- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 4, 2001

HOUSTON In the past week, Brett Jodie bounced ball four to Barry Bonds, Brian Tollberg worked way around him and Shane Reynolds and Jose Nunez just hit the Giants star in the arm.
All of a sudden, everyone facing Bonds is taking the same approach:
"Not me."
Bonds might be on deck for home run history, but that doesn't mean any pitcher is eager to join him. Especially if it means going in right alongside names such as Al Downing, Steve Trachsel and Tracy Stallard.
"I didn't want to be in the record books, to be honest," Tollberg admitted.
Bonds made it to 69 home runs this weekend against San Diego, not that Tollberg, Jodie or Nunez did anything to help.
Needing one more homer to tie Mark McGwire's record, Bonds never really had a chance Tuesday night in Houston, either. That left Bonds with five games to play.
Reynolds, one of the best control pitchers in the majors, hit Bonds with a pitch and walked him twice. He also threw a changeup low and away that Bonds grounded for a single.
"You can't do anything if you're not pitched to," Bonds said.
Last night, Bonds struck out in his first at-bat, and walked in his next three plate apperances once intentionally to reach 172 on the season, breaking Babe Ruth's record total of 170, set in 1923.
On Tuesday, a record Eron Field crowd of 43,548 booed Reynolds when he walked Bonds, not that he cared with Houston in a race for the NL Central title.
"I didn't pay any attention to that," he said. "You don't hear things like that in situations when you're trying to do a job.
"Some people wanted to see a home run so they could catch it. We are trying to win the game. I think the real fans will understand that."
Bonds, whose San Francisco Giants are trying to overtake Arizona for the NL West championship in the final week, got his only opportunity Tuesday in the ninth inning against Astros closer Billy Wagner. After taking a pair of 98-mph fastballs for balls, Bonds fouled off a pitch before grounding out.
"You can't be stupid and just throw fastballs down the middle," Wagner said. "If it comes to a situation where I need to walk him, I'll do that. If we've got a good lead, I might go at him."
Well, perhaps.
"The one thing I've maintained all along when we've played them in the last two weeks is that Barry whether he has 69 home runs or 40 home runs is going to get pitched around," Houston catcher Brad Ausmus said.
Trachsel seemed to wish he'd done that in 1998. Pitching for the Chicago Cubs, he served up No. 62 to McGwire, which broke Roger Maris' record that had stood for 37 years and set off a wild celebration at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.
"There's nothing cool about it," Trachsel said that night. "There was no joy involved in it for me, seeing his reactions and all that type of thing."
Downing was all alone on the mound after giving up Hank Aaron's 715th homer, which broke Ruth's career mark. Tracy Stallard made it into the wrong end of the record book when he served up Maris' 61st home run.
Less than an hour after the Giants beat the Astros 4-1 Tuesday night, the scoreboard operators at Enron Field were hard at work. They were testing the display that will be shown on the 131-by-35-foot screen if Bonds hits Nos. 70 and 71.
Tim Redding will pitch for Houston on Wednesday night. In his last start, the rookie gave up three straight home runs to Sammy Sosa.
"If it gets late in the game and we're ahead and he hasn't done much, I might not be so picky," Redding said. "But in tight situations, I'm going to make him hit my pitch and try not to give him anything easy to hit."

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