In a way, the game was very much a microcosm of the entire season. San Francisco initially looked solid on both ends, and had a slim lead thanks to a Ray Durham solo home run and Schmidt retiring the first ten Diamondbacks hitters in order. But the Giants' fortunes soon reversed, and they could not rise to answer the challenge.
Arizona's eleventh hitter of the game, local radio favorite Eric Byrnes, homered off of Schmidt (11-9) to tie the game at 1 in the fourth inning. He was followed by successive singles from Luis Gonzales and Giant-killer Chad Tracy. Then Conor Jackson had the big blow of the ballgame – a 3-run home run to deep left that gave the Diamonbacks a 4-1 lead and all the momentum they would need.
Meanwhile, a Giants batting lineup that featured most of its regular starters ended up mustering only five hits in the ballgame – all off of obscure Arizona starter Edgar Gonzales (3-3) , and none after the seventh inning. In fact, only three Giants accounted for all the Giants' hits – two apiece by Durham and catcher Eliezer Alfonzo, and a two-out double by Schmidt in the fifth inning.
One of those Giants 0-fors at the plate was by Pedro Feliz, who contributed to further damage by committing a fielding error in the top of the ninth that eventually saw three more Diamondbacks runs cross the plate off of reliever Steve Kline.
Alfonzo's deep fly out to end the ballgame in the bottom of the inning put one of the final nails in the Giants' 2006 season, and now the speculation can begin for the 2007 squad. Wholesale changes are expected, and with results like these, probably welcomed by many of the Giants faithful.
SFDugout's Player of the Game: Durham. He was the only visible sign of life in this lineup of veterans who played like... well, a bunch of 40-year olds at the end of the season.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to commiserate, cheer, and complain.
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