10/01/2003 1:53 AM ET
Giles OK after 'another' collision
ATLANTA -- Marcus Giles is taking the notion of being in the center of the action far too seriously. In Tuesday night's opener of the National League Division Series between the Braves and the Cubs, Giles homered, made a heads-up defensive play ... and suffered an injury in a freak collision at first base.
By Matthew Leach / MLB.com
It was unfortunately just another injury against Chicago for the third-year player, who earlier this year was injured in a collision with Cubs pitcher Mark Prior. This time, Giles suffered a bruise in his left quadriceps. He hopes to be able to play Wednesday.
"It's a deep bruise I guess," Giles said after the Braves' 4-2 loss. "When I was going to first, [Cubs first baseman Eric Karros] picked it and he came around with his elbow. Freak accident. Again.
"I'm day-to-day right now. I'm definitely shooting for [Wednesday]. I'm gonna do anything I can to get in there. But we'll just have to see in the morning how it reacts."
Giles left the game after the collision, bringing a premature end to a night when he was one of the best players on the field.
He walked in the first inning, giving Atlanta its first baserunner. In the third inning, he delivered the Braves' first hit in grand fashion, smoking a homer over the left-field wall to give Atlanta a 1-0 lead. It was one of the very few times that the Braves even made Wood sweat.
"I was looking outer half and just reacted on it," Giles said. "I'm usually not very good at doing that, getting that inside pitch like that. A blind squirrel finds an acorn, you know?"
He was, it should be noted, in surprisingly good spirits considering how the night went: an injury and a defeat.
It's probably because he got to have some fun on the field. In particular, he made a keen play on a strange hop in the fourth inning. With the bases loaded and one out, Chicago's Paul Bako grounded to Robert Fick at first. But Fick couldn't make a play on the ball, and it squirted away.
Giles swooped in and fired to pitcher Russ Ortiz covering first for your ordinary, everyday, 3-4-1 putout. One runner scored, but Ortiz still had a chance to get out of the inning.
"I'm already heading over that way," he said. "As a defensive player, you just kind of follow the ball. That's how you play. You just follow the ball. And I'm always just kind of roaming around there for that reason exactly. Ficky had a tough play. He had an in-between hop and a backhand, so what do you do?"
Fick appreciated being bailed out.
"I was just thinking throw it to second, and it just popped out of my glove," Fick said. "I don't really know what happened. Luckily, Giles was there to pick me up."
Now they just have to hope he's there again Wednesday.
"After it happened," he said of the collision, "I was like, geez, two freak accidents in a year, and both of them with the Cubs. It's just a coincidence. I'll try to be in there tomorrow."
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to approval by Major League Baseball or its clubs.