King of the World: Barry Bonds Chases Sadaharu Oh

It's Sunday, May 30, 2004, and the Giants are hosting the Colorado Rockies in the third and final game of a three-game series at SBC Park, Joe Kennedy will pitch for the Rockies, while Jason Schmidt gets the ball for the Giants, Bonds is in left field and will lead off, as his replacement Jeffrey Hammonds did in real life. The Giants won the actual game, 3-1.

The Giants scored all three of their runs in the bottom of the first. Bonds drew a leadoff walk but was forced by center fielder Michael Tucker. Third baseman Edgardo Alfonzo hit a potential double-play ball to short, but the Rockies' Denny Hocking couldn't find the handle and was charged with an error, allowing Alfonzo to reach.

First baseman Pedro Feliz's fly ball to the warning track in left was caught by the Rockies' Matt Holiday, with Tucker moving to third. Right fielder Dustan Mohr lined a double into the left center power alley. which scored Tucker and Alfonzo to give the Giants a 2-0 lead. Catcher A.J, Pierzynski stroked a single to left, which cashed in Mohr to make it 3-0. Second baseman Neifi Perez flew to shallow left center to end the inning.

The Rockies scored both of their runs in the top of the fourth. Right fielder Mark Sweeney drew a leadoff walk. First baseman Todd Helton's single to center put two men on, and third baseman Vinny Castilla's fly to right center sent Tucker back to the wall before he could make the catch; Sweeney went to third on the out, Center fielder Jeromy Burnitz struck out swinging for out number two. Holliday was next, and his double over Mohr's head in right scored Sweeney and Helton to cut the Frisco lead to 3-2.

Catcher Charles Johnson walked to put two men on, but Hocking's fly to shallow center was caught by Tucker to end the inning. There was no further scoring. Our final: Giants 3, Rockies 2.

Now let's look at the rest of Bonds' at-bats:

In the second with two out. he and Tucker drew back-to-back walks. Alfonzo's popup was caught by Hocking to end the inning.

In the fifth, he grounded to second.

In the seventh with one out, Schmidt blooped a single to right center. He was forced by Bonds for the second out. Tucker beat out a bouncer to short for an infield single to put two men on, but Alfonzo took a called third strike to end the inning.

Final totals: Giants 3-8-1, Rockies 2-5-1.

Pitchers' records remain the same.

DS- Herges (24)

LHR- SF: Tucker (11)

Schmidt was named Player of the Game. He pitched a complete game, giving up two runs on five hits while walking two and striking out thirteen.

Bonds was hitless in two official at-bats and walked twice. He's currently batting .367 (146-398) with forty-six home runs and 103 runs batted in. He leads the National League batting race by twenty points over the Rockies' Todd Helton, and he's five points behind the Mariners' Ichiro Suzuki for the highest average in the majors.

He's walked 244 times, which leads the majors by 117 over Helton.

His current on-base percentage is .611. As of this sentence, he leads the majors by 142 points over Helton. We'll calculate Helton's percentages in a moment.

His current slugging percentage is .804. As of this sentence, he leads the major leagues by 147 points over Helton,

His current OPS is 1.415. As of this sentence, he leads the majors by 327 points over Helton.

Now let's look at Helton's numbers. He was one for four with a run scored in both the actual game and the sim. This means that all of his numbers stay the same as they are in real life.

Next: The Giants travel to Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida to battle the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on Wednesday, June 10. Kirk Rueter will start for the Giants, while Victor Zambrano goes to the hill for the Rays.

Thoughts?
 
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It's Thursday, June 10, 2004, and the Giants are taking on the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the third and final game of a three-game series at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. Kirk Rueter will start for the Giants, while Victor Zambrano gets the ball for the Devil Rays. Bonds will serve as the designated hitter and bat fifth, as his replacement Damon Minor did in real life. The Devil Rays won the actual game, 5-2.

Let's examine Bonds' at-bats first:

In the second, he flew to Rocco Baldelli in shallow center.

In the fourth with two out, third baseman Edgardo Alfonzo walked.

Bonds was next, and he hit Zambrano's 1-1 fastball over the right center field wall for a two-run homer to give the Giants a 2-0 lead. It was his forty-seventh home run of the year and official career homer Number 859. He's now nine homers behind all-time leader Sadaharu Oh.

In the sixth with one out and the Devil Rays leading 6-2, Alfonzo and Bonds drew back-to-back walks. First baseman Pedro Feliz's line drive was caught by Rays shortstop Julio Lugo for out number one, but shortstop Deivi Cruz stroked a double to right that scored Alfonzo and Bonds to cut the Tampa lead to 6-4, Left fielder Dustan Mohr was next, and he lined a double off the wall in center that cashed in Cruz and made it 6-5. A walk to right fielder Michael Tucker put two men on again, but Lugo speared second baseman Nejfi Perez's liner to end the inning,

In the seventh, center fielder Marquis Grissom drew a leadoff walk. Rays reliever Travis Harper got the next two outs, as catcher A.J. Pierzynski struck out swinging and Alfonzo's popup was caught by first baseman Tino Martinez. Bonds walked to keep the inning alive, and Feliz lined a base hit to left center that scored Grissom and tied the game at six. Bonds moved to third on the hit, and Rays manager Lou Piniella brought Lance Carter out of the bullpen to face Cruz, who struck out swinging to end the inning with runners still at the corners.

In the ninth, Rays closer Danys Baez hit Grissom in the back with a pitch. Pierzynski lined a base hit to right to put two men on, and Alfonzo walked to load the bases. Bonds hit a bouncer to third, and Rays third baseman Aubrey Huff threw to the plate for the force on Grissom.

Feliz was called out on strikes for out number two, and J.T. Snow came up to bat for Cruz. He grounded the first pitch he saw to short, where Lugo made the stop and prepared to throw to first, only for the ball to slip out of his hand. He was charged with an error, and Pierzynski came home from third to give the Giants a 7-6 lead. Mohr was next, and his line drive was caught by Huff to end the inning with the bases still loaded.

In the eleventh, Bonds hit a 1-1 slider from Rays reliever Jesus Colome over the left field wall for his forty-eighth home run of the year and official career homer Number 860 to put the Giants in front 8-7. He's now eight home runs behind Oh.

Now let's see how the Rays scored their runs:

They overcame a 2-0 deficit with six runs in the fifth. First baseman Tino Martinez led off with a double into the right center power alley. Left fielder Robert Fick walked to put two men on, and catcher Brook Fordyce lined a single to center to load the bases. Second baseman Ray Sanchez grounded to third; Alfonzo threw home to get the force on Martinez for out number one. Left fielder Carl Crawford walked on a 3-2 pitch to force Fick home and cut the Giants' lead to 2-1.

Lugo's line drive was speared by Alfonzo for out number two while the runners held. Baldelli was next, and he lined the first pitch he saw into right field for a base hit. Fordyce and Sanchez scored, and the Rays led 3-2. Crawford went to third on the hit, and Huff stepped up to the plate and smacked Rueter's 2-2 curveball over the wall in left for a three-run homer to extend the Rays' lead to 6-2. It was his thirtieth home run of the year.

The Giants made a comeback of their own to take a 7-6 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth, but with one out Fordyce lined the first-pitch fastball he saw from Giants closer Matt Herges down the left field line and over the wall for a game-tying home run. It was Fordyce's third homer of the year, and we went to extra innings deadlocked at seven.

The home squad trailed 8-7 in the bottom of the eleventh with two out and two strikes on Crawford when he hit a fastball from Giants reliever Jim Brower over the wall in center for their second game-tying home run of the night It was Crawford's twelfth home run of the year, and we headed to the twelfth inning tied at eight,

In the bottom of the twelfth with one out, Huff walked against Giants reliever Felix Rodriguez. Right fielder Jose Cruz Jr. flew to Grissom in center for out number two, A wild pitch moved Huff to second, and Martinez walked to put two men on. Fick was next, and he ended the proceeding by whacking Rodriguez's 2-0 curveball over the wall in left center for a game-winning three-run homer, his seventh of the year. Our final in twelve: Devil Rays 11, Giants 8.

Final totals: Devil Rays 11-12-1, Giants 8-10-0.

W- J. Sosa (5-7)
L- F. Rodriguez (5-7)

HR- SF: Bonds 2 (48)
TB: Huff (30), Crawford (12), Fick (7), Fordyce (3)

DW- V. Zambrano (10-7)
DS- Colome (2)
DL- Rueter (9-12)

LHR- SF: Tucker (10)
TB: Baldelli (15)

Fick's game-winning home run earned him Player of the Game honors.

Bonds was two for four plus two walks with two home runs, three runs scored, and three RBIs. He's currently batting .368 (148-402) with forty-eight home runs and 106 runs batted in,

He leads the National League batting race by twenty-one points over the Rockies' Todd Helton, and is four points behind the Mariners' Ichiro Suzuki for the highest average in the majors.

He's now tied with the Dodgers' Adrian Beltre for both the National League and the major league home run lead .

He's walked 246 times, which leads the majors by 119 over Helton.

He's scored 138 runs, five more than the Cardinals' Albert Pujols

His on-base percentage is .611. He leads the majors by 142 points over Helton.

His slugging percentage is .816. He leads the majors by 159 points over Helton.

His OPS is 1.427. He leads the majors by 339 points over Helton.

Next: The Giants host the Rockies on Monday, July 5 at SBC Park. Aaron Cook will start for the Rockies, while Brett Tomko goes to the hill for the Giants.

Thoughts?
 
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It's Monday, July 5, 2004, and the Giants are hosting the Rockies in the first game of a three-game series at SBC Park. Aaron Cook will pitch for the Rockies, while Brett Tomko gets the ball for the Giants. Bonds is in left field and will bat eighth, as his replacement Dustan Mohr did in real life. The Rockies won the actual game, 7-4.

Let's examine Bonds' at-bats first:

In the second with two out, right fielder Michael Tucker doubled down the left field line. Bonds grounded to short to end the inning.

In the fourth with one out and the Rockies leading 2-0, third baseman Edgardo Alfonzo singled to left. Catcher A.J, Pierzynski lined a single to right that put runners at the corners, and Alfonzo scored when center fielder Marquis Grissom bounced into a force play that eliminated Pierzynski. Tucker was hit in the side of the knee by a pitch to put two men on again, but Bonds' grounder to Todd Helton at first retired the side. After four, it was Rockies 2, Giants 1,

In the seventh, Bonds struck out swinging.

In the ninth, Grissom singled to left against Rockies closer Shawn Chacon. Walks to Tucker and Bonds loaded the bases. Mohr was called on to bat for reliever Felix Rodriguez and took a called third strike for out number one. Durham was next, and he lined a single to center that scored Grissom to tie the game at two, Shortstop Deivi Cruz struck out swinging for the second out, but first baseman J.T. Snow stroked a base hit to center that scored Tucker to give the Boys from the Bay a 3-2 walk-off win.

The Rox scored both of their runs in the top of the first. With one out, shortstop (and former Giant) Royce Clayton doubled off the wall in left. Helton was next, and he bashed Tomko's 2-1 curveball into the second row of seats in right center for a two-run homer, his thirty-third of the year. After half an inning, it was Colorado 2, San Francisco 0.

W- F. Rodriguez (6-7)
L- Chacon (1-10)

HR- COL: Helton (33)

DW- Cook (5-4)
DS- Chacon (34)
DL- Tomko (12-5)

Snow's game-winning hit earned him Player of the Game honors.

Bonds was hitless in three at-bats plus a walk. He's currently batting .365 (148-405) with forty-eight home runs and 106 runs batted in. He's currently seven points behind the Mariners' Ichiro Suzuki for the highest average in the majors.

He's walked 247 times, which leads the majors by 120 over Helton.

(Note: Helton didn't walk in this sim, but I forgot to make sure if he had any walks in the game that I did a few days ago. Therefore. his walk total is unofficial.)

His current on-base percentage is .612. As of this sentence, he leads the majors by 143 points over Helton.

His current slugging percentage is .816. As of this sentence, he leads the majors by 159 points over the Cardinals' Albert Pujols.

His current OPS is 1.428. As seen below, he leads the majors by 333 points over Helton


Now it's bonus time. Helton was one for four in the actual game and two for five in the sim. His batting average has risen to .349 (191-548), which puts him sixteen points behind Bonds.

His slugging percentage has risen to .626. He's currently fifth in the National League, three points behind the Dodgers' Adrian Beltre for fourth.

His on-base percentage remains at .469. As seen above, he's currently second in the majors, 143 points behind Bonds.

His current OPS is 1.095. He's currently second in the majors, 333 points behind Bonds.

Here are the updated standings in the National League West:

Giants: 95-67
Dodgers: 93-68- 2 GB
Padres: 87-75- 8 GB
Rockies: 67-95- 28 GB
Diamondbacks: 51-111- 44 GB

Next: The Giants host the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday, July 11 at SBC Park, Casey Fossum will pitch for the Diamondbacks, while Jason Schmidt heads to the hill for the Giants.

Thoughts?
 
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It's Sunday, July 11, 2004, and the Giants are hosting the Arizona Diamondbacks in the fourth and final game of a four-game series at SBC Park. Casey Fossum will start for the Diamondbacks, while Jason Schmidt gets the ball for the Giants, Bonds is in left field and will bat third, as his replacement Dustan Mohr did in real life. The Giants won the actual game, 9-2.

The Giants jumped on top with two runs in the bottom of the first. Second baseman Ray Durham drew a leadoff walk. Shortstop Neifi Perez was called out on strikes for out number one, but a wild pitch from Fossum moved Durham to second. Bonds was next, and his single to right center scored Durham to give the Giants a 1-0 lead. Third baseman Edgardo Alfonzo's popup was gloved by D-Backs shortstop Alex Cintron for the second out, but first baseman Pedro Feliz kept the inning alive with a lined single to right.

Catcher A.J, Pierzynski was next, and he grounded Fossum's first pitch into right center for a base hit. Bonds scored to make it 2-0 Giants, and Pierzynski rounded first and tried for a double. Arizona center fielder Steve Finley cut the ball off and threw a seed to second, where Scott Hairston was waiting with the tag that ended the inning.

The Giants added another run in the bottom of the second. With one out, right fielder Michael Tucker lined a single to right center. Schmidt singled to left center to put runners at the corners, and Durham stroked a base hit to left center that scored Tucker to give the Boys from the Bay a 3-0 lead while Schmidt mover to third. Durham quickly stole second, but Perez's fly to left was too shallow to bring Schmidt home, and Bonds struck out swinging to retire the side.

The Giants' biggest inning of the night was the third, when they scored five times. Alfonzo led off with a single to left, but Fossum got the next two outs. as Feliz struck out swinging and Pierzynski popped to short. It was up to Grisson to continue the inning, and he did so in style by bashing Fossum's 1-0 hanging curveball into the left field upper deck for a two-run homer that extended the Frisco lead to 5-0. It was Grissom's twenty-third home run of the year, and it traveled an estimated 371 feet; left field is 335 feet from home plate at SBC Park.

Tucker restarted the rally by drawing a walk, and he moved to third on Schmidt's single to left. Durham was next, and he doubled off the wall in right center. Tucker and Schmidt scored, and the Giants led 7-0. Perez followed with a lined single to left center that scored Durham to make it 8-0. Bonds' foul pop was caught in shallow right by the D-Backs' Luis Terrero to end the inning.

