Rewind: Giants vs. Mariners, Game #3

The 2006 version has already had its share of rough stretches, but you have to think they've finally hit rock bottom after two straight weekend fatalities against the Pittsburgh Pirates last week and the Seattle Mariners this week, the latest, a 5-1 ho-hum loss against the ageless Jamie Moyer at Safeco Field.

Another weekend, another horrific series loss at the hands of a sub-.500 team. Such is the way of Your SF Giants.

Despite their putrid performance against relative cellar-dwellers, the Giants remain just two games behind the division-leading Los Angeles Dodgers, who sit atop the NL West with a measly 36-33 record.

San Francisco slugger Barry Bonds, however, is one to look at the glass half-full.

"I'm not worried in June," Bonds told reporters after the game. "We just have to stay in there. As long as you stay close, anything can happen.

"We've always been a late-bursting team, we've never been a team to go out in front since 1993 when the Braves caught us," he said of his veteran team. "We've always been a second-half team. We don't panic. We've never panicked."

The Giants didn't look panicked in the first inning of Sunday's game as Seattle native Jason Ellison led off the game with a solo shot to deep left-center field.

Ellison's blast donated $20,000 to the Prostate Cancer Foundation, but provided little else for a struggling San Francisco offense that could not muster more than one run for the second straight contest.

"We're just not putting things together," Ellison told the Associated Press. "We're getting people on and hitting in double plays. I was guilty of that today. We just haven't been able to get anything going."

San Francisco couldn't get anything going against the 43-year-old Moyer, who limited the Giants to just the one run, scattering six hits over eight stellar innings.

The Seattle left-hander improved to 4-6 for the season after making his 500th career start.

"At this rate, he'll go 500 more, the way he's out there throwing 83-84-mile-per-hour heaters and making guys look foolish," Mariners second baseman Willie Bloomquist told the AP. "Playing behind him, you just scratch your head."

The Giants (34-35) were left scratching their heads after falling under the .500 mark for the first time since May 15, when they were 19-20.

"Three days ago, we were great," San Francisco manager Felipe Alou told reporters, referring to last Thursday's 8-2 win over Arizona, who they took two of three from. "We were hitting the ball hard, scoring runs and pitching well. You see what can happen in one 2 1/2-hour flight."

The Giants will gladly catch a return flight back to San Francisco, where they hope to right their ship. One of those on board, Sunday's losing pitcher Jamey Wright, has not won since May 22 and hopes his team can correct their struggles. Fast.

"I've got to keep plugging away and get ready for the next one," Wright told reporters. "It's not going to get any easier, with Anaheim, Oakland and Texas coming up, three pretty tough teams. I guarantee you they won't feel sorry for us."

Giants rookie right-hander Matt Cain (5-5, 5.35 ERA) will take the mound Monday against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, who will counter with Kelvim Escobar (5-7, 3.62). The game will be televised locally on Fox Sports Net Bay Area at 7:15 p.m.

Quotable: San Francisco right fielder Moises Alou on his late scratch from the lineup Sunday: "I felt something, like somebody stabbed me in the back. I could barely move. I can't bend down. I had this before, but I knew it would go away -- this didn't go away."

Game Notes: The elder Alou elected to rest his son, who was suffering from back spasms, but hopes to have him return against the Angels... Bonds pulled a rare hat trick, striking out an uncharacteristic three times against Seattle pitching on Sunday... Mariners sensation Ichiro Suzuki extended his hitting streak to 18 games with a first-inning single.

SFDugout's Player of the Game: Sadly there were no bright spots for the Giants on Sunday, or for the entire weekend for that matter. Our hope is they don't take the Angels lightly this week, regardless of the 31-38 ledger the Los Angeles team sports. San Francisco will play the next nine games on the shores of McCovey Cove and they need to sorely scratch out some victories if they truly expect to make a splash in the division.



Phil Delacruz was a transplanted Giants fan, buried in the Southland. After four strenuous years in College, studying (read: partying), he's back in the beautiful "City by the Bay" – San Francisco. Do you think he should move back to LALA land? Or do you like him where he is now and appreciate the good reads? Either way, send him an e-mail at phildelacruz@aol.com to air out your frustrations or, more likely, songs of praise.

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