September 20 - Top 5 Moments in San Francisco Giants History

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

What is this all about?


Here are the top 5 September 20 moments in San Francisco Giants history.

1965 at Cincinnati, 2 weeks ago we were in second place but then ripped off 14 straight and now have a 3.5 game lead with a dozen left.  We open up a series at Crosley, it's scoreless in the 5th, a Jim Maloney wild pitch scores Jim Ray Hart with the game's first run, we win it 4-0, the hero is Masanori Murakami, who gets a 4 inning save. Murakami, of course, is the first Japanese native to play in MLB, he pitched in 54 big league games, all with us, in '64 and '65. He was fine, had a 106 ERA+ 89 innings.  He was just 21 in '65 but it was his last year in the bigs due to a contractual issue with his Japanese club.  We move 4 up on the second place Dodgers with 11 to play.

1969 home vs. Dodgers, we were 3.5 out a month ago but now have a half game lead in the West with 11 to go - it's a Saturday afternoon at the Stick, Juan Marichal throws a complete game, we're up 5-4 but the Dodgers have 2 on and 2 out in the 8th - longtime Giant Tom Haller at the plate - Marichal gets him to pop to short to end the inning.  We win 5-4 and maintain a half game lead with 10 remaining. Marichal had 244 career complete games, in '69 he had 27 and 8 of those were shutouts.

1989 home vs. Dodgers, we've got a 5 game lead with 11 to go, how about a walk off win against the Dodgers, we're down 7-3 coming into the bottom of the 9th, Mitch leads off with a homer (7-4) Riles singles and Williams doubles him home (7-5). Kennedy then singles home Williams (7-6) and that chases Jay Howell.  Benjamin runs for Kennedy, Speier doubles him to third, Litton singles home the tying run off of Mike Hartley.  John Tudor was a Dodger in '89, he gives up the game winning single to Brett Butler - we score 5 in the bottom of the 9th to beat LA without a single out in the inning.We stay 5 up in the West with 10 games left.

1993 at Houston, ah, 1993 - we were up 7.5 a month prior, 3.5 two weeks ago, but then lost 8 straight at home to fall four behind the Braves (an 11.5 game swing in a month). We've won 3 straight and come into this one 3 out in the West with 14 to play. We've got a narrow 2-1 lead in the 6th, 2 out, bases loaded, Darren Lewis clears the bases with a double off Greg Swindell, we take this one 7-2 and gain a half game on the idle Braves.  Houston shuts us out the next night, the Braves win, so with a dozen left we're 3.5 games out of the lead. DLew couldn't hit and didn't hit in '93, he had a 71 OPS+ - Darren Lewis had a .302 OBP in 1993, so of course he led off in 101 games.

2005 at Washington, we're 5.5 out with 13 left having just taken 3 of 4 from LA, we're down 2-1 with 2 out in the 9th, Moises Alou hits a 3 run homer off former Giant Livan Hernandez, we take it 4-3 and live, albeit barely, to see another day.  We move to 5 back with a dozen left.  Moises played his aged 38 and 39 seasons with us - he hit the ball - a Giants OPS+ of 135 in 868 PA. This was his 18th Giants homer and 296th career shot.  He goes to the Mets in '07 and finishes there in '08.  Barry hit
#706 in this one.

See you tomorrow.  Go Giants!

September 19 - Top 5 Moments in San Francisco Giants History

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

What is this all about?


Here are the top 5 September 19 moments in San Francisco Giants history.

1965 at Milwaukee, we're 3.5 up with 13 left, 2-2 in the 8th, Jim Davenport singles home the go ahead run off Tony Cloninger - we win this one 4-2.  We head to Cincinnati 3.5 games up with a dozen to play.  We lost to the Cubs on the 3rd, leaving us 2 back and in third place.  Then we went on the best September run in San Francisco history.  14 straight.

Took two in Chicago.
Two in LA
Went back home and got two against Houston and then swept 4 against the Cubs
Then went to Houston and swept 4.
We're in Milwaukee this weekend, we lose the opener to break the streak and then win the next two, we head to Cincinnati up 3.5 on LA with 12 remaining.

