Despite all that is Bonds, The Giants and Reds made the game interesting by giving away runs to each other.
Making his first start in years, Reds journeyman reliever Todd Van Popple (4.50 ERA, 4 IP, 3K), did his best filling the role for the day. After giving up a 2-run homer to Marquis Grissom in the first, he too put the lid on the Giants advances, until the Reds defense decided to unravel in the 6th inning, making the score 4-1.
The Giants' Brett Tomko (6.35 ERA, 6 IP, 5K) had a shaky 32 pitch first inning in which he gave up a run by walking in Barry Larkin. He did settle down dramatically for 15 batters until the 6th inning when his control took exit stage left, allowing the Reds to tie the game at 5-5.
Both teams showcased their respective bullpens by using 6 pitchers apiece. As the Giants and Reds chipped away at each other's leads through 10 innings, it was obvious that one team had to give. This day it was the Reds. Danny Graves was the fall man for the job. Jim Brower had a similar fate a few nights earlier when he gave up a more dramatic game-ending home run blast to the Mets' Mike Piazza. All Graves had to do is pitch nowhere near Bonds, yet watch him stroll cross the plate… woozy and unable to swing a bat.
Sfdugout.com player of the game Brett Tomko. For such a lousy first inning he certainly made an economy of his pitches from the 2nd to the 6th inning. He did have a meltdown, but he is showing signs of regaining the control and pitch selection that have him a 13-4 mark after last year's All Star break. Keep an eye out for him to improve in the coming months.
Notes A.L Pierzynski sat out the game with a sore ankle the day after being steam-rolled at the plate (and making the out, as well). Yorvit Torrealba took his place behind the dish.
Jeremy Nunes writes game recaps for SFDugout.com. He also sits up late at night trying to find a way to become a clever sports writer. He can be praised or berated at firstname.lastname@example.org
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