Rewind: Brewers at Giants, Game 1

No less of a pundit than Tom Tolbert stated recently that if the San Francisco Giants are to be a serious contender for postseason consideration, they need to devour teams like the Milwaukee Brewers, owners of the second-worst road record in the National League. But with a demoralizing defeat behind them, the Giants are left searching for answers as the season wears on.

Jason Schmidt was called upon to stop the San Francisco Giants’ losing ways.  Staked to a one-run lead after four innings at home against the Milwaukee Brewers, Giants fans had to like their team’s chances.

Think again.

The Brewers scored ten times in three innings, and a woeful Giants offense had no answers other than four hits in a dreadful 10-1 loss at AT&T Park.

The Giants certainly had their chances early, but squandered them.  In the bottom of the first, a leadoff walk by Jose Vizcaino followed by a double by Omar Vizquel put runners on second and third with no outs.  Neither of the Viz boys made it home, however, as Winn’s fly ball wasn’t deep enough to score Vizcaino, who was thrown out at the plate by Brewers center fielder Gabe Gross.

The weirdness continued in the bottom of the third, when a leadoff single by rookie first baseman Chad Santos was erased when Schmidt’s bunt attempt was too strong, and turned into a double play by the Brewers infield.

The Giants actually led in this game, pushing a run across in the bottom of the fourth inning after loading the bases.  With one out, Winn doubled, and Brewers starter Zach Jackson (2-2) then proceeded to walk both Barry Bonds and Moises AlouPedro Feliz followed with a sacrifice fly that scored Winn; however the one run was all the Giants got, as the next batter, catcher Eliezer Alfonzo, struck out to end the threat.

For a while, the one run looked like all Schmidt (6-6) would need.  The tall righthander struck out the side in the third inning, and had retired seven straight batters leading up to the top of the fifth inning.  But then the wheels began to fall off the Giants express.  After Bill Hall reached on a throwing error by Pedro Feliz, he was then thrown out trying to steal second.  Milwaukee catcher Mike Rivera then coaxed a walk, and pitcher Johnson sacrificed him to second.  Rickie Weeks then tied the game by singling up the middle, but after allowing a single by Jeff Cirillo to put runners on the corners, Schmidt escaped further incident by getting Geoff Jenkins to ground out to end the inning.

As invincible as Schmidt looked in the third, he was exactly the opposite in the sixth.  The Brewers teed off on Schmidt with four straight loud hits to start off the inning – a double by Carlos Lee, a single by Prince Fielder, an RBI double by Gross, and a no-doubt-about-it 3-run home run by Hall that took the life out of the stadium and gave Milwaukee a 5-1 lead.

Things only got worse for the Giants in the abysmal seventh, where two Brewers hits led to five runs.  Suffice to say, a leadoff walk and an error put two runners on, and a double by Lee scored Cirillo and chased Schmidt.  Kevin Correia then promptly allowed two sacrifice flies and a 2-run homer by Rivera that capped the scoring at 10-1.

If the Giants were overlooking the Brewers before this series began, this author thinks the Brew Crew got their attention tonight.  How the Giants respond to such a game should go a long way in forecasting the rest of their season.

SFDugout’s Player of the Game: Vizquel.  Probably the sole bright spot for the Giants in the game, the veteran shortstop had two hits of the Giants’ four hits, and stole a base.  Now about the rest of the 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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