The Giants rolled on with another run in the fourth. Alfonzo beat out a bouncer to short for an infield single and moved to second on Feliz's grounder to short. Pierzynski beat out a grounder to second for another infield single, which moved Alfonzo to third. Grissom was next, and his base hit to left cashed in Alfonzo with the Giants' ninth run while Pierzynski moved to third, Andrew Good came out of the Arizona pen to get the final two outs, as Tucker struck out swinging and Schmidt grounded to short.

The Giants added four more tallies in the eighth. Bonds drew a one-out walk and moved to third when Alfonzo lined a base hit to left center. Feliz was hit in the back of the ankle by a pitch to load the bases, and Pierzynski put a topper on the afternoon by smacking Good's 1-2 fastball off the left field foul pole for his thirteenth home run of the year. Our final: Giants 13, Diamondbacks 0.

Bonds' other at-bat came in the fifth, when he grounded to short to retire the side.

Final totals: Giants 13-17-1, Diamondbacks 0-2-0,

Pitchers' records remain the same.

HR- SF: Grissom (23), Pierzynski (13)

Note: Grissom also hit a home run in the actual game.

LHR- SF: Durham (17)

Schmidt was named Player of the Game. He pitched his second consecutive simulated complete-game shutout, blanking the D-Backs on two hits while walking four and striking out ten. He threw 113 pitches. The only hits he gave up were a single by Hairston in the second and a triple by catcher Robby Hammock in the fifth.

Bonds was one for four plus a walk with an RBI and two runs scored. He's currently batting .364 (149-409) with forty-eight home runs and 107 runs batted in.

He leads the National League batting race by fifteen points over the Rockies' Todd Helton, but he trails the Mariners' Ichiro Suzuki by eight points for the highest average in the majors.

He's walked 248 times, which unofficially leads the majors by 121 over Helton,

He's scored 140 runs, which leads the majors by seven over the Cardinals' Albert Pujols.

His current on-base percentage is .608. He leads the majors by 139 points over Helton.

His current slugging percentage is .804. He leads the majors by 147 points over Pujols.

His current OPS is 1.412. He leads the majors by 317 points over Helton,

Next: Bonds and the Giants battle the Diamondbacks again on Monday, July 19, this time at Bank One Ballpark in Phoenix. Brett Tomko will start for the Giants, while Steve Sparks heads to the mound for the Diamondbacks.

Thoughts?
 
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It's Monday, July 19, 2004, and the Giants are taking on the Diamondbacks in the first game of a two-game series at Bank One Ballpark in Phoenix. Brett Tomko will start for the Giants, while Steve Sparks gets the ball for the Diamondbacks. Bonds is in left field and will bat eighth, as his replacement Dustan Mohr did in real life. The Giants won the actual game, 6-1.

The Giants began the scoring with two runs in the top of the first. Second baseman Ray Durham drew a leadoff walk,, but was thrown out trying to steal second by D-Backs catcher Juan Brito. Right fielder Michael Turner drew another walk, and center fielder Marquis Grissom lined a single to left to put runners at the corners, and first baseman J.T. Snow's single to right center brought Tucker home to give the Giants a 1-0 lead. Grissom moved to third on the hit and scored when third baseman Edgardo Alfonzo's fly to left chased the Snakes' Luis Gonzalez back to the wall before he could make the catch. It was 2-0 Giants after one.

In the second, Bonds flew to Danny Bautista on the warning track in right.

The Giants' big explosion came in the fourth, when they scored ten times. Alfonzo led off with a single to center. Catcher A.J, Pierzynski's fly to right dropped in front of Bautista, then rolled past him and to the wall. Alfonzo scored easily to give the visitors a 3-0 lead while Pierzynski pulled in at second with a double. Shortstop Neifi Perez's lined single to center put runners at the corners. and Bonds lined a single to left that cashed in Pierzynski to make it 4-0 Frisco. Tomko was next, and he made it five consecutive hits with a single to left center. Perez scored, Bonds went to third, and the Giants led 5-0.

That was all for Sparks; Snakes manager Al Pedrique called on rookie reliever Lance Cormier to restore order. This he did not do; Durham whacked his first pitch down the right field line and into the corner for a double, which scored Bonds to make it 6-0 and sent Tomko to third. Tucker walked on four pitches to load the bases, and Grissom stroked a base hit to left center that scored Tomko and Durham to give the Giants an 8-0 lead. Snow was the ninth batter in the inning, and he scalded a line drive into the left center power alley that scored Tucker and Grissom to put the Giants in double digits. So far, all nine men had come to the plate, and the Giants had scored eight runs on eight hits and a walk.

Cormier finally got an out when Alfonzo grounded to second, but even this was productive, as Snow moved to third. Pierzynski was next, and he doubled over Finley's head and off the wall. Snow scored, and the Boys from the Bay led 11-0. Cormier departed in favor of Andrew Good, whose first pitch was banged off the center field wall by Perez for a double. Pierzynski jogged home, and the Giants led by a dozen. Bonds walked on five pitches to put two men on, but was forced by Tomko, which allowed Perez to move to third. Both runners were stranded when Durham's fly to shallow left center was caught by Finley to end the inning.

Total damage: ten runs, ten hits, two walks, two men left on base. The Giants sent fifteen batters to the plate, and the half-inning took fifty-three minutes to complete.

The Giants added to their lead in the top of the fifth. Snow singled to right with two out and scored when Alfonzo doubled over Finley's head in center. Halfway through it was San Francisco 13, Arizona 0,

The Snakes finally got on the board with three runs in the bottom of the fifth. Brito led off with a single to left. Good lined another single to left to put two men on, and second baseman Scott Hairston followed with a triple over Bonds' head in left. Brito and Good scored, and the Giants' lead was cut to 13-2. Finley was next, and his base hit to left center scored Hairston with the third Arizona run.

At this point, Tomko left the game with a blister on the middle finger of his pitching hand. He was replaced by Brad Hennessey, who retired the next three batters in order: right fielder Danny Bautista forced Finley, Gonzalez flew to right, and first baseman Shea Hillenbrand struck out swinging.

The Giants scored four more runs in the top of the sixth. With one out, Bonds singled to left center. Hennessey hit a comebacker to Good, who made the stop, but dropped the ball when he tried to throw to first. Good reached on the error but was forced by Durham. A walk to Tucker loaded the bases, and Durham lined the first pitch he saw from Good down the left field line and over the wall for a grand slam, his twenty-fourth home run of the year. After five and a half, the Giants led the D-Backs 17-3.

The visitors added three more runs in the top of the seventh. Yorvit Torrealba batted for Pierzynski to lead things off and singled to left center. Perez was next, and he golfed Good's 2-1 hanging curveball over the wall in left center for a two-run homer to increase the Frisco lead to 19-3. It was Neifi's fourth home run of the year. Bonds kept the inning going by drawing a five-pitch walk, and Hennessey's lined single to right put two men on. Durham flew to shallow right for out number one while the runners held, but Tucker lined a double off the wall in center to bring Bonds home with the Giants' twentieth run.

Grissom's foul pop was caught by new D-Backs catcher Robby Hammock for out number two, but a walk to Snow loaded the bases. Alfonzo's fly to left center retired the side.

The home squad scored four more runs after two out in the bottom of the seventh. Finley lined a base hit to left center, and Bautista walked to put two me on. Gonzalez doubled off the wall in center to score both Finley and Bautista to cut the Giants' lead to 20-5. A walk to Hillenbrand put two men on again, and shortstop Alex Cintron's bloop fell in the left center power alley to bring home Gonzalez and Hillenbrand,

Dustin Hermanson relieved Hennessey and ended the inning with one pitch, as third baseman Chad Tracy's liner was caught by Snow at first. After seven, the Giants led the D-Backs 20-7.

The relentless Giants continued their onslaught with two more runs in the top of the eighth. With one out, Perez walked. Bonds lined a single to right that should have moved Perez to third, but Neifi stumbled slightly rounding second, which gave right fielder Quinton McCracken enough time to throw a strike to Tracy. It was still a close play, but Perez was out by an eyelash.

Hermanson lined a single to left that put two men on, and Deivi Cruz (batting for Durham) walked to load the bases. Tucker was next, and his lined single to right center scored Bonds and Hermanson to put the Giants in front 22-7. Cruz went to third on the hit, but Good ended the inning and finished his evening by retiring Grissom on a popup to Tracy at third.

The Giants finished their offensive extravaganza by scoring three times in the top of the ninth against new Arizona pitcher Jose "Papa Grande" Valverde. Pedro Feliz (batting for Alfonzo) walked with one out. Torrealba lined a single to right center to put runners at the corners, and Perez (now playing second base) flew to McCracken in right center for out number one. Feliz scored, and the Giants led 23-7.

Bonds was next, and he smacked Valverde's 1-2 fastball into the third row of seats in right center for a two-run homer, his forty-ninth of the year, to establish our final score: Giants 25, Diamondbacks 7, The ball traveled an estimated 418 feet; right center field is 374 feet away from home plate at Bank One Ballpark. It was official career home run Number 861; he's seven home runs behind all-time leader Sadaharu Oh.

Final totals: Giants 25-28-1. Diamondbacks 7-10-1.

W- Hennessey (3-2)
L- Sparks (3-8)

HR- SF: Bonds (49), Grissom (24), Perez (4)

DW- Tomko (11-5)

LHR- ARZ: L. Gonzalez (16)

Grissom was named Player of the Game. He was four for seven with a home run, three runs scored, and six RBIs.

Bonds was four for five plus two walks with a home run, five runs scored, and three RBIs. He's currently batting .370 (153-414) with forty-nine home runs and 110 runs batted in.

He's taken over sole possession of the major league home run lead. Adrian Beltre of the Dodgers is second with forty-eight.

He leads the National League batting race by twenty-one points over the Rockies' Todd Helton, and he's two points behind the Mariners' Ichiro Suzuki for the highest average in the majors.

He's walked 250 times, which unofficially leads the majors by 123 over Helton.

He's scored 145 runs, which leads the majors by twelve over the Cardinals' Albert Pujols.

He has seventy-one singles.

His current on-base percentage is .610. He leads the majors by 141 points over Helton.

His current slugging percentage is .812. He leads the majors by 155 points over Pujols.

His current OPS is 1.422. He leads the majors by 327 points over Helton.

Next: The Giants visit Busch Stadium to face the Cardinals on Sunday, July 25. Jerome Williams will pitch for the Giants, while Matt Morris goes to the mound for the Cardinals.

Thoughts?
 
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It's Sunday, July 25, 2004, and the Giants are taking on the St. Louis Cardinals in the third and final game of a three-game series at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Jerome Williams is pitching for the Giants, while Matt Morris gets the ball for the Cardinals. Bonds is in left field and will bat eighth, as his replacement Dustan Mohr did in real life. The Cardinals won the actual game, 6-0.

Let's begin by examining Bonds' at-bats:

In the third, he drew a leadoff walk and was bunted over to second by Williams. He was stranded there, as second baseman Ray Durham flew to Marlon Anderson in left and right fielder Michael Tucker grounded to first.

In the fifth with the Cardinals leading 1-0, catcher A,J. Pierzynski led off with a single to right. but was erased when center fielder Marquis Grissom grounded into a 4-6-3 double play.

Bonds was next, and he smacked Morris's first-pitch curveball over the center field wall for his fiftieth home run of the year to tie the game at one. It was official career homer Number 862; he's six home runs behind all-time leader Sadaharu Oh.

In the eighth with one out and the Cardinals leading 2-1, Bonds lined Morris's 2-2 slider into the first row of seats in center field for his second home run of the game and fifty-first of the year to tie the game at two, It was official career homer Number 863; he's five homers behind Oh.


In the tenth, Pierzynski led off with a bloop single to right but was erased when Grissom grounded into a 5-4-3 double play. Bonds kept the inning alive with a double into the right center power alley, and Edgardo Alfonzo came out of the dugout to bat for reliever Jason Christiansen. He smacked the first pitch he saw from Cardinals closer Jason Isringhausen into right center for a base hit, and Bonds put on a rare (by that time) burst of speed and crossed the plate just ahead of Jim Edmonds' throw to the plate to give the Giants a 3-2 lead.

Durham was next, and he lined a double off the wall in center; Edmonds hurried his throw back into the infield to keep Alfonzo at third. Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa ordered Tucker to be intentionally walked to load the bases and bring shortstop Deivi Cruz to the plate. The strategy worked, as Cruz's fly ball to left was caught by Anderson at the wall to end the inning with the bases still loaded. There was no further scoring.

Now let's see how the Cardinals scored their runs:

They began the scoring in the bottom of the first. Second baseman Tony Womack led off with a single to right center. Williams got the next two outs, as shortstop Edgar Renteria flew to Grissom in shallow left center and right fielder Roger Cedeno struck out swinging, but third baseman Scott Rolen doubled into the left center power alley to score Womack and give the Cards a 1-0 lead. A walk to Edmonds put two men on, but Anderson's foul pop was caught by Feliz behind third base to end the inning.

The Redbirds retook the lead in the bottom of the sixth. With one out, Cedeno singled to right center. Rolen's shallow fly to left center was caught by Grissom for the second out, but Edmonds walked to put two men on. Anderson was next, and his single to left cashed in Cedeno to give the home squad a 2-1 lead. First baseman John Mabry was retired on a comebacker to Williams to end the inning.

Final totals: Giants 3-10-0, Cardinals 2-7-0.

W- Christiansen (6-3)
S- Brower (2)
L- Isringhausen (4-3)

HR- SF: Bonds 2 (51)

DW- Morris (16-10)
DL- Williams (11-6)

LHR- STL: Mabry (12)

Bonds was named Player of the Game. He was three for three plus a walk with two home runs, two RBIs, and three runs scored. He's currently batting ,374 (156-417) with fifty-one home runs and 112 runs batted in.

He currently has the highest batting average in the majors by two points over the Mariners' Ichiro Suzuki, and he leads the National League batting race by twenty-five points over the Rockies' Todd Helton,

He leads the major league home run race by three over the Dodgers' Adrian Beltre.

He's walked 251 times, which unofficially leads the majors by 124 over Helton.

He has thirty-one doubles.

He's scored 148 runs, which leads the majors by fifteen over the Cardinals' Albert Pujols.

His current on-base percentage is .612. He leads the majors by 143 points over Helton.

His current slugging percentage is .830. He leads the majors by 173 points over Pujols.

His current OPS is 1.442. He leads the majors by 347 points over Helton,

Note: Pujols didn't appear at all in the actual game and walked as a pinch-hitter in the sim. Therefore, his numbers stay the same.

Here are the updated standings in the National League West:

Giants: 96-66
Dodgers: 93-68- 3 GB
Padres: 87-75- 9 GB
Rockies: 67-95- 29 GB
Diamondbacks: 51-111- 45 GB

In the Central:

Cardinals: 104-58
(tie) Astros: 92-70- 12 GB
(tie) Cubs: 92-70-12 GB
Reds: 76-86- 28 GB
Pirates: 70-91- 33.5 GB
Brewers: 67-94- 36.5 GB

Next: Our 2004 finale, as the Giants host the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday, August 5 at SBC Park. Aaron Harang will start for the Reds, while Kirk Rueter goes to the mound for the Giants.

Thoughts?
 
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It's Thursday, August 5, 2004, and the Giants are hosting the Cincinnati Reds in the third and final game of a three-game series at SBC Park. Aaron Harang will start for the Reds, while Kirk Rueter gets the ball for the Giants. Bonds is in left field and will bat eighth, as his replacement Dustan Mohr did in real life. The Reds won the actual game, 12-3.

