Triple Play Helps Schilling Finish Win Over Giants The Phils' Ace Notched His 13th Complete Game. Barry Bonds Homered Twice For The Losers.

Posted: August 31, 1998

SAN FRANCISCO — Given the minuscule run support he received much of the first part of the season, it's safe to say Curt Schilling has been one of the more unfortunate pitchers in baseball this year.

Yesterday, however, Schilling received a healthy dose of good fortune in racking up his major-league-leading 13th complete game in a tense 5-4 win over the San Francisco Giants at 3Com Park.

Leading by 5-1, Schilling was ambushed for three runs - one of them coming on annoying Barry Bonds' second home run of the game - in the bottom of the seventh inning.

With his lead down to a run, Schilling continued to hemorrhage in the eighth as the first two Giants reached base.

In the Phillies' dugout, hearts were beginning to race and blood pressures were beginning to rise.

Up came Jeff Kent, the Giants' cleanup man, a 24-homer guy capable of ruining the Phillies' day with one swing.

But with that one swing, Kent made the Phillies' day.

Kent lined a 2-0 fastball right at shortstop Alex Arias, who started the 27th triple play in Phillies history. Arias caught Kent's swirling line drive for the first out. He flipped to second baseman Mark Lewis to force out Rich Aurilia. Lewis then threw to first to erase Bonds, who stood frozen 15 feet off the bag.

``That was a huge play,'' said Schilling, who saw his record climb to 13-12. ``It was the turning point in the game. Sometimes you luck into things like that.''

Schilling was on the mound the last time the Phillies turned a triple play - Sept. 20, 1992, against the Pirates. Jeff King lined a ball to Mickey Morandini and the Phils' second baseman turned the trifecta unassisted. The runner on first base was Bonds.

Arias had also been involved in a triple play before. He hit into one against the Reds when he was with the Marlins.

``It was embarrassing,'' recalled Arias, who started at shortstop in place of slumping Desi Relaford and made several important plays.

Arias didn't pick up Kent's liner until the last split-second. That's because the ball was heading right for Aurilia's head. When Arias did draw a bead on the ball, it hit the heel of his glove and he bobbled it for an instant, causing Bonds to freeze.

As the triple play was being turned, Arias said he was ``kind of in a daze. I just stood there. Normally, you get two on a play like that, not three. It was just one of those things that goes your way.''

Schilling wasn't particularly thrilled with the way he pitched - seven hits, two walks, five strikeouts.

``But I'm ecstatic we got the win,'' he said.

The win was the Phils' second against the Giants in three days. It came in front of 36,920 people and, believe it or not, 705 dogs. Only in San Francisco.

The Phils and the Giants play again tonight and it ought to be interesting to see how the two teams behave. Some of the ill will that first started in that Aug. 2 brawl between the two clubs popped up again yesterday.

Bonds, the player who angered the Phillies by stealing second base in a blowout on Aug. 2, hit his first homer of the game in the fourth inning and took his usual slow trot around the bases.

In the seventh, Bonds started the Giants' three-run rally with another solo homer. This time, he admired the ball as it sailed into the right-field seats. This didn't seem to sit well with Schilling, who twice craned his neck to watch Bonds trot around the bases.

As Bonds circled the bases, Schilling summoned catcher Bobby Estalella for a chat. Then, as Bonds, crossed the plate, Estalella said something to him. Bonds looked back, but did nothing more.

When Bonds came to bat in the eighth, he said something to Estalella.

``He mumbled something,'' Estalella said. ``I asked him what he said and he mumbled something again. I didn't hear what he said.

``It's one thing to hit a home run and take your time getting around the bases. But standing there, watching it . . ''

Schilling wouldn't comment on the matter.

Bonds completely dismissed Estalella, saying, ``Young kids, man.''

comments powered by Disqus