Rewind: Marlins Vs. Giants, Game 1

A week ago, the San Francisco Giants were losing the first of two games against the lowly Florida Marlins, and were on their way to losing two out of three to the New York Mets over the weekend. Funny what gut-check extra-inning does to a ballclub – even one that has to travel cross-country to face the same Marlins that took two out of three from them.

One week ago, the San Francisco Giants could only muster five hits (and one extra-base hit) against Florida Marlins pitching in a 5-1 loss at Dolphins Stadium.

New week, same team, different ballpark, and different momentum all added up to the most lopsided Giants win of the year, a 14-2 thumping of the Marlins at AT&T Park.

A day after using eight pitchers and fourteen batters in a roller-coaster 7-6 Giants victory over the New York Mets at Shea Stadium, a weary Giants squad showed up with surprisingly little signs of wear and a lot of enthusiasm.  In this game the Giants only needed two pitchers – Noah Lowry, who went the first five innings for the victory, and Brad Hennessey, who went the last four for a rare 4-inning save.

Lowry and Hennessey received all the run support they would need in the bottom of the second.  Randy Winn’s first hit of the evening was a triple that scored Pedro Feliz and Todd Greene, both of whom had singled off of Marlins starter Brian Moehler earlier in the inning.  Marlins second baseman Dan Uggla’s throwing effort to nail Winn at third ended up in the bullpen, allowing Winn to score easily and give the Giants a 3-0 lead.

The Giants put the game out of reach three innings later.  Moehler (3-5) started the fifth inning, but would leave without recording an out, as he allowed five consecutive hits.  Three singles by Lowry, Winn, and Omar Vizquel, were followed up by a bases-clearing triple in an excellent at-bat by Lance Niekro.  The fifth consecutive hit was a crowd pleaser – Barry Bonds crushed Mohler’s final pitch over the center field wall for a 2-run home run and an 8-1 Giants advantage.  Then with two outs in the inning, Feliz doubled off of Marlins reliever Yusmeiro Petit and scored on a single by Greene.  The Giants were finally retired when the tenth man to bat in the inning, Lowry, struck out looking.

Bonds was taken out of the game after seven innings, but that didn’t stop the Giants from scoring five more runs in the bottom of the eighth.  A single by Feliz, a walk by Greene, and singles by Winn, Jose Vizcaino, and Niekro to lead off the inning resulted in three more runs.  A Jason Ellison double play ball resulted in another run, and an error by Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez on a grounder hit by Ray Durham led to the final Giants run of the game and a 14-1 score.

Almost splitting the pitching duties evenly, Lowry (2-3) and Hennessey each gave up an earned run.  But the simplicity of the Giants pitchers’ lines in the game means that a hard-working bullpen could enjoy this laugher from the bench, and with Jason Schmidt scheduled to take the bump tomorrow, perhaps an even longer well-deserved rest.

SFDugout’s Player of the Game: Niekro.  They say that batting in front of Bonds must be an enviable position, but don’t tell that to young batter like Niekro.  Batting only .240 at the start of the game, Niekro came up big with two hits an five RBIs.  Props also to Winn, Vizquel, and Feliz with three hits apiece, and the aforementioned yeoman’s work by Lowry and Hennessey – a team effort without spending the whole team.

Don Shin eats, breathes, thinks, and bleeds in Orange and Black. Pac Bell Park officially opened on his 25th birthday (the one year he decided to move out of the Bay Area!!!). For the 2000 playoff drive, he dyed his hair orange while studying in Korea. He watched Game 6 of the '02 World Series at a restaurant in LA, and couldn't finish his meal afterwards. Feel free to write him at to commiserate, cheer, and complain.

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