Let's begin by examining Bonds' at-bats:

In the third, he grounded to first.

In the fifth, catcher A,J, Pierzynski led off with a roller to first that squirted through the legs of Reds first baseman Sean Casey; Pierzynski reached on the error. Third baseman Edgardo Alfonzo followed with a fly ball to center; the Reds' Willy Mo Pena had it in his glove but dropped it for another error that put two men on.

Alfonzo was forced by shortstop Delvi Cruz for out number one while Pierzynski moved to third, and Bonds hit a fly ball to Adam Dunn in left. Much like Pena before him, he appeared to make a sliding catch, but in his case he didn't lose the ball until he hit the ground. Regardless, it was the Reds' third error of the inning, and Bonds reached safely while Pierzynski scored to give the Giants a 1-0 lead. Rueter flew to right center for the second out, and second baseman Ray Durham struck out swinging to end the inning.

In the seventh with two out and the Reds leading 2-1, Cruz doubled off the center field wall. Bonds was walked intentionally to put two men on, and J,T. Snow came up to bat for reliever Jim Brower. He lined the first pitch he saw into left center for a single; Cruz scored to tie the game at two while Bonds moved to third.

Reds manager Dave Miley called on Phil Morton to relieve Harang, but he faced the next four batters and didn't record an out. Durham walked on four pitches to load the bases, and right fielder Michael Tucker walked on five pitches to force in Bonds and give the Giants a 3-2 lead. Marquis Grissom batted for center fielder Ricky Ledee and took a pitch in the small of the back to force Snow home and extend the lead to 4-2.

First baseman Pedro Feliz topped off the inning with a lined single to left that cashed in Durham and Tucker to extend the Frisco lead to 6-2. A chagrined Miley trudged back to the mound with the hook for Norton. John Riedling got the final out when Pierzynski, the tenth man to bat in the inning, grounded to second.

In the eighth with one our, Neifi Perez (batting for reliever Felix Rodriguez) walked. Bonds' single to right put runners at the corners, but Snow (who was now playing first base after a double switch) grounded into a 5-4-3 inning-ending double play.

Now let's see how the Reds scored their runs:

They erased a 1-0 Giants lead with two runs in the top of the sixth. Right fielder Ryan Freel drew a leadoff walk, Shortstop Felipe Lopez lined a single to center that put runners at the corners, and first baseman Sean Casey smacked a double over Ledee's head in center to score both Freel and Lopez and give the Reds a 2-1 lead. Jason Christiansen relieved Rueter at that point and struck out Dunn, Pena, and catcher Jason LaRue swinging to strand Casey at second and end the inning.

The visitors staged a comeback in the top of the ninth. They trailed 6-2 with two out when LaRue walked. Second baseman Juan Castro singled to put two men on, and Ken Griffey Jr. came to the plate to bat for third baseman Tim Hummel. He lashed the first pitch he saw from reliever Wayne Franklin into the left center power alley for a double, which scored LaRue and Castro to cut the Frisco lead to 6-4. Giants manager Felipe Alou reluctantly called on closer Matt Herges, and Miley sent Barry Larkin to the plate to bat for Riedling. Herges won the battle, striking out Larkin swinging to end the game. Our final: Giants 6, Reds 4.

Final totals: Giants 6-6-0, Reds 4-5-3.

W- Brower (8-6)
S- Herges (25)
L- Harang (9-10)

DL- Rueter (9-10)

LHR- CIN: Dunn (45)
SF: Cruz (6)

Feliz was named Player of the Game. His two-run single in the seventh turned out to be the game-winning hit.

Bonds was one for three plus an intentional walk with a run scored. His final batting average was .374 (157-420) with fifty-one home runs and 112 runs batted in.

He finished with the majors' highest batting average, two points ahead of the Mariners' Ichiro Suzuki.

He led the majors in home runs with fifty-one. The Dodgers' Adrian Beltre was second with forty-eight.

He finished with 252 walks, which is (unofficially) 125 more than the Rockies' Todd Helton.

He finished with 121 intentional walks, ninety-five more than the Phillies' Jim Thome.

He scored 149 runs, sixteen more than the Cardinals' Albert Pujols.

He finished with seventy-two singles.

His final on-base percentage was .612, which was the highest in the majors. Helton was second at .469.

His final slugging percentage was .826, which was the highest in the majors. Pujols was second at .657.

His final OPS was 1.438, which was the highest in the majors. Helton was second at 1.095.

Here are the final standings in the National League West:

Giants: 97-65
Dodgers: 93-69- 4 GB
Padres: 87-75- 10 GB
Rockies: 67-95- 30 GB
Diamondbacks: 51-111- 46 GB

In the Central:

Cardinals: 104-58
(tie) Astros: 92-70- 12 GB
(tie) Cubs: 92-70- 12 GB
Reds: 75-87- 29 GB
Pirates: 70-91- 33.5 GB
Brewers: 67-94- 36.5 GB

In the East:

Braves: 96-66
Phillies: 86-76- 10 GB
Marlins: 83-79- 13 GB
Mets: 69-93- 27 GB
Expos: 67-95- 29 GB

In the Wild Card:

Dodgers: 93-69
(tie) Astros: 92-70- 1 GB
(tie) Cubs: 92-70- 1 GB

The NLDS looks like this:

(4) Dodgers vs. (1) Cardinals- Cardinals win series 3-1
(3) Braves vs. (2) Giants

Next: We temporarily suspend Bonds' quest for world history to examine the Giants in the 2004 National League playoffs.

Game 1 of the NLDS takes place on Wednesday, October 6, with first pitch scheduled for shortly after 4PM Eastern/1PM Pacific at SBC Park. Jaret Wright will pitch for the Braves, while Noah Lowry goes to the mound for the Giants.

Thoughts?
 
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It's Wednesday, October 6, 2004. and the Giants are hosting the Atlanta Braves in Game 1 of the 2004 National League Division Series at SBC Park. Jaret Wright is pitching for the Braves, while Noah Lowry gets the ball for the Giants. Bonds is in left field and batting fourth. Game time temperature is 68 degrees, with fair skies and a west-southwest wind at 7 MPH.

Braves 1st: The Braves started fast in the top of the first, as shortstop Rafael Furcal lined a leadoff double into the right center power alley But Lowry struck second baseman Marcus Giles and right fielder J.D. Drew out swinging, and third baseman Chipper Jones grounded to Ray Durham at second to end the inning. 0 runs, 1 hit, runner left at second. Braves 0, Giants coming to bat.

Giants 1st
: Durham led off against Wright and blasted a 1-2 curveball into the third row of seats in right center for a solo home run, his first of the postseason, to give the Giants a 1-0 lead. The ball traveled an estimated 452 feet; right center field is 420 feet from home plate at SBC Park.

Shortstop Deivi Cruz was next, and his fly ball to left dropped on the warning track and hopped over the wall for a book-rule double. Third baseman Edgardo Alfonzo walked to put two men on, and Horacio Ramirez began throwing in the Braves bullpen. A thunderous ovation greeted Bonds as he came to the plate, and he hit a sizzling line drive that was gloved by Braves first baseman Adam LaRoche for out number one. That brought up first baseman Pedro Feliz, who lined a base hit to left center. Cruz scored, and the Giants led 2-0.

Center fielder Marquis Grissom was next, and he hit a grounder down to Chipper Jones at third. Chipper stepped on the bag at third for the force on Alfonzo, and there were two out. Catcher Yorvit Torrealba grounded the first pitch he saw down to LaRoche, who underhanded the ball to Wright for the final out. 2 runs,3 hits, runners left at first and second. Giants 2, Braves 0.

Braves 2nd
: Catcher Johnny Estrada grounded to short for out number one. LaRoche whacked a double off the wall in center, but Andruw struck out swinging for out number two. Left fielder Charles Thomas was next, and he bashed a triple into the right field corner to cash in LaRoche and cut the Giants' lead to 2-1. Wright was next, and he grounded one to Alfonzo deep in the hole, then ran at top speed down the line to beat Edgardo's throw to first for an infield single. Thomas scored on the play, and we were tied at two.

Furcal was next, and he doubled over Dustan Mohr's head in right. Jaret again took off at top speed, never seeing the stop sign of third base coach Fredi Gonzalez, and scored standing up to put the Braves in front 3-2. By now, Brad Hennessey was throwing in the Frisco bullpen, and Giles was at the plate. Lowry threw a 1-0 fastball right down the middle, and Giles hit it into the left field seats for a two-run homer, his first of the postseason, to make it 5-2 Atlanta. Hennessey was ready by this time, and Giants manager Felipe Alou came out to make the change with loud boos for Lowry ringing in his ears.

Hennessey retired Drew on a fly to right, and the inning was over. 5 runs, 5 hits. Braves 5, Giants 2.

Giants 2nd
; Mohr led off with a single to right center and was bunted over to second by Hennessey. Durham's fly to shallow center was caught by Andruw for the second out, and Cruz's liner found Furcal's glove to end the inning. 0 runs, 1 hit, runner left at second, Braves 5, Giants 2.

Braves 3rd
: Chipper led off with a double into the right center power alley. Estrada followed with a single to left center that brought Chipper home to extend the Atlanta lead. LaRoche struck out swinging for out number one, and Andruw forced Estrada for the second out. Hennessey fell behind Thomas three balls and no strikes, then came back to strike him out swinging and end the inning.1 run, 2 hits, runner left at first. Braves 6, Giants 2.

Giants 3rd
: Alfonzo grounded to Chipper at third for out number one. Bonds and Feliz drew back-to-back walks, and Grissom smacked a double into the left center power alley to bring Bonds home and cut the Braves' lead to 6-3, Feliz was held at third.

Torrealba grounded to third for the second out as the runners held. A walk to Mohr, the third of the inning, loaded the bases, and Hennessey was allowed to bat for himself. He justified manager Felipe Alou's faith with a base hit to left that scored Feliz to make it a 6-4 game. Durham's fly to Andruw in shallow right center ended the inning. 2 runs, 2 hits, 3 walks, bases left loaded. Braves 6, Giants 4.

Braves 4th
: Wright struck out swinging for out number one. Furcal lined a base hit to right center, and Giles lined a single to left that put runners at the corners Drew was next, and his flyball dropped between an incoming Grissom and an outgoing Cruz in right center. Furcal and Giles both scored, and the Braves led 8-4.

Chipper's fly to shallow left center was caught by Grissom for the second out, but a walk to Estrada put two men on. LaRoche's fly to left center was also caught by Grissom to retire the side. 2 runs, 3 hits, 1 walk, runners left at first and second. Braves 8, Giants 4.

Giants 4th
: Cruz grounded to third for the first out. Alfonzo beat out a bouncer to short for an infield hit. Bonds was next, and his bouncer to second was muffed by Giles. By the time Marcus got control of the ball, it was too late to throw to first, even with Bonds running on bad knees. Giles was charged with an error, and there were two men on. Feliz stroked a base hit to left center, and the bases were loaded.

Grissom was next, and he grounded sharply to third. No sooner had Chipper stopped the ball than it was on its way to the plate, and Alfonzo was out by two steps. That brought up Torrealba, who served a base hit into left. Bonds scored, and the Atlanta lead was 8-5.

With the bases still loaded, Alou went to his bench, and Michael Tucker batted for Mohr. His fly to shallow left was caught by Thomas, and the Braves were out of the inning. 1 run, 3 hits, 1 error, bases left loaded. Braves 8, Giants 5.

Braves 5th
: Andruw struck out swinging for out number one. Thomas followed with a grounder to second that Durham overran; by the time he'd picked it up, Thomas was already at first. Durham was charged with an error. Wright bunted Thomas over to second, and Furcal's base hit to left center brought Charles home with the ninth Atlanta run. Rafael tried to steal second, but Torrealba threw him out to end the inning. 1 run, 1 hit, 1 error, runner caught stealing. Braves 9, Giants 5.

Giants 5th
: Ricky Ledee batted for Hennessey and took a called third strike. Durham was also caught looking for the second out. Cruz lined a base hit to left center to keep the inning alive, and Alfonzo followed with a single to left to put two men on. Bonds' grounder to LaRoche at first ended the inning. 0 runs, 2 hits, runners left at first and second. Braves 9, Giants 5.

Braves 6th
: Giles drew a leadoff walk against new Giants pitcher Jason Christiansen. Drew hit the first pitch he saw down the right field line; Tucker cut the ball off before it got to the corner, but Giles still scored easily, and the Braves led 10-5. Drew stopped at second with a double.

Chipper's popup was caught by Alfonzo for out number one. Estrada was next, and his single to right brought Drew home to make it 11-5. Alou went back to the bullpen, and Dustin Hermanson came in to face LaRoche, whose liner was speared by Durham for the second out. Andruw struck out swinging to end the inning. 2 runs, 2 hits, 1 walk. runner left at first. Braves 11, Giants 5.

Giants 6th
; Ramirez relieved Wright and had the game's first one-two-three inning: Feliz's line drive was gloved by LaRoche. Grissom's fly to right center was caught by Andruw on the warning track, and Torrealba flew to shallow left center. Braves 11, Giants 5.

Braves 7th
: Thomas led off with a base hit to left. Ramirez batted for himself and flew to Grissom in shallow center for the first out. Furcal's single to right put runners at the corners, and Furcal promptly stole second. Giles' fly to left center for the second out was too shallow for anyone to advance, but Drew's base hit to right center scored both Thomas and Furcal to put the Braves up 13-5. Chipper bounced into an inning-ending force play. 2 runs, 3 hits, stolen base, runner left at first. Braves 13, Giants 5.

Giants 7th
: Another one-two-three inning for Ramirez: Tucker's fly to right center was caught by Andruw at the wall, pinch hitter J.T. Snow (batting for Hermanson) grounded to LaRoche at first, and Durham was called out on strikes. Braves 13, Giants 5.

Braves 8th
: Estrada led off with a single to right center against new Giants pitcher Tyler Walker. LaRoche was next, and he was called out on strikes; replays showed that he had clearly checked his swing, but home plate umpire Tim McClelland rang him up anyway. The Braves bench barked at McClelland until he looked into their dugout during Andruw's at-bat and told them to stop, He proceeded to call Andruw out on strikes, also on a check swing, and Andruw broke his bat at McClelland's feet, for which he was promptly thrown out of the game. That brought out Braves manager Bobby Cox; McClelland listened for a few seconds, then tossed him as well.

Gonzalez was next into the argument with McClelland, but first base umpire Phil Cuzzi offered a shoulder to cry on instead, and he listened until Fredi (who was the interim manager in Cox's absence) had had his say. After a seven-minute delay, the inning ended when Thomas's line drive was speared by Durham. 0 runs, 1 hit, runner left at first. Braves 13, Giants 5.

Giants 8th
: Snow was now in the game at first on a double switch, and Feliz had moved from first to short. Cruz's former spot in the lineup was now Walker's, and Jeffrey Hammonds batted for Walker to lead off. He banged the first pitch he saw off the wall in left for a double. Alfonzo followed with another double to left that drove in Hammonds, and the Atlanta lead was 13-6.

