SERIES: Division Series, Game 2; Giants lead 1-0.
The Marlins were determined not to let Bonds beat them in Game 1, but they couldn’t prevent Jason Schmidt from doing it. Schmidt pitched a three-hitter for the Giants’ first postseason shutout in 16 years as San Francisco beat Florida 2-0 Tuesday in the opener of the best-of-five series.
As expected, Florida didn’t give Bonds a chance to make much of a difference. The superstar outfielder was 0-for-1 with three walks and scored an insurance run in the eighth after one of them.
The Giants scored their first run in the fourth on a throwing error by third baseman Miguel Cabrera. Otherwise, they did little against Florida’s Josh Beckett, who gave up two hits and struck out nine in seven innings.
But the Marlins rarely had any chances against Schmidt and couldn’t capitalize on Beckett’s strong outing.
“When you’re lucky enough to get a pitching performance like that, you’ve got to score some runs,” Florida center fielder Juan Pierre said. “It’s almost like we wasted it. We just ran into a bus over there. Everything would have been all right if we’d just scored some runs.”
Ponson will try to follow Schmidt’s strong outing with one of his own. Acquired at the trade deadline from the Baltimore Orioles for the stretch run and postseason, he was just 3-6 in 10 starts for the Giants after going 14-6 for the Orioles.
Ponson lost his last three starts, but Giants manager Felipe Alou still opted to start him instead of veteran left-hander Kirk Rueter, even though Rueter pitches much better at home than on the road.
“Ponson is our No. 2 guy, no question about it,” Alou said.
The Marlins will go with Penny, who pitched very well during their September playoff push. The right-hander was 3-0 with a 3.77 ERA in five starts, helping Florida win the wild card and earn its first postseason berth since winning the 1997 World Series.
The series moves to Miami for Game 3 on Friday. The Marlins have won 16 of their last 18 home games.
HOW THEY GOT HERE: Marlins - NL wild card. Giants - NL West champion.
PROJECTED LINEUPS: Marlins - CF Pierre (.305, 1 HR, 41 RBIs), 2B Luis Castillo (.314, 6, 39), C Ivan Rodriguez (.297, 16, 85), 1B Derrek Lee (.271, 31, 92), 3B Cabrera (.268, 12, 62), RF Juan Encarnacion (.270, 19, 94), LF Jeff Conine (.282, 20, 95), SS Alex Gonzalez (.256, 6, 18). Giants - 2B Ray Durham (.285, 8, 33), 1B J.T. Snow (.273, 8, 51), SS Rich Aurilia (.277, 13, 58), LF Bonds (.341, 45, 90), 3B Edgardo Alfonzo (.259, 13, 81), C Benito Santiago (.279, 11, 56), CF Marquis Grissom (.300, 20, 79), RF Jose Cruz Jr. (250, 20, 68).
MARLINS PROBABLE STARTING PITCHER: Penny (14-10, 4.13 ERA). Florida won eight of Penny’s last 11 starts, including all five in September. The right-hander help the Marlins sweep a key series from Philadelphia by allowing four runs in eight innings of an 8-4 victory last Thursday. Penny is 0-1 with a 4.76 ERA in three career starts against Florida.
GIANTS PROBABLE STARTING PITCHER: Ponson (3-6, 3.71 ERA). Ponson was just 1-3 with a 5.04 ERA in five starts at Pac Bell Park this season. The right-hander from Aruba finished the season with a 17-12 record and a 3.75 ERA. He beat Florida on Aug. 22, allowing two runs and six hits in six innings of the Giants’ 6-4 victory. Ponson is 2-1 with a 3.94 ERA in three career games against Florida.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Florida - C Rodriguez is 7-for-22 (.318) against Ponson. … The Marlins are 3-10 at Pac Bell Park. … Rodriguez, who appeared in three playoff series with the Texas Rangers, is 1-10 in postseason games. San Francisco - 3B Alfonzo has 12 RBIs in nine career division series games. … LF Bonds has drawn 30 walks in 18 games over the last two postseasons. … The Giants are 12-5 against the Marlins since August, 2001.