In the first inning, Morris gave up a two out jack to Ken Griffey, Jr. Morris gave up doubles to Ryal Freel and Edwin Encarnacion in the game, but that was it. He proceeded to retire the last 18 batters of the game and notched the win.
The Giants' bats were cold yet again, but that seemed insignificant behind Morris' brilliance on the mound. Shea Hillenbrand was trying to break out of his own slump as a Giant, and he showed signs of doing just that tonight. In the bottom of the third, Hillenbrand hit a four-bagger to put the Giants ahead. This was his second hit of the night.
His first hit came in the first as the Giants rallied right back to tie the game. Omar Vizquel hit a one-out single and stole second while Hillenbrand was batting. Hillenbrand got on board with a single himeself, and Vizquel strolled home as Barry Bonds poked a single up the middle to knot the game.
The score remained 2-1 in the Giants favor for most of the game, with Morris pitching his best game as a Giant. His opposer, Aaron Harang, scattered nine hits in seven innings of work, which was good enough to win if the Reds weren't up against the Morris that was pitching tonight.
His pitching and his hitting.
In the bottom of the eighth, with the Giants holding onto a one run lead, San Francisco attempted to add on insurance runs. With one out, Steve Finley coaxed a walk from reliever Ryan Franklin. He stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error by catcher Javier Valentin with Pedro Feliz at the plate. Unfortunately, Feliz struck out, and the Reds assumed Morris would stay in the game, so they walked Eliezer Alfonzo. The Reds' strategy did not work, however, as Morris stroked a double to clear the bases and to tack on two more runs for himself and the Giants.
Morris finished the game with no problem, earning a win against a team he's been familiar with all his career. Let's hope this is the start of more quality outings by the Giants' big pitching pick-up this past offseason.
SFDugout's Player of the Game: This is a no-brainer. Matt Morris deserves this honor, hands down. He single handedly ensured the Giants a victory by not only pitching a brilliant game, but by also knocking in two runs.
Sara Kwan is a writer and co-publisher for SFDugout.com. Got a bone to pick? Just want to say hi? Comments about the article and/or the site? Hit me up: firstname.lastname@example.org .
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