Juan Cruz relieved Ramirez, and his first assignment was Bonds, who walked on five pitches. Feliz struck out swinging for out number one, and Grissom was called out on strikes for the second out. A walk to Torrealba loaded the bases, and Tucker walked on a 3-2 pitch to force Alfonzo home and make it 13-7. The bases were still loaded, and Snow smacked a base hit to left that scored Bonds and moved everyone else up,

It was now 13-8, and a hit from Durham could have made it interesting in the ninth. But Cruz departed in favor of Antonio Alfonseca, who froze Durham with a perfect curveball on the outside corner for strike three to end the inning. 3 runs, 3 hits, 3 walks, bases left loaded. Braves 13, Giants 8,

Braves 9th
: Felix Rodriguez was the new Giants pitcher, and to the surprise of many Alfonseca was allowed to lead off; he struck out swinging on three pitches. Furcal singled to right, then stole second. But Giles was called out on strikes, and Drew's fly to right center was caught by Grissom to retire the side. 0 runs, 1 hit, stolen base, runner left at second. Braves 13, Giants 8,

Giants 9th
: Todd Linden batted for Rodriguez and flew to Andruw in center. Alfonzo bounced to second for out number two. Bonds kept the Giants alive with a single to left center, and a wild pitch by Alfonseca moved him to second. But Chipper gloved Feliz's liner to end the game. 0 runs, 1 hit, wild pitch, runner left at second. Braves 13, Giants 8 (Braves lead best-of-five series 1-0).

Final totals: Braves 13-19-1, Giants 8-15-1.

W- Wright (1-0)
S- Alfonseca (1)
L- Lowry (0-1)

HR- ATL: Giles (1)
SF: Durham (1)

Bonds was one for four plus two walks with three runs scored. He's batting .250 so far in the postseason.

Drew and Furcal shared Player of the Game honors. Drew was three for six, scored a run and drove in five more, while Furcal was a perfect six for six with four singles and two doubles. He drove in two runs, scored three, and stole two bases in three attempts.

Next: Game 2 of this series will be tomorrow afternoon here at SBC Park, with first pitch at 4PM Eastern/1PM Pacific. Mike Hampton will start for the Braves, while Jerome Williams goes to the mound for the Giants.

Thoughts?
 
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It's Thursday, October 7, 2004, and the Giants are hosting the Braves in Game 2 of a National League Division Series at SBC Park. The Braves lead the best-of-five series one game to none.

Mike Hampton will pitch for the Braves, while Jerome Williams gets the ball for the Giants. Bonds is in left field and will bat fourth. Game time temperature is 63 degrees, with fair skies and a west wind at 8 MPH.

Lineup Changes:

Giants-
Michael Tucker starts in right field and will bat second. J,T, Snow starts at first base and will bat fifth. A.J. Pierzynski catches and will bat sixth. Shortstop Deivi Cruz moves down to seventh, while center fielder Marquis Grissom moves down to eighth.

Braves 1st: Williams retired the Braves in order: Rafael Furcal flew to shallow right, Marcus Giles flew to Bonds in left. and J.D. Drew struck out swinging. Braves 0, Giants coming to bat.

Giants 1st
: Hampton got the first two outs easily, as Ray Durham was called out on strikes and Tucker grounded to short. Edgardo Alfonzo kept the inning alive with a single to left. Bonds blooped another single to left to put two men on, but was forced by Snow to end the inning, 0 runs, 2 hits, runners left at first and second. Braves 0, Giants 0,

Braves 2nd:
Chipper Jones led off with a base hit to right center. Johnny Estrada's single to right put two men on, and Adam LaRoche made it three consecutive singles when he lined one into right center to score Chipper and give the Braves a 1-0 lead. Estrada went to third on the hit and scored when Andruw Jones doubled down the left field line to make it 2-0 Atlanta. The runners held while Charles Thomas was retired on a comebacker to Williams for out number one. Hampton was next, and his line drive fell in front of Bonds in left for another single. LaRoche and Andruw scored, and the visitors led 4-0.

Furcal walked to put two men on, but Giles struck out swinging for out number two. A walk to Drew loaded the bases, and Dustin Hermanson accelerated his warmup process in the Frisco bullpen. Chipper was next, and another hit from him could have turned the game into a rout. Instead, he grounded the first pitch he saw to Cruz, who threw to first to retire the side. 4 runs, 5 hits, 2 walks, bases left loaded. Braves 4, Giants 0.

Giants 2nd
: A one-two-three inning for Hampton: Pierzynski was retired on a bouncer to second, Giles caught Cruz's line drive, and Grissom's fly to deep left was caught by Thomas at the wall. Braves 4, Giants 0.

Braves 3rd:
Williams retired the Braves in order: Estrada took a called third strike, LaRoche flew to right, and Andruw grounded to second. Braves 4, Giants 0,

Giants 3rd
: Williams struck out swinging. Durham and Tucker drew back-to-back walks, Alfonzo forced Tucker, which allowed Durham to third, and Bonds walked on five pitches to load the bases. Snow was next, and Hampton fell behind two balls and no strikes before coming back to strike him out swinging and end the inning. 0 runs, 0 hits, 3 walks, bases left loaded. Braves 4, Giants 0.

Braves 4th
: Thomas led off with a double into the right center power alley. He was bunted over to second by Hampton, and Furcal brought him home with a base hit to left center; it was now 5-0 Atlanta.

Giles walked to put two men on, but Drew took a called third strike for out number two. Chipper took a pitch off of his elbow pad to load the bases, but Estrada struck out swinging to end the inning. 1 run, 2 hits, 1 walk, hit batsman, bases left loaded. Braves 5, Giants 0.

Giants 4th
: Pierzynski grounded to second. Cruz lined a double off the wall in center, but he was stranded there, as Grissom bounced to short and Williams grounded to third to end the inning. 0 runs, 1 hit, runner left at second. Braves 5, Giants 0,

Braves 5th
: LaRoche led off with a double off the wall in center. Andruw's fly ball to right center was caught at the wall by Grissom at the wall for the first out, with LaRoche moving to third. Thomas lashed a triple into the left field corner, which brought LaRoche home to extend the Braves' lead to 6-0.

That was all for Williams; Hermanson came in to face Hampton, who hit a fly ball to left center that dropped on the warning track and hopped over the wall for a book-rule double. LaRoche scored easily, and the Braves led 7-0. Furcal flew to right center for the second out, and Giles struck out swinging to end the inning. 2 runs, 3 hits, runner left at second. Braves 7, Giants 0.

Note: I accidentally deleted my sim at this point. I'll run another one to continue the game, but there probably won't be a Player of the Game award.

Giants 5th: Durham led off with a double into the right center power alley. Tucker's single to center brought him home, and the Braves' lead was 7-1. Alfonzo's grounder to third moved Tucker to second. Bonds walked to put two men on, but Snow struck out swinging for out number two. A walk to Pierzynski loaded the bases, but Cruz bounced into an inning-ending force play. 1 run, 2 hits, 2 walks, bases left loaded. Braves 7, Giants 1.

Braves 6th
: Hermanson got the first two outs on two pitches, as Drew's fly to right center was caught at the wall by Grissom and Chipper grounded to first. Estrada was next, and he lined Dustin's 1-1 curveball over the wall in right for his first home run of the postseason and an 8-1 Atlanta lead. LaRoche almost made it back-to-back home runs, but Grissom made the catch at the wall to end the inning. 1 run, 1 hit. Braves 8, Giants 1.

Giants 6th
: Grissom grounded to second. Pedro Feliz batted for Hermanson and doubled down the right field line. Durham walked to put two men on, and Tucker's roller to LaRoche at first moved the runners up. Alfonzo was retired on a comebacker to Hampton to end the inning. 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 walk, runners left at second and third. Braves 8, Giants 1.

Braves 7th
: New Giants pitcher Wayne Franklin got the first two outs with ease, as Andruw flew to Bonds in shallow left and Thomas struck out swinging. Hampton batted for himself and smacked a double off the wall in right, but Furcal's line drive was snagged by Cruz to retire the side. 0 runs, 1 hit, runner left at second. Braves 8, Giants 1.

Giants 7th
: Bonds stroked a leadoff base hit to center. Snow hit a fly ball to deep center; Andruw made the catch in front of the warning track for the first out while Bonds remained at first. Barry was forced by Pierzynski for the second out, and Cruz grounded to second to retire the side. 0 runs, 1 hit, runner left at first. Braves 8, Giants 1.

Braves 8th
: A one-two-three inning for Franklin: Giles and Drew each grounded to short, and Chipper bounced to third. Braves 8, Giants 1,

Giants 8th
: Chris Reitsma relieved Hampton and retired the side in order: Grissom grounded to short, Franklin batted for himself and popped to short, and Durham grounded to first. Braves 8, Giants 1.

Braves 9th
: Estrada struck out swinging. LaRoche singled to left center, but Andruw took a called third strike and Thomas flew to Grissom in right center. 0 runs, 1 hit, runner left at first. Braves 8, Giants 1.

Giants 9th
: Tucker drew a leadoff walk, Alfonzo singled to left to put two men on, and a walk to Bonds loaded the bases. With the crowd at SBC Park on its feet for the first time today, Braves manager Bobby Cox excused Reitsma and called on Kevin Gryboski to face Snow. J.T. bounced the first pitch he saw down to second, where Giles started a 4-6-3 double play. Tucker scored to cut the Atlanta lead to 8-2, but the Giants were down to their last out.

Alfonzo had moved to third on the double play, and he scored on Pierzynski's single to left to make it an 8-3 game. Closer John Smoltz took off his warmup jacket in the Atlanta bullpen, but the game was over before he could start to warm up, as Gryboski retired Cruz on a grounder to Chipper at third to end the game. 2 runs, 2 hits, 2 walks, runner left at first. Braves 8, Giants 3 (Braves lead series 2-0)

Final totals: Braves 8-13-0, Giants 3-9-0.

W- Hampton (1-0)
L- Williams (0-1)

HR- ATL- Estrada (1)

I was able to find a Player of the Game after all. Hampton held the Giants to one run on seven hits over seven innings. At the plate, he drove in a run with a single.

Bonds had singles in both official at-bats and walked three times. So far in this series, Bonds is batting .500 (3-6) with three runs scored and five walks.

Next: The series moves to Turner Field in Atlanta for Game 3 on Saturday, October 9. First pitch is scheduled for 1PM Eastern/10AM Pacific, with Kirk Rueter starting for the Giants and John Thomson going to the mound for the Braves.

Thoughts?
 
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It's Saturday, October 9, and the Giants are taking on the Braves in Game 3 of a National League Division Series at Turner Field in Atlanta. The Braves lead the best-of-five series two games to none.

Kirk Rueter will pitch for the Giants, while John Thomson gets the ball for the Braves. Bonds is in left field and will bat fourth. Game time temperature is 69 degrees, with cloudy skies and an east-northeast wind at 10 MPH.

Lineup Changes:

Giants
- Deivi Cruz and A.J. Pierzynski switch places in the batting order. Cruz will bat sixth, while Pierzynski bats seventh.

Giants 1st: Ray Durham struck out swinging. Michael Tucker lined a double off the wall in left, but he held at second while Edgardo Alfonzo grounded to third for the second out. Bonds walked to put two men on, but J.T. Snow grounded to Marcus Giles at second to end the inning. 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 walk, runners left at first and second. Giants 0, Braves coming to bat.

Braves 1st
: Rafael Furcal flew to Bonds in shallow left for out number one. Marcus Giles stroked a base hit to left center. That brought up J.D. Drew, who smacked Rueter's 1-2 slider over the wall in left center for his first home run of the postseason to give the Braves a 2-0 lead.

Chipper Jones belted another Rueter slider deep to right, but the ball held up at the warning track, allowing Tucker to make the catch for out number two, Johnny Estrada hit a comebacker to Rueter, who took the ball to the first base bag himself for the final out. 2 runs, 2 hits. Braves 2, Giants 0.

Giants 2nd
: Cruz drew a leadoff walk. Pierzynski beat out a grounder to third for an infield single to put two men on, but Thomson recovered to get the next three outs in order: Marquis Grissom and Rueter each struck out swinging, and Durham flew to Andruw in left center to end the inning. 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 walk, runners left at first and second. Braves 2, Giants 0

Braves 2nd
: Rueter retired the side in order: Adam LaRoche struck out swinging, and Andruw Jones and Charles Thomas each grounded to Durham at second. Braves 2, Giants 0.

Giants 3rd
: Tucker's fly to deep right was run down by Drew on the warning track. Alfonzo grounded to third. Bonds walked to keep the inning alive, and Snow singled to left center to put runners at the corners. but Cruz's popup was caught by Giles at third to end the inning. 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 walk, runners left at first and third. Braves 2, Giants 0.

Braves 3rd
: Thomson led off with a single to left center but was forced by Furcal. Giles' popup was caught by Durham for the second out. With Drew at the plate, Furcal stole second, and J.D. followed with a base hit to left that cashed in Furcal and put the Braves up 3-0. Chipper's fly to right was caught by Tucker to retire the side, 1 run, 2 hits, stolen base, runner left at first. Braves 3, Giants 0.

Giants 4th
: A one-two-three inning for Thomson: Pierzynski and Grissom struck out swinging, while Rueter grounded to third. Braves 3, Giants 0.

Braves 4th
: Estrada was hit on the foot by a pitch. LaRoche walked on a 3-2 pitch to put two men on, and Andruw walked on four pitches to load the bases. Thomas bounced into a force play, which eliminated Andruw but allowed Estrada to score and extend the Atlanta lead to 4-0. LaRoche moved to third on the play and scored when Thomson helped his own cause with a base hit to left; it was now 5-0 Atlanta.

Giants manager Felipe Alou brought Dustin Hermanson in from the bullpen to restore order, but Furcal blooped his first pitch just over Cruz's head and into center field. Thomas ran on contact and scored easily to give the Braves a 6-0 lead. Next came the big blow of the inning, as Giles ripped a hanging Hermanson curveball into the left field corner for a double. Thomson and Furcal scored to put the Braves up 8-0, and the Tomahawk Chop could be heard and seen all the way to the Golden Gate Bridge.

The home squad wasn't done scoring, as Drew's base hit to right brought Giles home with the ninth Atlanta run. Chipper lined a single to right center to move Drew to third, and Estrada came back to the plate as the tenth man to bat in the inning. Hermanson finally got himself out of trouble, as Estrada bounced into a 4-6-3 inning-ending double play 6 runs, 5 hits, 2 walks, 1 hit batsman, runner left at third. Braves 9, Giants 0.

Giants 5th
: The visitors went down in order: Drew made a spectacular diving catch of Durham's fly to shallow right, Tucker struck out swinging, and Alfonzo grounded to second. Braves 9, Giants 0.

Braves 5th
: LaRoche grounded to first. Andruw walked on four pitches, and Thomas smacked Hermanson's 2-0 curveball into the third row of seats in left center for a two-run homer, his first of the postseason, to extend the Braves' lead to 11-0. The ball traveled an estimated 411 feet; left center field is 380 feet from home plate at Turner Field.

After Thomas took a curtain call, the action continued with Thomson's base hit up the middle. Furcal struck out swinging for out number two, but Giles singled to left to put two men on. Drew's popup was caught by Alfonzo in foul territory to retire the side. 2 runs, 3 hits, 1 walk, runners left at first and second, Braves 11, Giants 0,

Giants 6th: Bonds led off by blasting Thomson's 1-1 fastball into the third row of seats in right center field for his first home run of the postseason to cut the Braves' lead to 11-1. The ball traveled an estimated 422 feet; right center field is 390 feet from home plate at Turner Field.


