WP R. Oswalt (10-5) 8IP 3H 1R 1ER 0BB 6SO 1HR 2.97 ERA
|September 24, 2003
LP S. Ponson (3-6) 7IP 4H 2R 2ER 4BB 2SO 0HR 3.71 ERA
S B. Wagner (44) 1IP 0H 0R 0ER 0BB 1SO 0HR 1.80 ERA
It was a game that lasted only two hours and eight minutes, and it
early into a pitcher’s duel, with both Oswalt and Ponson working
economically. Oswalt retired the first four batters he faced before
Pedro Feliz became both the first baserunner and the first run of the game,
crushing a 1-0 fastball into the left field stands for his fifteenth
run of the year and second of the series.
Down 1-0, the Astros picked their first hit of the game in the bottom
second when former Giant Jeff Kent blooped a single into center field
lead off the inning. However, Lance Berkman came up and grounded the
pitch he saw right to second baseman Eric Young, who cleanly turned the
4-6-3 double play to erase the hit and clear the bases.
Oswalt and Ponson matched zero for zero through the next four innings,
allowing only four baserunners combined. Oswalt allowed just one hit
that stretch, while Ponson gave up two walks and a hit but induced two
double play balls to get himself out of the stretch.
And so the score stood at 1-0 through six innings, Feliz’s
home run the difference in the game. Oswalt gave up a long two-out
to Andres Galarraga in the seventh, but struck out Feliz to strand
at first and keep the Astros at a one-run deficit.
Ponson, who hadn’t allowed a runner past first base through six, ran
trouble against the heart of the Houston lineup in the bottom of the
With two down and nobody on, Kent took a 2-2 changeup on the left arm
trotted down to first. Lance Berkman then smoked Ponson’s 1-0 offering
the wall in left field for a double, putting runners at second and
red-hot Richard Hidalgo. After bouncing the first pitch five feet in
of home plate, Ponson intentionally walked Hidalgo to load the bases
pinch-hitter Jose Vizcaino, who replaced catcher Brad Ausmus.
lifetime against Ponson, swung through the first pitch to fall behind
count 0-1, but lined Ponson’s next pitch into center field to knock in
pair. Hidalgo was thrown out at third on the play, ending the inning,
Vizcaino’s single put Houston ahead with a 2-1 lead.
It was a lead that the Astros intended to hold.s Oswalt needed only
pitches to retire the Giants’ 6-7-8 hitters in order in the top of the
eighth. After Scott Eyre and Felix Rodriguez kept the Astros scoreless
the bottom of the inning, closer Billy Wagner replaced Oswalt in the
Wagner had a score to settle with the Giants, having given up three
late-inning runs in the first game of the series to take the loss.
The save wouldn’t come easy, as he found himself staring in at home run
Barry Bonds, pinch hitting for Rodriguez, to lead off the inning. He
the count to 3-2 before striking Bonds out on a triple-digit fastball
the first out of the ninth. Wagner then retired Eric Young and the
hope for the Giants was Ray Durham, who hit a home run against him in
Monday’s game. Durham worked the count in his favor, but swung through
3-1 fastball and then popped the seventh pitch of the at-bat into
field for Kent, who put it away to end the game and secure a
victory for the Astros.
SFDugout’s Players of the Game: Sidney Ponson and Pedro Feliz. Ponson,
although he took the loss, pitched well enough to win and rebounded
three consecutive poor outings. He gave up two runs on just four hits
four walks through seven innings, throwing 83 pitches and three times
getting a double play ball to help himself out of trouble. Feliz
did his part, picking up two of San Francisco’s three hits, one of
left the yard for the Giants’ lone run of the game.
Stephanie Moy is a diehard Giants fan, born and raised in San Francisco. She loves hearing feedback - good, bad, or otherwise - so if you're so obliged, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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