Rewind: Giants vs. Marlins, Game #3

Despite striking out ten batters and giving up just one run in his victory, Jason Schmidt could not make it through six innings as he had already thrown 112 pitches in the contest. Although he gave up more runs and ultimately took the loss, Josh Johnson managed to make it through seven innings with just 94 pitches thrown. Steve Finley and Jason Ellison both hit home runs in the win.

On paper, Jason Schmidt's first inning looks excellent. He struck out two batters swinging and got one to pop up. But this is very misleading. Hanley Ramirez battled Schmidt for an eternity, pushing Schmidt's pitch count up and giving his teammates a chance to see the opposing pitcher. He finally went down swinging on a 3-2 change-up. All three of the batters that faced Schmidt managed to get the count to 3-2 before they got out.

The Giants gave Schmidt a little breathing room with a leadoff triple to deep center by Sweeney followed by a ground ball into center by Ray Durham. But a Lance Niekro double play on a grounder to third severely hurt their chances to do any more damage. Pedro Feliz hit a two-out single but was left stranded at first.

Schmidt struck out two more in the bottom of the second, and a two-out single to right by Omar Vizquel followed by Steve Finley's two-run homer to right gave the Giants a 3-0 lead, which was all they would need to win the game.

Neither team would score until the 6th, when Schmidt's pitch count would catch up with him. Ramirez led off with a triple, followed by a Dan Uggla sacrifice fly, putting the Marlins on the board. After Schmidt tossed his 112th pitch, he was pulled for Jeremy Accardo in a rather interesting move. With a 3-2 count to Josh Willingham, Accardo threw a strike, and got credit for the strikeout even though two of the strikes had been from Schmidt.

The Giants added some more insurance in the eighth, where Jason Ellison led off against relief pitcher Yusmeiro Petit with a solo shot, his first home run (and first RBI) of the year. Finley walked, and Sweeney singled, moving Finley to third. Durham hit a single to right, scoring Finley and giving the Giants a strong 5-1 lead. However, the Giants were yet to be finished.

In the ninth, Todd Greene hit a ball down the left field line that was interfered with by the Florida ball boy. He was awarded with a double, a lucky call for the Giants because Greene could have potentially been held to a single. Kevin Frandsen pinch hit for Jeremy Accardo, and sent a fly ball to center to bring Greene to third. Ellison walked, putting runners on first and second for Vizquel, who singled to left to score Greene and give the Giants their sixth and final run. Even though the Giants had two on and one out, neither Finley nor Sweeney could capitalize on the opportunity to bust the game open.

But any further scoring was truly uncessary as Armando Benitez ended the game with a double play, bringing the Giants above .500 once again.

Game Notes: The Giants, as a team, left seven men on base... Despite getting two hits, Pedro Feliz was left stranded in both cases... Lance Niekro, despite hitting two home runs and a single last night, did not reach base a single time tonight... Jeremy Accardo pitched 2 1/3 solid innings without allowing any baserunners, lowering his ERA to 3.

SFDugout Player of the Game: Today, the honor has to go to Jason Ellison. Ellison, before tonight's game, had only started once in the entire season, and despite being on the roster, he has only managed 25 at-bats throughout the season. So it's especially impressive that he was able to go deep tonight, and get two hits. Hopefully we get to see him in action a little more. An honorable mention must go to Jason Schmidt, because he was able to pitch a solid (although brief) game despite struggling to get through the first two innings.



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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