Snow grounded to LaRoche for the first out, but Cruz singled to right. Pierzynski was hit in the head by a Thomson fastball to put two men on, but he was forced by Grissom, with Cruz moving to third. Dustan Mohr batted for Hermanson and grounded to Chipper at third to end the inning. 1 run, 2 hits, hit batsman, runners left at first and third. Braves 11, Giants 1.

Braves 6th
: Chipper drew a leadoff walk against new Giants pitcher Brad Hennessey. Estrada flew to left center for the first out, and LaRoche struck out swinging for out number two. Andruw lined a double off the wall in left, and there were runners at second and third. Thomas grounded to third to end the inning. 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 walk, runners left at second and third. Braves 11, Giants 1.

Giants 7th
: Durham struck out swinging against new Braves pitcher Juan Cruz. Tucker grounded to first for the second out. Alfonzo kept the inning alive with a lined single to left center, and Bonds walked to put two men on, But Snow grounded weakly to Giles at second, and the inning was over. 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 walk, runners left at first and second. Braves 11, Giants 1.

Braves 7th
: Eli Marrero batted for Cruz and flew to Grissom in shallow left center. Furcal singled to left center, and Giles did the same to put runners at the corners, A walk to Drew loaded the bases, and Chipper followed with a base hit to right center. Furcal and Giles scored, and the Braves led 13-1. Drew moved to third on the hit.

Tyler Walker relieved Hennessey, and his first pitch was spanked into right center for a base hit by Estrada. Drew scored the fourteenth Atlanta run, while Chipper moved to third. LaRoche grounded into a 4-6-3 inning-ending double play. 3 runs, 4 hits, 1 walk, runner left at third. Braves 14, Giants 1.

Giants 8th
: Horacio Ramirez was the new Atlanta pitcher, and he retired Cruz on a grounder to short, Pierzynski walked, but was forced by Grissom for out number two. Not wanting to use more pitchers in a game that was already out of hand, Alou allowed Walker to bat for himself, and his foul popup was caught by Chipper to retire the side. 0 runs, 0 hits, 1 walk, runner left at first. Braves 14, Giants 1.

Braves 8th
: Andruw flew to Bonds in left. Thomas lined a base hit to right center. Ramirez batted for himself and flew to left for the second out, but Furcal's single to right center put runners at the corners. Giles struck out swinging to end the inning. 0 runs, 2 hits, runners left at first and third. Braves 14, Giants 1.

Giants 9th
: Durham drew a leadoff walk. Tucker followed by hitting Ramirez's first-pitch fastball over the wall in center for a two-run homer, his first of the postseason, to cut the Braves' lead to 14-3. Bonds' fly to center was caught by Andruw at the wall for out number one. Snow's fly to right was caught by Drew on the warning track, and the Braves were one out away from the NLCS. But Cruz walked to put two men on, and Pierzynski stroked a base hit to right center that scored Alfonzo to make it 14-4.

Then came the big hit of the inning, as Grissom belted Ramirez's 2-0 fastball over the left center field wall for a three-run homer, his first of the postseason, that cut the Braves' lead to 14-7. That was all for Ramirez; manager Bobby Cox brought Travis Smith in from the pen to get the final out, and Alou sent his biggest remaining home run threat, up to bat for Walker. Feliz walked on five pitches, and closer John Smoltz began to stir in the Braves bullpen, just as he had in the ninth inning of Game 2,

Meanwhile, Smith faced Durham, who scorched a line drive toward LaRoche at first. Adam made the catch for the final out, and the Braves had swept the series. 6 runs, 3 hits, 4 walks, runner left at first. Braves 14. Giants 7 (Braves win series 3-0).

Final totals: Braves 14-19-0, Giants 7-9-0.

W- Thomson (1-0)
L- Rueter (0-1)

HR- SF: Bonds (1), Tucker (1), Grissom (1)
ATL: Drew (1), Thomas (1)

Drew was named Player of the Game. He was three for four plus a walk with a home run, two runs scored, and four RBIs.

Bonds was one for two with a home run and three walks. His final postseason batting average was .500 (4-8) with four runs scored, a home run, a run batted in, and eight walks.

The Braves lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in six games in the NLCS. I already simmed the series in my Pythagorean baseball thread, and I'll provide the details in a later post.

Next: Bonds resumes his pursuit of history, as the Giants head to Cinergy Field in Cincinnati to face the Reds on Thursday, April 20, 2000. Livan Hernandez will start for the Giants, while Denny Neagle goes to the mound for the Reds.

Thoughts?
 
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It's Thursday, April 20, 2000, and the Giants are taking on the Cincinnati Reds in the third and final game of a three-game series at Cinergy Field in Cincinnati.; Livan Hernandez will start for the Giants, while Denny Neagle gets the ball for the Reds. Bonds is in left field and will bat second, as his replacement Marvin Benard did in real life. The Reds won the actual game, 11-1. As we resume, Bonds is batting .307 (150-488) with fifty home runs and 109 runs batted in,

Let's begin by examining Bonds' at-bats:

In the first, center fielder Calvin Murray beat out a grounder to third for a leadoff infield single, stole second, and moved to third when the pickoff throw from Reds catcher Eddie Taubensee went into center field. Bonds lined a base hit to right that scored Murray and gave the Giants a 1-0 lead.

A walk to right fielder Ellis Burks put two men on, and second baseman Jeff Kent reached to load the bases when Reds shortstop Pokey Reese dropped a potential double-play grounder and was charged with an error. Neagle finally got two much-needed outs when first baseman J,T. Snow grounded into a 5-2-3 double play. Burks moved to third and Aurilia to second, and the bases were reloaded when shortstop Rich Aurilia walked. Third baseman Bill Mueller was next, and his fly ball to Ken Griffey Jr. in center retired the side with the bases still loaded.

In the second with one out, Hernandez grounded a ball past Neagle's glove and into center field for a base hit. Murray's liner was caught by Reese for the second out, and Bonds grounded to second to retire the side.

In the fifth, Bonds led off with a double to right, Burks walked to put two men on, and Kent uncorked a fly ball to deep right center. Junior made the catch at the wall, but Bonds moved to third. Snow struck out swinging for out number two, but Aurilia grounded a base hit to left center that scored Bonds to give the Giants a 2-0 lead. Burks mover to third on the hit, but Mueller flew to right center to end the inning.

In the seventh with the Giants leading 2-1, Bonds' liner was caught by Reese for the first out. Burks lined a base hit to center. Kent walked to put two men on, and Snow's single to right center scored Burks to give the Giants a 3-1 lead. Aurilia walked to load the bases, but Mueller grounded into a 6-4-3 inning-ending double play.

In the eighth, catcher Bobby Estalella drew a leadoff walk, Armando Rios batted for Hernandez and also walked to put two men on. Reds reliever Scott Williamson struck Murray out swinging for out number one, but Bonds lined a double into the right center power alley that cashed in Estalella and Rios and extended the Giants' lead to 5-1.

Burks walked to put two men on, and Reds manager Jack McKeon brought Scott Sullivan out of the Cincy pen to face Kent, who lined the first pitch he saw into right for a single. Bonds scored, Burks moved to third, and it was 6-1 Giants. Snow lined a double off the wall in right, which scored Burks and Kent to make it 8-1.

Aurilia struck out swinging for out number two, but a walk to Mueller put two men on again. Estalella came back to the plate as the tenth man to bat in the inning and hit a fly ball to deep right that was caught the Reds' Dante Bichette to retire the side.

In the ninth with two out, Bonds walked. Burks flew to Dmitri Young in left to end the inning.

Now let's see how the Reds scored their runs:

The Giants took a 2-0 lead into the bottom of the sixth. Shortstop Barry Larkin led off with a single to right center. Junior struck out swinging for out number one. First baseman Sean Casey grounded to his counterpart Snow, which moved Larkin to second with two out. Bichette blooped a single to right center, which brought Larkin home and cut the Giants' lead to 2-1. Taubensee's grounder to Snow at first ended the inning.

The Frisco lead ballooned to 8-1 after seven and a half, but the Reds chipped away with three runs in the bottom of the eighth, Reese led off with a fly ball to left that bounced off of Bonds' glove. By the time Barry had retrieved the ball and thrown it back into the infield, Pokey was standing at second. Bonds was charged with a two-base error. Walks to Larkin and Junior loaded the bases, but Casey's weak popup behind second was caught by Kent for out number one. A walk to Bichette forced Reese in, and the Reds trailed 8-2.

Joe Nathan replaced Hernandez at this point, and his first pitch to Taubensee was slapped into right for a base hit, Larkin and Junior scored to cut the Frisco lead to 8-4, and Bichette's slide into third beat Mueller' tag by a whisker. But the Reds didn't score again in the inning, as Young flew to Bonds in left and third baseman Aaron Boone was called out on strikes,

Undaunted, the Reds tied the game with four runs in the bottom of the ninth. Alex Ochoa batted for reliever Manny Aybar and drew a leadoff walk but was forced by Reese. Larkin lined a single to left that moved Pokey to third, and Giants manager Dusty Baker signaled for closer Robbie Nen to face Junior, who grounded the first pitch he saw into right center for a base hit. Pokey scored to make it 8-5, while Larkin moved to third. Casey was next, and he smacked Nen's 1-1 fastball over the wall in left for a three-run homer to tie the game at eight. It was Casey's twenty-first home run of the year.

The Reds completed their comeback by scoring the winning run in the bottom of the tenth against new Giants pitcher Felix Rodriguez. Boone drew a leadoff walk. Michael Tucker batted for reliever Danny Graves and struck out swinging for out number one, but Reese singled to left. The Reds got a gift call when Reese was clearly out at third after a strong throw from Bonds, only for third base umpire Jim McKean to call him safe. Larkin was the next batter, and his single to left brought Pokey home to win the game. Final score in ten: Reds 9, Giants 8.

Final totals: Reds 9-12-2, Giants 8-11-1.

W- Graves (11-5)
L- Rodriguez (4-3)

HR- CIN: Casey (21)

DW- Neagle (14-9)
DL- Hernandez (18-9)

LHR- CIN: Griffey Jr. 2 (38), Larkin (10)

Larkin was named Player of the Game, He was three for four plus two walks, scored three runs, and drove in the game-winning run,

Bonds was three for five plus a walk with two runs scores and three runs batted in. He's currently batting .310 (153-493) with fifty home runs and 112 runs batted in,

He's walked 119 times, which leads the National League by five over the Pirates' Brian Giles and is good for third in the majors, four behind the Blue Jays' Carlos Delgado for second.

He's scored 136 runs, which is good for third in the National League, two behind the Rockies' Todd Helton for second.

He has sixty-seven singles. The National League top ten begins at 123.

He has thirty-two doubles. The National League top ten begins at forty.

His current on-base percentage is .442, which is good for second in the National League, twenty-one points behind Helton,

His current slugging percentage is .696, which is good for second in the National League, two points behind Helton.

His current OPS is 1.138, which is good for second in the National League, twenty-four points behind Helton.

Next: A look at the 2004 National League Championship Series between the Braves and the Cardinals.

Thoughts?
 
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Here's how the 2004 National League Championship Series happened in the Bondsverse:

Game 1 (October 13 at St. Louis): Cardinals 15, Braves 1 (Cardinals lead best-of-seven series 1-0)

Third baseman Scott Rolen hits two home runs and drives in seven runs as the Cards roll.

Game 2 (October 14 at St. Louis): Braves 3, Cardinals 0 (series tied 1-1)

Paul Byrd makes his first start of the postseason for the Braves and pitches a four-hit shutout. J.D. Drew's two-run homer and Andruw Jones' solo shot provide the Atlanta offense.

Game 3 (October 16 at Atlanta): Cardinals 10, Braves 1 (Cardinals lead series 2-1)

Cardinals right fielder (and future Hall of Famer) Larry Walker goes three for four with a home run as the Cardinals score double-digit runs again. Redbirds starter Jeff Suppan pitches six shutout innings and strikes out ten.

Game 4 (October 17 at Atlanta): Cardinals 4, Braves 3 (Cardinals lead series 3-1)

Jason Marquis pitches a complete game for the NL Central champs, holding the Braves to four hits. First baseman John Mabry's base hit in the fifth provides the margin of victory for the home squad.

Game 5 (October 18 at Atlanta): Braves 3, Cardinals 2 (Cardinals lead series 3-2)

Starting pitcher Jaret Wright almost wins this game singlehandedly for the Braves, holding the Cards to two runs on two hits in seven and two-thirds innings and driving in a key run with a single in the fourth.

Game 6 (October 20 at St. Louis): Cardinals 6, Braves 1 (Cardinals win series 4-2)

Starting pitcher Matt Morris goes all the way for the Redbirds, giving up just one run on three hits. Rolen wins the NLCS MVP award despite driving in just two runs over the last five games.

The Boston Red Sox swept the Cardinals in four straight games to win the 2004 World Series.

Next: The Giants host the Colorado Rockies on Saturday, May 6, 2000 at Pacific Bell Park. Rolando Arrojo will pitch for the Rockies, while Shawn Estes goes to the hill for the Giants.

Thoughts?
 
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It's Saturday, May 6, 2000, and the Giants are hosting the Colorado Rockies in the second game of a three-game series at Pacific Bell Park. Rolando Arrojo will start for the Rockies, while Shawn Estes gets the ball for the Giants. Bonds is in left field and will bat sixth, as his replacement Armando Rios did in real life The Giants won the actual game, 6-0.

Let's begin by examining Bonds' at-bats:

In the second with the Rockies leading 1-0, Jeff Kent socked a triple into the left field corner. He held while Ellis Burks grounded to the Rockies' Jeff Cirillo at third for out number one.

Bonds was next, and he whacked Arrojo's 1-1 fastball over the wall in left for his fifty-first home run of the year to give the Giants a 2-1 lead. It was official career home run Number 864. He's now four home runs behind all-time leader Sadaharu Oh.

In the fourth with the Rockies leading 4-2, J.T. Snow's bloop fell in right center for a leadoff double. Kent struck out swinging for out number one, but Kent walked to put two men on. Bonds' single to left center loaded the bases, but shortstop Ramon Martinez flew to the Rockies' Brian Hunter in left center, and catcher Doug Mirabelli grounded to third to end the inning with the bases still loaded.

In the fifth with the Rockies leading 5-2, Armando Rios batted for Estes and walked. Center fielder Marvin Benard was next. and he belted a triple off the wall in center. Rios scored, and the Rockies' lead was cut to 5-3. Third baseman Bill Mueller struck out swinging for out number one, but Snow lined a single to right center that brought Benard home to make it 5-4.

Gabe White was called out of the Colorado pen to face Kent and got him to force Snow. Burks was next, and he turned on White's 1-1 fastball and launched it over the center field wall to give the Boys from the Bay a 6-5 lead. It was Burks' twenty-fifth home run of the year.

In the eighth with the Rockies leading 8-6, Kent led off with a double down the left field line. Burks flew to Jeffrey Hammonds in left for out number one. but Bonds walked to put two men on. Rich Aurilia batted for Martinez and grounded a base hit to left that scored Kent and cut the Colorado lead to 8-7. Runners were still at first and second for Mirabelli, but he bounced into a 3-6-3 inning-ending double play.

