawa makes the best of his big league debut. Jason Schmidt helps the bullpen by going seven strong innings and giving them a deserved rest. Revenge for the series in Colorado is sought and found.

Ishikawa was brought up from the Giants' farm system to take over at first base for the injured Lance Niekro. In the Ishikawa at-bat, Francis threw a wild pitch but Feliz failed to advanced to second. However, Ishikawa lined a single into right field to put Feliz at third. It was not until Randy Winn came to the plate that Feliz would scored. Winn's single brought Feliz in 90 feet to make it 2-0 Giants‘ lead. Unfortunately, the Giants could have capitalized on the run scoring opportunities but failed to do so and left two runners on.

Jason Schmidt continued to be lights out. Through four innings of work, he had thrown just 51 five strikeouts and just two walks. The defense around Schmidt held up. Mike Matheny showed what it takes to be a Gold Glove winning catcher as he, Schmidt and Vizquel combined for a strike ‘em out, throw ‘em out double play. While at third base, Pedro Feliz showed his range and his arm by committing a couple of put-outs.

The game remained quiet until the bottom of the fifth when the Giants started off with a Randy Winn single and Omar Vizquel walk. Then on a Steve Finley sacrifice fly both Winn and Durham advanced up a base. Now with first base wide open, Rockies' Manager Clint Hurdle opted to intentionally walk Barry Bonds to bring up a man who he intentionally walked earlier in the game, Ray Durham. With the bases loaded, Durham took a 2-2 Francis pitch for a ride down the third base line. Durham's second hit of the game brought Winn and Vizquel around to make the score 4-0. The inning wasn't over.

With runners now on second and third, Mike Matheny grounded into a fielder's choice to add another run to the Giants' scorecard. But that wasn't the end of it. Travis Ishikawa collected his first two RBI's on a opposite field double to increase the Giants' lead to 7-0.

With the score now 7-0 in the bottom of the sixth and with Vizquel on second, Hurdle gave the nod reliever Sun-Woo Kim to actually pitch to Barry Bonds. Despite the obvious shift put on the Rockies' defense, Bonds found a gap and hit a single and in the process scored Vizquel from third. It was 8-0.

The punishment would continue in the seventh. Continuing his amazing debut, Travis Ishikawa collected another RBI double to extend the lead to 9-0. Not bad for a kid just called up from Double-A.

Schmidt called it a night and handed the ball over to Steve Kline in the eighth. Schmidt went seven strong innings allowing just four hits and three walks with six strikeouts. Because of his endurance on the mound, Schmidt also allows the bullpen to rest easy against a Colorado offense that could rally up a scorecard.

Now with the game out of reach, San Francisco brought in Ramon Ramirez to close up shop for the night. Ramirez quickly struck out the side to wrap up an impressive Giants victory.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Tonight's honors go to two players who ironically share not just the offensive numbers for the night but also the same side of the infield. Ray Durham and Travis Ishikawa were a combined 5-6 with four doubles and six RBI's. A potent combo for the right side of the infield.



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