Walk off 1982 home vs. Padres, we're 5.5 out with 14 left, but '82 is dying hard, we've won 12 of the last 15 and walk off the Padres on a Sunday afternoon. Runners on the corners in the 11th, we're tied at 3, Tom O'Malley ends it with a single off of Luis DeLeon. We stay 5.5 back with 13 to go, we're heading to Cincinnati on Tuesday. It's O'Malley's rookie year and the best season he'll ever have with the bat.

1989 home vs. Dodgers, we're 5 up with a dozen left, we're down 2-0 with 2 out and the bases loaded in the 5th - Mike Laga clears the bases with a pinch double off of Orel Hershiser, Laga spent the last two years of a 9 season career with us as a pinch hitter, he played in 40 games, got a total of 50 Giants plate appearances, had an 88 OPS+ (Laga had two doubles as a Giant).  We stay 5 up with 11 games remaining.

1997 at San Diego, the Brian Johnson game was the day before, we come into this tied with the Dodgers with 9 to play. Scoreless in the 6th, Barry Bonds hits a 2 run homer off Joey Hamilton, we go on and win it 7-4 - the Dodgers lose - so with 8 to play we move into first place (and never fall out of it the rest of the way).  It's #370 for Bonds, he's got 4 more to hit before the season ends.

2010 home vs. Brewers, sold out Sunday afternoon, it's game 150, we're half a game out of first place, still chasing the Padres. The WC is a couple of games away, so it's the division in our sights with 13 to play. The big blow is in the first inning - Jose Guillen hits a grand slam off Chris Narveson, we cruise to a 9-2 win and move into first place with a dozen games left.  Guillen, who has 6 RBI on the day, played the final 42 games of a 14 season career with the Giants and hit 3 of his 214 career homers with us.  This is the last home run of his career.

See you tomorrow.  Go Giants!

September 18 - Top 5 Moments in San Francisco Giants History

Monday, September 18, 2017


What is this all about?

Here are the top 5 September 18 moments in San Francisco Giants history.

Walk off 1961 home vs. Braves, we're 8.5 out with 19 to play, down 2-1 in the bottom of the 9th, Orlando Cepeda hits a 2 run walk off homer off of Bob Hendley, we move to 8 games off the lead. Cepeda hit 46 in '61, this was 41 - he'll get Spahn tomorrow and Burdette the next day. This was his 4th career walk off - his third was a month prior. We never get closer than 7.5 back.

1965 at Milwaukee, less than two weeks ago we were in second, but we won 14 straight (hell, yeah, 1965) and are now 3.5 up with 14 to play. Ron Herbel goes 7 and a third, gives up just 3 baserunners, it was still scoreless in the 7th when Tom Haller led off with a home run off of Hank Fischer, we only got 5 hits - but win this one 2-0.  Herbel was a reasonably effective spot starter/swingman in his 7 year Giants career, a 98 ERA+ in 718 IP. After the '69 season we sent him to San Diego and he was out of the league by '72. We keep our 3.5 game lead on the Dodgers with 13 to go.

Walk off 1977 home vs. Reds, we're long since eliminated, but we get a little satisfaction here, 2-2 with 2 out in the 9th, 39 year old Willie McCovey singles home the winning run off of Pedro Borbon. McCovey didn't hit at all in '76, but in his Giants return surged to a 132 OPS+.

Walk off 1997 home vs. Los Angeles, look at this one, we're 1 game behind the first place Dodgers (one game up in the WC) with 10 games left in the season.  It's a 2 game series, we beat the Dodgers the day before, this is a Thursday afternoon at a sold out Candlestick for a four hour game, we were up 5-1 through 5, but they tie it up and then load the bases with nobody out in the 10th, Rod Beck slips it by striking out Todd Zeile and getting Eddie Murray to ground into an inning ending 4-2-3. Brian Johnson ended the game in the 12th, leading off with a first pitch homer to left center off Mark Guthrie to pull us even with LA with 9 games left in the season. We head to San Diego for the weekend. Johnson his 49 homers in his 8 year career, almost half of them in his 2 Giants seasons.  This is his 3rd of 4 career walk offs, the only one he hit as a Giant.