Now let's see how the Rockies scored their runs:

They opened the scoring in the top of the second. Cirillo led off with a base hit to center. First baseman Todd Helton singled to right center to put two men on but was forced by Hammonds, with Cirillo moving to third. Shortstop Neifi Perez walked to load the bases, and Cirillo came home on catcher Scott Servais's bouncer to short to give the Rox a 1-0 lead. Hammonds and Perez each moved up a base, but Arrojo struck out swinging to end the inning with runners at second and third.

The Giants led 2-1 after two, but the Rox took the lead with three runs in the top of the third. With one out, second baseman Mike Lansing singled to left center. Right fielder Larry Walker's bloop fell in shallow right for a base hit to put two men on, and a walk to Cirillo loaded the bases and brought Helton to the plate. Estes thought he had Helton struck out on both the 2-2 and 3-2 pitches, but home plate umpire Charlie Reliford called balls each time, and the resulting walk brought Lansing home to tie the game at two,

Hammonds followed with a bouncer to third; Mueller made the stop deep in the hole, then decided to throw home for a possible force on Walker. The throw and the runner arrived at the same time, and since all ties in this kind of situation go to the runner, Walker was called safe and the Rox led 3-2. Perez forced Hammonds, which allowed Cirillo to score and make it 4-2 Colorado. Helton moved to third on the play, but Servais's grounder to second ended the inning.

The visitors added another run in the fifth. Hammonds led off with a single to right, and Perez's base hit to left center put runners at the corners. Servais grounded into a 6-4-3 double play, but Hammonds was able to score and extend the Rockies' lead to 5-2.

The Rox took the lead for good in the top of the sixth. With one out, Lansing singled up the middle against Giants reliever Felix Rodriguez. Walker took a called third strike for the second out, but Cirillo's lined single to left center put runners at the corners. Helton was next, and he clobbered Rodriguez's 1-2 fastball into the third row of seats in left center field for a three-run homer to give the Rox an 8-6 lead. The ball traveled an estimated 397 feet; left center field at Pacific Bell Park is 364 feet from home plate. It was Helton's forty-third home run of the year.

Final totals: Rockies 8-13-0, Giants 7-10-0.

W- White (12-2)
S- DeJean (1)
L-Rodriguez (4-4)

HR- COL: Helton (43)
SF: Bonds (51). Burks (25)

DW- Estes (14-6)
DL- Arrojo (10-10)

Helton was named Player of the Game. He was two for four plus a walk with a three-run homer and four runs batted in.

Bonds was two for three plus a walk with a two-run homer. He's currently batting .313 (155-496) with fifty-one home runs and 114 runs batted in.

He leads the majors with fifty-one home runs.

He's walked 120 times, which is good for third in the majors, three behind the Blue Jays' Carlos Delgado for second.

He's scored 137 runs. As of this sentence, he's one behind Helton for second in the National League. We'll examine Helton's stats in a moment.

He has sixty-eight singles.

His current on-base percentage is .444. As of this sentence, he's second in the National League, nineteen points behind Helton.

His current slugging percentage is .702. As of this sentence, he leads the majors by four points over Helton.

His current OPS is 1.146. At this moment, he's second in the National League, sixteen points behind Helton.


Now it's bonus time. Helton scored a run in the sim, so he now has 139, which gives him a two-run lead over Bonds for second in the National League. He didn't score any runs in the actual game.

He came into the game batting .372 (179-517). He was one for four in the actual game and two for four in the sim. This gives him a batting average of .374 (180-517). He has the highest average in the majors by two points over the Red Sox' Nomar Garciaparra.

His current slugging percentage is .703. He leads the majors by one point over Bonds.

His on-base percentage is .466. He leads the National League by twenty-two points over Bonds and is third in the majors, four points behind Delgado,

His current OPS is 1.169. He leads the majors by fifteen points over the Indians' Manny Ramirez.

Here are the updated standings in the National League West:

San Francisco Giants: 96-66
Los Angeles Dodgers: 86-76- 10 GB
Arizona Diamondbacks: 85-77- 11 GB
Colorado Rockies: 83-79- 13 GB
San Diego Padres: 76-86- 20 GB

Next: The Giants face the Rockies again on Sunday, May 14, this time at Coors Field in Denver. Livan Hernandez will start for the Giants, while Kevin Jarvis takes the mound for the Rockies.

Thoughts?
 
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It's Sunday, May 14, 2000, and the Giants are taking on the Rockies in the third and final game of a three-game series at Coors Field in Denver. Livan Hernandez will start for the Giants, while Kevin Jarvis takes the ball for the Rockies. Bonds is in left field and will bat third, as his replacement Terrell Lowery did in real life. The Rockies won the actual game, 11-7.

The Giants began the scoring with four runs in the top of the first. Center fielder Calvin Murray banged the first pitch of the game off the center field wall for a double. Right fielder Armando Rios struck out swinging for out number one, and Bonds grounded to short for the second out. Rockies manager Buddy Bell ordered an intentional walk to Jeff Kent, which brought third baseman Russ Davis to the plate.

Davis smacked Jarvis's 1-1 curveball over the wall in in left center for a three-run homer. his tenth of the year, to give the Giants a 3-0 lead. It was Davis's tenth home run of the year. J.T. Snow followed by hitting Jarvis's 0-2 fastball just beyond the reach of Rockies right fielder Jeffrey Hammonds and over the wall for another home run, his twenty-first of the year, to extend the lead to 4-0 after a half.

The Rockies responded with two runs in the bottom of the second. First baseman Todd Helton led off by lining a double into the right field corner. Hammonds lined a single to left to put runners at the corners, but left fielder Darren Bragg struck out swinging for out number one. Catcher Brent Mayne flew to Murray in shallow left center for out number two while the runners held, and shortstop Neifi Perez walked to load the bases.

It was up to Jarvis to help his own cause, and he did so by stroking a base hit to right. Helton and Hammonds scored, and the Giants' lead was cut to 4-2. Center fielder Tom Goodwin beat out a bouncer to third for an infield single to load the bases again, but second baseman Mike Lansing lined the first pitch he saw right back at Hernandez to retire the side with the bases still loaded.

The Giants scored four more runs in the top of the third courtesy of two more home runs. Rios lined a leadoff double to center;

Bonds was next, and he smashed Jarvis's first-pitch fastball into the center field upper deck for a two-run homer, his fifty-second of the year, to extend the Giants' lead to 6-2. It was official career home run Number 865; he's now three behind all-time leader Sadaharu Oh. The ball traveled an estimated 458 feet; center field is 415 feet from home plate at Coors Field.

Kent struck out swinging for out number one, but Davis singled to center. Snow took a called third strike for the second out, but Rich Aurilia hit Jarvis's 2-0 curveball over the wall in right center for a two-run homer, It was Aurilia's twenty-first home run of the year and the Giants' fourth home run of the game.

The Rockies answered with three runs in the bottom of the third. Cirillo led off by hammering Hernandez's first pitch into the third row of seats in center for a home run, his twelfth of the year. to cut the Giants' lead to 8-3. As I mentioned earlier, center field is 415 feet from home plate at Coors Field; this ball traveled an estimated 449 feet.

Helton followed with a single to right, but Hammonds flew to Murray in shallow center for the first out. Bragg beat out a slow roller to Snow at first for an infield single, and there were two men on. Mayne was next, and his base hit to right center scored Helton to make it 8-4 while Bragg moved to third. Perez was next, and he forced Mayne for out number two while Bragg scored to make it 8-5. Terry Shumpert batted for Jarvis and lined a single up the middle to put two men on again, but Goodwin flew to Rios in right to retire the side.

In the top of the fourth with two out, Bonds hit a 2-1 fastball from Rockies reliever Gabe White over the right field wall for his second home run of the game and fifty-third of the year to extend the Giants' lead to 9-5. It was official career home run Number 866, He's now two home runs behind Oh.

The Rockies answered with a run in the bottom of the fourth. Lansing lined a leadoff single to center. Hernandez went on to give up three consecutive walks: free passes to Helton and Cirllo loaded the bases, and a walk to Hammonds on a 3-2 pitch forced Lansing home to cut the Frisco lead to 9-6. That was all for Hernandez; Joe Nathan relieved and retired the next three batters in order. Bragg was called out on strikes, Mayne flew to center, and Perez grounded to short to end the inning.

The Rox took the lead with five runs in the bottom of the sixth. Hammonds singled to center with one out, and walks to Bragg and Mayne loaded the bases. Perez was next, and he whacked a double off the wall in left, Hammonds and Bragg scored to cut the Colorado deficit to 9-8, while Mayne moved to third.

Larry Walker was called on to bat for White, and Giants manager Felipe Alou called on Felix Rodriguez to face him. Rodriguez won the battle, striking Walker out swinging on three pitches. But Goodwin beat out a bouncer to short, which allowed Mayne to score and tie the game at nine while Perez moved to third. Lansing was next, and he smacked a double over Rios' head in right. Perez and Goodwin scored, and the Rockies led 11-9 after six.

In the top of the seventh, Bonds flew to right.

The Rockies added what turned out to be a much-needed insurance run in the bottom of the seventh. Helton led off with a bloop that fell in the left center power alley for a double. Hammonds struck out swinging for out number one, but Bragg's single to left center put runners at the corners Alan Embree came in to pitch to Mayne, and he got the second out of the inning without throwing a pitch to the plate, as Bragg was thrown out trying to steal second. But Mayne stroked a base hit to right center, which cashed in Helton to extend the Colorado lead to 12-9.

The Giants made a valiant comeback in the top of the ninth. With one out, Ellis Burks batted for reliever John Johnstone and singled to left center. Marvin Benard batted for Murray and struck out swinging for out number two, and Rios came to the plate as the Giants' last hope.

He turned on a 1-1 fastball from reliever Jose Jimenez and deposited in in the left field upper deck for a two-run homer to bring the visitors within a run at 12-11. It was Rios' eleventh home run of the year and the Giants' fifth of the game. Bonds was next, and he hit a high fly ball deep to center. Goodwin raced back to the wall and made the catch with the ball less than a foot from the home run line to end the game. Our final: Rockies 12, Giants 11.

Final totals: Rockies 12-18-0, Giants 11-12-1.

S- Jimenez (25)
L- Nathan (5-3)

HR-SF: Bonds 2 (53), Aurilia (21), Rios (11). Davis (10)
COL: Cirillo (12)

DL- Hernandez (18-8)

LHR- SF: Estalella (13), Lowery

Lansing was named Player of the Game, He was three for six, scored a run, and gave the Rockies the lead for good with his two-run double in the eighth.

Bonds was two for five with two home runs and three runs batted in, He's currently batting .313 (157-501) with fifty-three home runs and 117 runs batted in.

He's scored 139 runs. As of this sentence, he's tied with Helton for second in the National League. We'll check Helton's stats in a moment.

His current on-base percentage is .444. As of this sentence, he's second in the National League, twenty-two points behind Helton.

His current slugging percentage is ..711. As of this sentence, he leads the majors by eight points over Helton,

His current OPS is 1,155. As of this sentence, he's second in the majors, fourteen points behind Helton.

Now it's bonus time. Helton scored one run in the actual game and three runs in the sim. That gives him a total of 141 runs scored; he's second in the National League, two in front of Bonds and (unofficially) ten behind the Astros' Jeff Bagwell.

His current slugging percentage is .709. He trails Bonds by two points for the major league lead.

His current on-base percentage is .467. He leads the National League by twenty-three points over Bonds and is third in the major leagues, three points behind the Blue Jays' Carlos Delgado,

His current OPS is 1.176. He leads the majors by twenty-one points over Bonds.

Next: The Giants head to Atlanta for a three-game series against the Braves at Turner Field. Game 1 is on Tuesday, May 16 and will be nationally televised by Fox, with first pitch scheduled for shortly after 8PM Eastern/5PM Pacific. Russ Ortiz will start for the Giants, while Tommy Glavine heads to the mound for the Braves. Joe Buck and Tim McCarver will be on the call.

Thoughts?
 
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It's Tuesday, May 16, 2000, and the Giants are taking on the Atlanta Braves in the first game of a three-game series at Turner Field in Atlanta. Russ Ortiz will start for the Giants, while Tommy Glavine gets the ball for the Braves. Bonds is in left field and batting third, as his replacement Terrell Lowry did in real life. The Braves won the actual game. 9-7.

Let's begin by examining Bonds' at-bats:

In the first with two out, he lined Glavine's 1-1 fastball down the left field line and over the wall for his fifty-fourth home run of the year and official career homer Number 867, He's now one home run behind all-time leader Sadaharu Oh. The Giants led 1-0.

In the third, he flew to Brian Jordan in right.

In the sixth, he flew to shallow right.

In the eighth, his fly to left center was caught at the wall by Andruw Jones.

The Braves scored both of their runs in the bottom of the eighth. With one out, Wally Joyner batted for Glavine and lined a single to right center; it was only the second Atlanta hit of the game. Second baseman Quilvio Veras singled to left to put two men on but was forced on Andruw's comebacker to Ortiz, with Joyner moving to third, Third baseman Chipper Jones was next, and he lashed a triple into the right field corner. Joyner and Andruw scored, and the Braves led 2-1. There was no further scoring,

Final totals: Braves 2-4-0, Giants 1-4-0.

Pitchers' records remain the same.

S- Rocker (25)

HR- SF: Bonds (54)

DS- Mulholland

LHR- ATL: C. Jones (35), Jordan 2 (15)

Three different players merited Player of the Game consideration. Chipper drove in the winning runs with a two-run double in the eighth. Glavine got the win; he pitched eight innings, holding the Giants to a run on four hits while walking three and striking out four. He threw 104 pitches. For the Giants, Ortiz pitched a complete game in a losing cause, giving up two runs on four hits while walking three and striking out ten. He threw 117 pitches.

Bonds was one for four with a home run. He's currently batting .313 (158-505) with fifty-four home runs and 118 runs batted in.

He's scored 140 runs, which is third in the National League, one behind the Rockies' Todd Helton for second.

His current on-base percentage is .443. He's second in the National League, twenty-three points behind Helton.

His current slugging percentage is .713. He leads the majors by four points over Helton.

His current OPS is 1.156. He's second in the majors, twenty points behind Helton.

Here's how Joe Buck called Number 867 for Fox:

"It's a sellout crowd tonight here at Turner Field, and not just because of Bonds. The Braves come into this game with a one-game lead over the Mets in the National League East, and they're also two games behind the Giants for home field advantage throughout the National League postseason. Keeping Bonds from breaking the home run record would be nice, but he can hit all the homers he wants as long as the Braves come out on top. One-one pitch is hit down the left field line, Bonilla trots over, ball still going, AND IT'S GONE! HISTORY'S JUST A SWING AWAY FOR BARRY BONDS!"

A few moments later:

The Giants lead 1-0 here in the first, and that's home run Number 867. as there you get a look at Hank Aaron, the man who Bonds surpassed for the MLB record. He's not a fan of this quest due to Bonds' alleged steroid use, and neither is Sadaharu Oh for the same reason, which is why he's back in Tokyo,

About the only fans to embrace Bonds and all that comes with him are in the shot you see now: a sold-out watch party at Pacific Bell Park in San Francisco, where they went as wild for Number 867 as they would have if it had happened in front of them. By contrast, the fans here in Atlanta either booed or sat and stared. What they'll do for the next two home runs, should they come either tonight or in the next two games, is a mystery."

Next: Game 2 between the Giants and the Braves on Wednesday, May 17. Kirk Rueter will pitch for the Giants, while Kevin Millwood starts, First pitch will again come shortly after 8PM Eastern/5PM Pacific on NBC. Bob Costas and Joe Morgan will call the action.

