Giants 5, Phillies 2
SAN FRANCISCO (AP)—Felipe Alou first saw Kevin Correia pitch early in the spring, when the Giants’ new manager was taking a look at San Francisco’s top prospects.
This kid might a be a good pitcher for us someday, Alou thought to himself. He had no idea that someday would turn out to be mid-August in the middle of a pennant race.
The injury-plagued NL West leaders kept winning with a surprisingly effective performance by Correia (1-0), the last-minute replacement for Jason Schmidt. San Francisco’s ace was scratched to rest the right elbow tendinitis that’s bothered him since the All-Star break, when he was the NL starter.
“That kid is another refreshing kid,” Alou said. “The team has fun playing behind a kid like that, because he throws strikes, works fast and challenges hitters. He was impressive, not only with his stuff, but because he throws pretty hard without fear.”
In just his second major league appearance, Correia allowed seven hits, one run and two walks, striking out four while pitching out of trouble in nearly every inning. He got a standing ovation while leaving the mound after the sixth—his only 1-2-3 inning of the day.
“This team wins a lot, and I didn’t want to come up here and bring them down,” said Correia, whose parents, grandfather and godfather made the trip from San Diego to watch his start. “The call was pretty quick, so I didn’t have a chance to settle in and think about things. That was really good for me.”
Correia, a fourth-round pick from Cal Poly in last summer’s draft, was pitching in the short-season Northwest League at this time last year. He was recalled to the Giants three times in July, but pitched just once—and he was scheduled to start for Triple-A Fresno in Tacoma on Sunday before getting his fourth call-up Saturday night.
“It just feels like I’ve been on one big road trip for the last month,” Correia said.
The Giants scored all of their runs in the third against Brett Myers (11-7), who wasn’t sharp while losing for the first time since June 11. Myers allowed eight hits and three walks in four innings, striking out six.
“I usually try to go out there with the fastball and get quick outs, but today it didn’t work,” Myers said. “They were all over the fastball today. I didn’t get ahead of a lot of guys, and they seemed to know when the fastball was coming.”
Myers’ six-game winning streak was snapped thanks to the Giants’ rally in the third. Marquis Grissom doubled home the first run and scored on a wild pitch. Edgardo Alfonzo had an RBI single before Torrealba drove home Alfonzo and Barry Bonds with a bases-loaded single.
The Giants were without their top starting pitcher, key reliever Felix Rodriguez and both halves of their starting double-play combo. Rich Aurilia (appendectomy) and Ray Durham (groin) probably won’t return until the Giants’ next homestand.
But the Giants have maintained a double-digit division lead despite a starting rotation currently consisting of three rookies, journeyman Dustin Hermanson and newly acquired Sidney Ponson. Schmidt is expected to make his next scheduled start Friday in Montreal, however—sending Correia back to the bullpen or the minors.
Bonds doubled and got two more intentional walks from the Phillies, giving him five in the series. He went 4-for-7 with six walks in the three-game set.
Philadelphia got its first run on Bobby Abreu’s RBI single in the fifth, but its offense was back in the slumber it briefly escaped during an 8-6 win on Saturday.
The Phillies couldn’t mount any big rallies against Correia or relievers Matt Herges, Joe Nathan and Tim Worrell, who pitched one inning apiece. Worrell allowed a run in the ninth on pinch-hitter Tyler Houston’s RBI single.
“It just gets frustrating when you face a guy just called up, and you can’t do anything,” Philadelphia manager Larry Bowa said. “We’ve done it all year.I have no answer as to why.”
Edgardo Alfonzo got his first start at second base since 2001, when he was with the New York Mets. Alfonzo will stay at second until Durham returns, Alou said. … No Phillies pitcher has had a longer winning streak than six games since Tommy Greene won eight straight in 1993. … The Giants had their 35th sellout at Pacific Bell Park this season—and their 28th in a row. … One fan held up a sign reading “Barry for Governor.” … Correia is the Giants’ 13th starting pitcher this season, the most since San Francisco used 15in 1991.