Brett Tomko hasnt quite replicated his success last fall. Quite arguably the Giants best starting pitcher the last two months of the 2004 season, the right-hander started April with an 0-3 record and a dismal 6.75 ERA.
To make matters worse, San Francisco has provided Tomko with just one run in his first three starts, contributing greatly to a winless ledger.
Forget that, Giants color commentator Mike Krukow said. Hes throwing great. Hes going to start winning games. Sooner or later, the Giants (will) start scoring runs for him.
In a pleasant turn of events, Tomko heeded Krukows words and took matters into his own hands Saturday afternoon by hitting a two-run single to help his team win, 6-2, over the Milwaukee Brewers at the ballpark on 24 Willie Mays Plaza.
Tomko (1-3) pitched 6 1/3 innings of two-run ball and even got help from a rare source of offense, his batterymate Yorvit Torrealba.
The sparingly-used backup catcher started just two games prior to Saturdays contest and had gone hitless in six at-bats. His 2005 stat line? Zero homeruns, 0 RBI and a .000 batting average.
But in his third start of the young campaign, Torrealba finally posted some crooked numbers, going 3-for-4 with two RBI and a homerun off Brewers losing pitcher Chris Capuano (0-2).
I faced Capuano before, the catcher said. In Spring Training, I was out in front, trying to pull the ball all the time. (Today) I tried to hit the ball up the middle and I did.
Indeed he did. Torrealba blasted a deep shot that cleared the center field wall for his first hit of the 2005 season, which put San Francisco on the board in the third inning.
The Giants bullpen would nurture a 5-2 lead from the fifth inning on, getting a key performance from stopper Armando Benitez. The resurgent closer retired five batters, striking out three, en route to his fourth save of the season.
The big fella is back, Krukow said. He knows it. When youre in a groove like that after you havent been in a groove, he wants to get right back out there again.
San Francisco (8-9) will be right back out there Sunday afternoon to close out the three-game series with the Brewers. Right-hander Jerome Williams (0-1, 4.63 ERA) will oppose Gary Glover (0-1, 4.38 ERA) of Milwaukee (6-11) at 1:05 p.m.
Local viewers can tune in to KTVU to watch the Giants live as they try to get back to the .500 mark.
SFDugout.com player(s) of the game: The nod goes to both components of the pitching battery. First, we applaud Brett Tomko, who finally won his first game of the season. The first win is always the toughest so hopefully this can propel Tomko to a good run.
Second, we congratulate Yorvit Torrealba for his first knocks of 2005. Those initial hits are important in getting a hitters season going. To be as professional as YT has been in accepting his backup role and still be mentally prepared to play is a tremendous asset to the Giants bench.
Game Notes: Russell Branyan hit a homerun, but could not hold his own defensively. His two miscues led to San Franciscos big inning in the bottom of the fourth.
Saturday was the Giants annual On-Field Photo Day, but slugger Barry Bonds was no where in sight. The left fielder had fluid drained from surgically repaired right knee and has been advised to use crutches for the immediate future.
The Giants are 16-8 when Tomko pitches at least six innings.
Phil Delacruz was a transplanted Giants fan, buried in the
Southland. After four strenuous years in College, studying (read: partying),
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