Rewind: Reds vs Giants, Game #1

Mother nature was unforgiving for both teams and the fans, providing them with two rain delays that combined for a total of 88 minutes. The surging Reds were 12-16 yet 7-3 in their last ten games before tonight. Conversely, the Giants were 19-8 but had lost four of their last five. Sluggers Adam Dunn and Austin Kearns were tied for 2nd in the National League for home runs with 9 apiece and the Reds led the National league with 42 home runs as a team.

May 2, 2003 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Cincinatti 0 0 0 0 2 2 1 0 0 5 9 2
San Francisco 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 10 1

WP D. Graves (1-2) 7IP 6H 0R 0ER 2BB 5SO 0HR 6.23 ERA
LP K. Ainsworth (3-2) 4 1/3IP 4H 2R 2ER 6BB 5SO 0HR 4.81 ERA

Kurt Ainsworth's first pitch, a ball outside to Reds leadoff hitter Felipe Lopez, was 52 minutes tardy, at 8:07 PM instead of the scheduled 7:15 start time. Ainsworth was able to get Lopez and Adam Dunn to strike out consecutively. Sean Casey had some help from the rain when the dexterous Jose Cruz. Jr. was unable to reach a ball he would have been able to catch had the outfield been dry. Instead he played it on a bounce, holding Casey to a single.

Austin Kearns reached on an infield hit, fielded and held by Edgardo Alfonzo. Luckily for Ainsworth, he was able to strike out Aaron Boone to end the top of the 1st.

Thirty-six minutes later, Danny Graves finally got to pitch. A reliever turned starter, he never uses the windup, opting instead to pitch out of the stretch.. Ray Durham walked but no one was able to get him past first base.

The next several innings continued in a similar fashion. Ainsworth would get the first two batters out, but then struggle getting a third out. In the top of the 3rd Ainsworth gave up consecutive two-out walks to Casey and Kearns. Aaron Boone hit a single to right field, but Jose. Cruz Jr. gunned down Sean Casey trying to score, ending the inning.

Cruz also ended another potential rally, however this one was a Giant rally in the bottom of the 3rd. Durham hit a single into center field for the Giants' first hit and Neifi Perez grounded out to move Durham to second. Not surprisingly, Graves chose to walk Barry Bonds. This brought up Cruz in the exact same situation as which he had thrown out Casey.. However, no one would need to throw Durham out at home because Cruz struck out.

In the bottom of the 4th inning, Edgardo Alfonzo hit a two-out single between the legs of Graves. Sadly, no extra points were awarded for the hockey-style goal. Marquis Grissom hit a single to center field, but Ainsworth struck out.

In the 5th inning Ainsworth broke his rhythm. He gave up a leadoff walk to Lopez, who then stole second on a high throw by Benito Santiago. Dunn struck out for the second time in the game, bringing his strikeout total to 42 Ks in 95 at-bats. However, Casey hit an RBI double over the head of right fielder Cruz, giving the Reds a 1-0 lead.

Kearns walked, and this was Ainsworth's cue to exit. He was relieved by Jim Brower.

Brower had some trouble when Aaron Boone hit a slow bouncer up the middle that Durham got to but had no play with. That loaded the bases for Jose Guillen.

Guillen hit a soft ground ball to shortstop Neifi Perez. If it had been hit harder, it would have been a double play ball. Instead Perez could only get Guillen at first, and that made the game 2-0 in favor of the Reds.

The top of the 6th began with a solo blast by the Reds 8th place hitter Jason LaRue. Then, with one out Lopez walked, and the Giants attempted a pitchout to stop him from stealing second. Instead, Santiago's throw was too high and Lopez ran to third on the error.

Dunn singled to center for his first hit of the game, driving in two and increasing the Cincinnati lead to four runs. The Reds added insurance in the 7th with a triple by Guillen and a successful suicide squeeze by Freel to make it 5-0.

The Giants got their only run in the bottom of the 8th, a solo shot into right-center fielder by Bonds.

Overall, the game illustrated the Giants' inability to produce runs. Despite out-hitting the Reds 10-9, the Giants were outscored 5-1. The team stranded 11 runners throughout the game. In three innings, there was a two-out two-on situation and each time the batter struck out. In two other innings, the leadoff hitter got to second and moved no further. The Giants' only run came in the bottom of the 8th on a solo shot into right-center fielder by Bonds.

SFDugout.com Player of the Game: This prestigious honor goes to Ray Durham. He went 2 for 4 and only left one runner on base. He also played good defense, especially when a hard ball bounded off J.T. Snow's knee, he was able to recover it and underhand it to Kurt Ainsworth for the out. Honorable mention goes to Edgardo Alfonzo. He's crawling to .200!

Jesse Radin writes for SFDugout.com and has been a Giants follower since 1996. The Blind Observer is Jesse's column covering all things baseball, though mainly about the Giants. Questions or comments can be sent to videokid@videokid.com

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