Thoughts?
 
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It's Wednesday, May 17, 2000, and the Giants are taking on the Braves in the second game of a three-game series at Turner Field. Kirk Rueter will start for the Giants, while Kevin Millwood gets the ball for the Braves. Bonds is in left field and will bat fifth, as his replacement Felipe Crespo did in real life. The Braves won the actual game, 5-4.

Let's begin by examining Bonds' at-bats:

In the second with the Braves leading 2-1. he snacked a leadoff double down the right field line. Right fielder Armando Rios struck out swinging for out number one, but Rich Aurilia's single to left put runners at the corners. Catcher Doug Mirabelli was next, and he lined a base hit to right center that brought Bonds home and tied the game at two. Aurilia moved to third on the hit, but Millwood struck out both Rueter and center fielder Marvin Benard swinging to end the inning.

In the third with one out and the Braves leading 3-2, J,T, Snow blooped a single to right. Jeff Kent also hit a bloop; his landed on the left field line and rolled into the corner for a double. Bonds walked to load the bases, and Rios walked on a 3-2 pitch to force in Snow and tie the game at three. Aurilia's popup was caught by Braves second baseman Quilvio Veras for the second out, but Mirabelli stroked a base hit to center that scored Kent and Bonds to put the Giants in front 5-3.

Rios moved to third on the hit and scored when Rueter lined a base hit to right center; it was now 6-3 San Francisco. That was all for Millwood; Terry Mulholland came out of the Atlanta pen and froze Benard with a slider on the outside corner for strike three to retire the side.

In the fourth with two out, Kent swatted Mulholland's 1-2 fastball over the wall in right center for his thirty-fifth home run of the year to extend the Giants' lead to 7-3. Bonds' liner was caught by Veras to end the inning.

In the seventh, Snow led off with a double to right. Mulholland got the next three outs in order: Kent's liner was caught by Furcal at short, Bonds flew to center, and Rios grounded to short.

Now for the rest of the game action:

The Giants took an early 1-0 lead with two out in the top of the first, as Snow belted Millwood's 1-0 fastball over the center field wall for his twenty-first home run of the year.

The Braves answered with two runs in the bottom of the first. With two out, Chipper Jones slapped a base hit past a diving Rueter and into center field, then stole second. First baseman Andres Galarraga walked to put two men on, and right fielder Brian Jordan lined a double into the left center power alley that scored Chipper and Galarraga to put the Braves in front 2-1.

The Giants tied the game in the top of the second, but the Braves retook the lead with a run in the bottom of the inning. With one out, Furcal lined a single to left center, then stole second. After Millwood struck out swinging for out number two, Veras singled to left center, which scored Furcal and gave the Braves a 3-2 lead. Veras stole second to keep the inning alive, but center fielder Andruw Jones grounded to Kent at second to end the inning.

The home squad trailed 7-3 when they scored their final run in the bottom of the ninth. Veras led off with a single to center against Giants reliever Alan Embree. Andruw lined another single to center to put runners at the corner, and Chipper followed with a single to left that cashed in Veras to cut the visitors' lead to 7-4.

Andruw moved to third on the hit, and Galarraga came to the plate as the tying run. Giants manager Dusty Baker called on closer Robbie Nen to face him, and Nen struck out The Big Cat swinging on a 3-2 fastball to end the game. Final score: Giants 7, Braves 4.

Final totals: Giants 7-10-0, Braves 4-12-0,

W- Rueter (12-8)
S- Nen (41)
L- Millwood (9-14)

HR- SF: Kent (34), Snow (21)

Note: Kent also hit a home run in the actual game.

DS- Seanez (1)

LHR- ATL: Bonilla (4)

Mirabelli was named Player of the Game. He was two for four with three runs batted in.

Bonds was one for three plus a walk and two runs scored, He's currently batting .313 (159-508) with fifty-four home runs and 118 runs batted in,

He has thirty-three doubles.

He's scored 141 runs, which ties him for second in the National League with the Rockies' Todd Helton. The Astros' Jeff Bagwell has the unofficial league lead with 151.

He's walked 121 times, which is good for third in the majors, two behind the Blue Jays' Carlos Delgado for second.

His current on-base percentage is .443. He's second in the National League twenty-three points behind Helton.

His current slugging percentage is ,713. He leads the majors by four points over Helton.

His current OPS is 1.156. He's second in the majors, twenty points behind Helton.

Here are the updated standings in the National League West:

Giants: 97-65
Dodgers: 86-76- 11 GB
Diamondbacks: 85-77- 12 GB
Rockies: 83-79- 14 GB
Padres: 76-86- 21 GB

In the East:

(tie) Braves: 94-68
(tie) New York Mets: 94-68
Florida Marlins: 79-82- 14.5 GB
Montreal Expos: 67- 95- 27 GB
-Philadelphia Phillies: 65-97- 29 GB

Next: Game 3 between the Giants and the Braves on Thursday, May 18 at Turner Field. Shawn Estes will pitch for the Giants, while Greg Maddux goes to the mound for the Braves. This game has been switched from afternoon to evening so that it can be simulcast by ABC and ESPN. First pitch is now scheduled for shortly after 8PM Eastern/5PM Pacific, with Jon Miller and Joe Morgan on the call.

Thoughts?
 
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It's Thursday, May 18, 2000, and the Giants are facing the Braves in the third and final game of a three-game series at Turner Field. Shawn Estes will start for the Giants, while Greg Maddux gets the ball for the Braves. Bonds is in left field and will bat fifth, as his replacement Felipe Crespo did in real life. The Braves won the actual game, 3-2.

Let's begin by examining Bonds' at-bats:

In the first with one out, center fielder Marvin Benard hit a bouncer to short that was muffed by the Braves' Rafael Furcal, allowing Benard to reach. Jeff Kent's lined single to left put runners at the corners, and J.T. Snow lined a base hit to center that cashed in Benard and gave the Boys from the Bay a 1-0 lead. Kent moved to third on the hit, and a walk to Bonds loaded the bases. Armando Rios was next, and he lined a base hit up the middle that scored Kent and Snow to extend the Giants' lead to 3-0.

Bonds moved to third on the hit, but both runners were stranded when Rich Aurilia popped to Furcal at short and catcher Bobby Estalella's foul ball was caught by Braves' first baseman Andres Galarraga to end the inning.

In the third with the Giants leading 3-1, Snow lashed a leadoff double into the right center power alley. Bonds grounded to short for the first out while Snow stayed at second, and Rios struck out swinging for out number two. Aurilia was next, and his base hit to right center scored Snow to extend the Giants' lead to 4-1 after two and a half.

In the fifth, Bonds struck out swinging.

In the seventh, third baseman Bill Mueller led off with a base hit to left center. After Benard struck out swinging for out number one, Kent stroked a single to left that moved Mueller to third. Snow flew to Andruw Jones in shallow center for the second out, and Bonds popped to Chipper Jones at third to end the inning with runners still at the corners.

In the ninth, Bonds struck out swinging.

Now let's look at the rest of the game action:

The Braves scored their first run in the bottom of the third after the visitors built a 3-0 lead. Second baseman Quilvio Veras led off with a single to left. Andruw's fly ball down the left field line was caught by Bonds for the first out. Veras stole second, then came home on Chipper's lined single to right to cut the Giants' lead to 3-1. Chipper stole second, then moved to third on Galarraga's bouncer to second. A base hit from right fielder Brian Jordan would have brought him home, but his fly to shallow left center was caught by Benard to retire the side.

It was 4-1 Giants when the Braves scored again in the bottom of the third. With one out, Andruw stroked a single to left. Chipper walked to put two men on, and Galarraga lined a base hit to center that scored Andruw to cut the Atlanta deficit to 4-2. Jordan forced Galarraga, which allowed Chipper to move to third, but left fielder Bobby Bonilla struck out swinging to end the inning.

The Braves tallied again in the bottom of the fourth. Furcal drew a leadoff walk. Estes got the next two outs, as catcher Fernando Luna struck out swinging and Maddux's popup was caught by Estalella behind home plate. Veras walked to keep the inning alive, and Andruw lined a base hit to right center that brought home Furcal to make it a 4-3 game. Veras moved to third on the hit, and the stage was set for Chipper, who hit a fly ball to deep right center that was caught by Benard on the warning track to end the inning.

The home squad took the lead with a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh. Veras lined a leadoff double off the wall in left. Andruw walked to put two men on, and Chipper singled to left to score Veras and tie the game at four.

Estes' evening was finished, and Felix Rodriguez came in to face Galarraga, who struck out swinging. Rodriguez also struck Jordan out swinging, but Bonilla gave the Braves a 5-4 lead when his single to right center scored Andruw. Chipper moved to third on the hit, and a walk to Furcal loaded the bases. With Maddux, who always preferred pitching to the backup catcher, coming out of the game, Braves manager Bobby Cox sent Javy Lopez up to bat for Lunar, but his fly to shallow left center was caught by Benard to retire the side with the bases still loaded.

The Giants retook the lead with two runs in the top of the eighth. With one out, Aurilia singled to center. Estalella followed with a bouncer to short; the ball bounced off of Furcal's foot and rolled away, and Rafael was charged with his second error of the night, which allowed Estalella to reach. Eilis Burks batted for Rodriguez and flew to left for out number two, but Mueller lined Braves reliever Mike Remlinger's first pitch into the left center power alley for a double. Aurilia and Estalella scored, and the Giants led 6-5.

Walks to Benard and Kent loaded the bases, and Kerry Lightenberg was summoned from the Atlanta pen to face Snow, whose grounder to Veras at second ended the inning,

The Giants carried their lead into the bottom of the ninth, and closer Robbie Nen was called on to slam the door on the Braves once and for all. Chipper led off with a base hit to right center, but Galarraga's popup was caught by Mueller for out number one. Jordan walked on five pitches to put the winning run on base, and now Cox had a decision to make: Did he keep Bonilla, who had knocked in an important run earlier but whose power had faded by this point in his career, in the game? Or did he pinch hit with Reggie Sanders, who was battling injuries but was more likely to provide a potential game-winning hit?

Cox stuck with Bobby Bo, and his faith was rewarded when Bobby tomahawked (pun intended) Nen's 1-1 fastball into the second row of seats in right center for a game-winning three-run homer, his fifth round-tripper of the year. The ball traveled an estimated 425 feet; right center field is 399 feet from home plate at Turner Field. Our final: Braves 8, Giants 6.

Final totals: Braves 8-10-1, Giants 6-10-2.

W- Chen (5-0)
L- Nen (4-4)

HR- ATL: Bonilla (5)

DW- Maddux (18-9)
DS- Rocker (24)
DL- Estes (14-5)

LHR- SF: Kent (33)

Bonilla's game-winning homer earned him Player of the Game honors.

Bonds was hitless in four at-bats plus a walk. He's currently batting .311 (159-512) with fifty-four home runs and 118 runs batted in.

He's walked 122 times, which is good for third in the majors, one behind Carlos Delgado of the Blue Jays for second.

His current on-base percentage is .441. He's second in the National League, twenty-five points behind the Rockies' Todd Helton.

His current slugging percentage is .707. He's second in the majors, two points behind Helton,

His current OPS is 1.148, He's second in the National League, twenty-eight points behind Helton, and third in the majors, six points behind the Indians' Manny Ramirez for second.

Next: The Giants head to County Stadium in Milwaukee to take on the Brewers on Sunday, May 21, Russ Ortiz will start for the Giants, while John Snyder goes to the hill for the Brewers. The game will be simulcast on ESPN and ABC, with Jon Miller and Joe Morgan on the call. First pitch has been moved to shortly after 8PM Eastern/5PM Pacific to accommodate Sunday Night Baseball.

Thoughts?
 
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It's Sunday, May 21, 2000, and the Giants are facing the Milwaukee Brewers in the third and final game of a three-game series at County Stadium in Milwaukee. Russ Ortiz will start for the Giants, while John Snyder gets the ball for the Brewers. Bonds is in left field and will bat fifth, as his replacement Terrell Lowery did in real life. The Giants won the actual game, 16-10.

Let's begin by examining Bonds' at-bats:

In the second, he drew a leadoff walk, Armando Rios' fly ball was caught by the Brewers' Jeromy Burnitz in shallow right, and catcher Bobby Estalella hit into a 6-4-3 inning-ending double play.

In the fourth with one out and the Brewers leading 2-0, Jeff Kent singled to left center and moved to second when Snyder threw a pickoff attempt away. J,T, Snow's lined single to right brought Kent home and cut the Milwaukee lead to 2-1. Bonds lined a single to right that put runners at the corners, but he was forced by Rios for the first out of the inning. Snow scored on the play, and the game was tied at two,

Estalella's base hit to left put two on, and Rich Aurillia's bloop found friendly grass in short left center for another single, Rios scored, Estalella moved to third, and the Giants took a 3-2 lead. Ortiz was next, and he hit a fly ball to deep right center that chased Brewers center fielder Marquis Grissom back to the wall before he made the catch to end the inning with runners still at the corners.

In the fifth with one out, Mueller walked. Grissom made a diving catch of Kent's fly to right center for out number two, but Snow walked to put two men on and bring Bonds to the plate. Snyder struck him out swinging to end the inning.

In the eighth, Kent led off with a single to left center. Snow's bloop single to left put two men one, and Kent moved to third on Bonds' fly ball to right. A walk to Rios loaded the bases, and David Weathers came in from the Brewers' pen to face Estalella, whose liner was caught by first baseman Kevin Barker as the runners held. Aurilia followed with a fly to deep left, but Mouton caught it on the warning track to end the inning and leave the bases loaded.

In the tenth, Bonds hit a fly ball to center that was initially caught by Grissom, then fell out of his glove. Bonds reached safely, and Grissom was charged with an error. Rios struck out swinging for out number one, and Estalella forced Bonds for the second out. Aurilia's fly to deep center was caught by Grissom to retire the side.

In the twelfth, Kent led off with a single to right. Snow's fly to shallow right was caught by a galloping Burnitz just before it hit the ground for out number one. Bonds flew to shallow right center for the second out, and Rios' fly to left center was caught by Grissom on the warning track to end the inning.

Now let's see how the Brewers scored their runs:

They jumped out to an early lead with two runs in the bottom of the first. Shortstop Mark Loretta walked with one out. Burnitz struck out swinging for out number two, but Ortiz threw a wild pitch that moved Loretta to second. Mouton was next, and he hit a fly ball to right that dropped on the warning track and hopped over the wall for a book-rule double that scored Loretta and gave the Brewers a 1-0 lead. Third baseman Jose Hernandez was next, and his single to center brought Mouton home to make it 2-0 Milwaukee. Hernandez stole second, but Grissom's grounder to short ended the inning.

The Giants led 3-2 as we moved to the bottom of the sixth. Burnitz led off by hitting Ortiz's1-0 fastball over the center field wall for a home run to tie the game at three. It was Burnitz's thirty-second homer of the year.

The game was still tied at three as the Brewers came to bat in the bottom of the thirteenth. With one out, Barker walked against new Giants reliever Doug Henry. Catcher Henry Blanco lined a base hit to center; new Giants center fielder Marvin Benard unleashed a strong throw to third, but Barker slid in safely. Charlie Hayes batted for reliever Valerio de Los Santos and walked on five pitches to load the bases.

Belliard was next, and Henry threw two quick strikes. Belliard battled back to even the count, then was awarded ball three on a check swing. After four straight foul balls, the 3-2 pitch was in the dirt for ball four, and Barker scored to with the game for the Brewers. Final score in thirteen: Brewers 3, Giants 2, The game took four hours and thirty-four minutes to play.

Final totals: Brewers 4-7-2, Giants 3-10-2.

W- de Los Santos (3-3)
L- Henry (3-2)

HR- MIL: Burnitz (32)

DW- Ortiz (13-12)
DL- Ramirez

LHR- MIL: Hernandez (10), Loretta (6)

Belliard's game-ending walk earned him Player of the Game honors. Honorable mention goes to Kent, who was four for five plus a walk in a losing cause.

Bonds was one for five plus a walk. He's currently batting .309 (160-517) with fifty-four home runs and 118 runs batted in.

He's walked 123 times. which ties him with the Blue Jays' Carlos Delgado for second in the majors.

His current on-base percentage is .440. He's second in the National League, twenty-six points behind the Rockies' Todd Helton.

His current slugging percentage is .702. He's second in the majors, seven points behind Helton.

His current OPS is 1.142. He's second in the National League, thirty-four points behind Helton, and third in the majors, twelve points behind the Indians' Manny Ramirez for second.

Here are the current standings in the National League West:

Giants: 96-66
Dodgers: 86-76- 10 GB
Diamondbacks: 85-77- 11 GB
Rockies: 83-79- 13 GB
Padres: 76-86- 20 GB

In the Central:

St. Louis Cardinals: 95-67
Cincinnati Reds: 85-77- 10 GB
Brewers: 74-88- 21 GB
Houston Astros: 72-90- 23 GB
Pittsburgh Pirates: 69-93- 26 GB
Chicago Cubs: 65-97- 30 GB

Next: The Giants host the Dodgers on Sunday, July 2 at Pacific Bell Park. Eric Gagne will start for the Dodgers, while Shawn Estes goes to the mound for the Giants. First pitch has been moved to shortly after 8PM Eastern/5PM Pacific to accommodate Sunday Night Baseball, which will be an ESPN/ABC simulcast. Jon Miller and Joe Morgan will call the action.

Thoughts?
 
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I'm going to skip over the July 2 game for the moment and do the Fourth of July doubleheader between the Rockies and the Giants at Pacific Bell Park,

In Game 1, Masato Yoshii will start for the Rockies, while Livan Hernandez gets the ball for the Giants, Bonds is in left field and will bat third, as his replacement Felipe Crespo did in real life. The Giants won the actual game, 4-1. Both games will be televised nationally on ESPN and ABC, with Jon Miller and Joe Morgan on the call.

Let's begin by examining Bonds' at-bats:

In the first, he took a called third strike.

In the fourth, he hit a popup to the screen behind home plate. Rockies catcher Brent Mayne made the catch in foul territory.

In the sixth, center fielder Marvin Benard led off with a single to left center. He moved to second on third baseman Bill Mueller's bouncer to his Rockies counterpart Jeff Cirillo, but Bonds' line drive was speared by Rockies first baseman Todd Helton for the second out, and Jeff Kent's grounder to third ended the inning.

In the eighth with one out, Mueller walked. Bonds' popup was caught by Helton in foul territory for out number two, but Kent's grounder to short was muffed by the Rockies' Neifi Perez, allowing Kent to reach; Perez was charged with an error. Two men were on for J.T. Snow, who hit another grounder to short. Perez fielded this one cleanly and threw to Helton at first for the out that ended the inning.

Now let's check out the rest of the game action:

The Rockies jumped on top with two runs in the top of the first. Center fielder Tom Goodwin led off by beating out a bouncer to short for an infield single. Second baseman Mike Lansing's popup was caught by Snow for out number one. Goodwin stole second and moved to third on left fielder Larry Walker's fly ball to Armando Rios in right. Cirillo's base hit to left cashed in Goodwin to give the Rox a 1-0 lead, and Helton followed with a double down the right field line. Cirillo scored, and the visitors had a 2-0 lead.

The Rox added a run in the top of the second. Mayne led off with a bloop single to right, and Perez's base hit up the middle moved him to second. Yoshii bunted the runners over, but Goodwin's fly to shallow right was caught by Rios for the second out as the runners held. Lansing followed with a two-hopper to short; Kent couldn't find the handle and was charged with an error, while Mayne scored to extend the Rockies' lead to 3-0. Perez ended up at third on the play, and Walker hit a high fly ball to center that looked like a home run off the bat. It was held up at the wall, though. and Benard made the catch to end the inning with runners still at the corners.

The Rockies added to their lead again in the top of the third. With one out, Helton smacked Hernandez's 1-1 fastball over the right field wall for his forty-fourth home run of the year to give the Rockies a 4-0 lead. The ball bounced into McCovey Cove.

The Giants scored their only run of the game with one out in the bottom of the third, as catcher Bobby Estalella golfed Yoshii's 2-1 slider over the left field wall for his fourteenth home run of the year to cut the Colorado lead to 4-1.

The Rockies wrapped up the scoring in the top of the fourth. Goodwin led off with a fly ball over Rios' head in right that went for a triple and scored on Lansing's fly to deep right center that was caught by Benard in the power alley. Our final: Rockies 5, Giants 1,

Final totals: Rockies 5-12-1, Giants 1-3-1.

W- Yoshii (7-14)
L- Hernandez (17-9)

HR- COL: Helton (44)
SF: Estalella (14)

DS- Nen (40)

Yoshii was named Player of the Game. He pitched eight innings, holding the Giants to one run on three hits while walking four and striking out two, He threw 105 pitches,

Bonds was hitless in four at-bats. He's currently batting .307 (160-521) with fifty-four home runs and 118 runs batted in.

His current on-base percentage is .437. As of this sentence, he's second in the National League, twenty-nine points behind Helton. We'll look at Helton's stats in a moment.

His current slugging percentage is .697. As of this sentence, he's second in the majors, twelve points behind Helton.

His current OPS is 1.134. As of this sentence, he's second in the National League, twenty-eight points behind Helton,

I forgot to record any of Helton's stats the last time the Giants played the Rockies. I managed to calculate his percentages while the sim from that game was still on my computer, but that doesn't help me now.

From what I can piece together, Helton was at three for three plus a walk on May 14, which gives him a batting average of .354 (183-516). It's probably a few points too high, but it's what we'll go with for our purposes.

I'm going to use the next few lines to document hit by hit the differences between Helton's performances in real life and the sims so I have it for future reference. Feel free to skip if you wish.

May 6: 1-4 real life (double), 2-4 sim (single, home run)

May 14: 2-4 real life (single, double), 3-3 partial sim (single, two doubles) plus walk

July 4 (1st game): 1-4 real life (single), 2-5 sim (double, home run)

Our next step is to recalculate his batting average. He had an extra at-bat in the sim, and he got a hit. This raises his batting average to .356, which again is probably too high, since Helton undoubtedly made a few outs on May 14 that I didn't record.

Now let's try slugging percentage. The first step is to subtract the real-life hits, which are two doubles and two singles. This leaves him with 111 singles and fifty-seven doubles. When we add in the hits from the sim. we have two singles, three doubles, and two home runs. That means we add a double and two home runs to his real-life totals (sixty doubles, forty-four home runs). That leaves him with a slugging percentage of .803, 106 points better than Bonds. (It's in the seven-nineties even when I add an out or two, so it's not far off. )

His on-base percentage is .460, He leads the National League by twenty-eight points over Bonds.

His OPS is 1.263, which is probably a good bit too high. If we take it as truth, he leads Bonds by 129 points.

Here are the updated standings in the National League West:

Giants: 95-67
Dodgers: 86-76- 9 GB
Diamondbacks: 85-77- 10 GB
Rockies: 84-78- 11 GB
Padres: 76-86- 19 GB

Next: Game 2 of the doubleheader. Brian Bohanon will start for the Rockies, while Mark Gardner gets the ball for the Giants.

Thoughts?
 
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Now here's Game 2 of the July 4, 2000 doubleheader between the Rockies and the Giants at Pacific Bell Park. Brian Bohanon will start for the Rockies, while Mark Gardner gets the ball for the Giants. Bonds is in left field and will bat second, as his replacement Marvin Benard did in real life. The Giants won the actual game, 3-0.

Let's examine Bonds' at-bats first:

In the first, his fly ball to center was caught at the wall by the Rockies' Brian Hunter.

In the third with the Rockies leading 1-0, center fielder Calvin Murray singled to right center. Bonds struck out swinging for out number one, but right fielder Ellis Burks and second Jeff Kent drew back-to-back walks to load the bases. Third baseman Russ Davis struck out swinging for the second out. but Bohanon walked J.T. Snow on a 3-2 pitch to force in Murray and tie the game at one. Shortstop Ramon Martinez was next, and his line drive was speared by his Rockies counterpart Neifi Perez to retire the side.

In the fourth, catcher Doug Mirabelli led off with a single to left. Gardner bunted him over to second, and he moved to third on Murray's grounder to first. Bonds was next, and he struck out swinging to end the inning.

In the sixth with one out, Murray lined a double off the left field wall. He moved to third on Bonds' slow roller to Helton at first. Burks' liner was gloved by Perez to end the inning.

In the eighth, Bonds struck out swinging for the third time in the game.

In the ninth with one out and the Rockies leading 8-4, Kent walked against Rockies reliever Stan Belinda. Davis' popup was caught halfway between home and first by Rockies catcher Scott Servais for out number two, but Snow kept the inning alive with a single to right center, which moved Kent to third. Jose Jimenez relieved Belinda, and Rich Aurilia batted for Martinez and stroked a base hit to right center, which scored Kent to cut the Rockies' lead to 8-5. Snow moved to third on the hit and scored on Mirabelli's base hit up the middle to make it 8-6 while Aurilia moved to third.

Next off the bench was Felipe Crespo, batting for reliever Joe Nathan. He lined a base hit to center that cashed in Aurilia, and the Rox' lead was down to 8-7. Murray was next, and he smacked the first pitch he saw past Jimenez and into center field for the Giants' fifth consecutive hit. Mirabelli scored to tie the game at eight while Crespo slid in safely at third. Bonds was next with runners still at the corners, but his bad luck continued, as his line drive was gloved by Helton to retire the side,

In the eleventh with one out against reliever Scott Karl (who started this game in real life), Murray walked. Bonds struck out swinging for the fourth time, but Burks served a bloop over the head of Rockies second baseman Terry Shumpert and into center field for a base hit. Murray slid in at third ahead of Hunter's throw, and Kent stepped to the plate. The game was over two-pitches later, as Kent hit Karl's 1-0 curveball over the left field wall for a game-winning three-run homer, his thirty-fourth of the year. Our final in eleven: Giants 11, Rockies 8.

Now let's look at the rest of the game action:

The Rockies scored first in the top of the third with one out when Shumpert hit Gardner's first pitch over the wall in left for a home run, his tenth of the year, to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.

The Giants broke a 1-1 tie with a run in the bottom of the fifth. Burks drew a leadoff walk against Rockies reliever Brian Rose and moved to second on Kent's grounder to first. Davis bounced to Perez at short for out number two, but Snow lined a single to right that scored Burks and gave the Giants a 2-1 lead. Snow moved to third om Martinez's single to left center, but Mirabelli's fly ball to center ended the inning with runners still at the corners.

The Rockies took the lead with three runs in the top of the sixth. Right fielder Jeffrey Hammonds led off with a bloop single to left, and Helton walked to put two men on. Third baseman Jeff Cirillo's fly to left was caught by Bonds for the first out, with Hammonds moving to third. Perez beat out a bouncer to second for an infield single, which allowed Hammonds to score and tie the game at two, Servais was called out on strikes for the second out, and Tom Goodwin came up to bat for Rose. His fly ball to right center landed in the power alley for a double. Helton and Perez scored, and the Rockies led 4-2 after five and a half.

The visitors added their fifth run in the top of the seventh. Shumpert chopped a ball high over the mound for a leadoff infield single, then stole second. He moved to third on left fielder Larry Walker's bouncer to second. Hammonds grounded to third for out number two while Shumpert stayed put, and Helton was intentionally walked to bring Cirillo to the plate. Jeff lined a single to center, which scored Shumpert to give the Rox a 5-2 lead. Perez lined a single to right which loaded the bases, and Alan Embree came out of the Frisco pen to relieve Felix Rodriguez. Embree needed only three pitches to end the inning with the bases still loaded, as Servais struck out swinging.

The Giants came back with a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh. Davis singled to center with one out. Snow struck out swinging for out number two, but Martinez smacked a 2-1 fastball from Rockies reliever Mike DeJean over the center field wall for a two-run homer to cut the Rockies' lead to 5-4. It was Martinez's seventh home run of the year.

The Rockies added to their lead with three runs in the top of the ninth. New Giants pitcher John Johnstone hit Walker on the side of the knee with a pitch. Hammonds' base hit to left center put two men on, and Helton lined a double off the wall in left center to score both Walker and Hammonds, extending the Colorado lead to 7-4. Cirlllo closed out the scoring for the visitors by lining a double to left that cashed in Helton and made it 8-4.

Final totals: Giants 11-16-0, Rockies 8-15-0.

W- Fultz (6-2)

HR- COL: Shumpert (10)
SF: Kent (34), Martinez (7)

DW- Gardner (10-7)
DS- Nen (39)

LHR- SF: Snow (20)

Kent's game-winning three-run homer earned him Player of the Game honors.

Bonds was hitless in seven at-bats. He's currently batting .303 (160-528) with fifty-four home runs and 118 runs batted in.

His current on-base percentage is .433.

His current slugging percentage is .688.

He has sixty-nine singles.

His current OPS is 1.121.

Now let's completely redo Helton's numbers. I grossly miscalculated his number of at-bats; he finished the actual 2000 season with 580, not 517.

First, let's try batting average. Over his first three simulated games against the Giants, he added three hits while maintaining (unofficially) the same number of at-bats. That gave him an unofficial batting average of .378 (219-580). In this game. he was one for four in real life and three for four in the sim. We add two more hits and maintain the same number of at-bats to come up with an unofficial batting average of .381 (221-580).

Now for on-base percentage. In his first three simulated games against the Giants, the only thing that he added to his total was a walk on May 14; he came into this game with a percentage of .469. He walked twice in this game to give himself an on-base percentage of .470, which leads Bonds by thirty-seven points.

Next, we have slugging percentage. He came into this game with a slugging percentage of .716 (113 singles, sixty doubles, two triples, forty-four home runs) He had a single in the actual game, and we add another single and a double from the sim (115 singles, sixty-one doubles, two triples, forty-four home runs) to arrive at a slugging percentage of .722, which leads Bonds by thirty-four points.

His OPS is 1.192, which leads Bonds by seventy-one points.

This means that Bonds is now third in on-base percentage in the National League, one point behind the Dodgers' Gary Sheffield. He's still second to Helton in sugging percentage and OPS.

Helton scored once in the first game and twice in the second game. He now has 144 runs, which is second in the National League, seven behind the Astros' Jeff Bagwell.

Next: Game 3 between the Rockies and the Giants on Wednesday, July 5. First pitch has been moved to 8PM Eastern/5PM Pacifiic to accommodate a prime time simulcast by ESPN and ABC, with Jon Miller and Joe Morgan on the call. Pedro Astacio will pitch for the Rockies, while Kirk Rueter goes to the mound for the Giants,

Thoughts?
 
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