2002 at Los Angeles, we were 8.5 back a couple weeks ago, that number is 6.5 now, that's too many with 10 left, but really what we're fighting for is the WC spot, we are one game up on the Dodgers for the last spot in the playoffs.  That's really what this game is about - it's a 4 game series in LA, we split the first two, this is a 4 hour Wednesday night game. 3-3 in the third, Russ Ortiz leads off with a homer off Robert Ellis, we're going to win the game 7-4. Ortiz hit the ball pretty well in '02, he had an 88 OPS+.  Ortiz hit 7 career homers, 4 of them as a Giant and this the last of those four.  His other 2002 homer also came against the Dodgers, against former Giant Terry Mulholland.   We stay 6.5 out in the West, our lead over the Dodgers grows to 2.  We lose tomorrow however, and with 8 games remaining we go to Milwaukee on Friday one game up on LA for the last playoff spot.

See you tomorrow.  Go Giants!

September 17 - Top 5 Moments in San Francisco Giants History

Sunday, September 17, 2017

What is this all about?


Here are the top 5 September 17 moments in San Francisco Giants history.

1971 home vs. Padres, 13 days ago we were 8.5 up, but we've dropped 11 out of 12 (get it together, '71) and come into this one 1 game in front of the Dodgers in the West.  This is the first game of a weekend series, a frustrating 9300 paid to see Marichal on a Friday night at the Stick in the heart of a pennant race.  We only got 5 hits, the big one coming in the 6th - we trailed 5-3 with one out when Dick Dietz (saved the season?) with a 3 run homer off Steve Arlin. We win it 7-5. Dietz, who, as I've mentioned previously, certainly appears to have been backballed for union activity, hit 62 homers as a Giant, this is #61. We move 2 up with 11 left to play.

1989 home vs. Padres, we're up 5 with 14 left, playing a Sunday doubleheader against the second place Padres. This is game 1, it's 3-3 in the 6th, Pat Sheridan singles home the go ahead run off of Greg Harris, we win it 5-3.  Sheridan played in 70 games as a Giant, we dealt Tracy Jones to Detroit for him in mid June. He didn't hit - had a 72 OPS+ in 175 PA. He left after the season and only played another 62 games in his big league career. We lose the second game and stay five games up with a dozen to play.  We go home to start a 3 game series with the Dodgers.

1993 at Cincinnati, the thing you need to understand is this team was gone, we were moving to Tampa after the '92 season, RIP, but then stepped in Bill White and Peter McGowan and Barry Bonds and the greatest Giants team of my lifetime emerged in 1993.  On August 22 we walked off the Marlins to move 42 games above .500 with a 7.5 game lead in the West.  11 days ago we beat the Pirates, that left us 41 above .500, so you see we tread some water in the interim, and at that point our lead was down to 3.5.  We haven't won since.  The Braves, meanwhile, have won 29 of 35. We lost the last game of the Pirate series, then got swept at home - at home - by both Cards and Cubs, and we come into this one 4 games behind the Braves.  4 back!  We drop 8 straight to fall 4 games off the lead, easily the most we've trailed all season long.  17 games left and we start a series in Cincinnati and we kill them, a skid stopping 13-0. Billy Swift throws a complete game, we jumped on them early with a Matt Williams two run first inning homer off of John Roper. Swift was terrific in his 3 San Francisco seasons after coming over in the Mitchell deal, a 138 ERA+ in 506 IP.  We got the best years of his career (he had really come on his last two Mariners seasons, largely in the bullpen) he left for Colorado before the '95 season and finished up back in Seattle in '98.  We stay 4 back with 16 left - we only lose 3 more games all season.

2011 at Colorado, it's game 152, we're 6 out in the West, having picked up 3 on the lead in the last week with a 7 game winning streak. The WC isn't any closer, so we need to win out and get help.  We keep it going here, 3-3 in the 8th, Brett Pill triples home 2 off of Huston Street, we win this game 6-5. Pill had two triples on the game, the only two triples of his big league career.  Pill got 259 PA in the majors, all with us, and was okay with a 93 OPS+ but as a first baseman just not enough to get a look beyond 2013.

2014 at Arizona, game 152, still down 3, but 4 games clear in the WC, so with 11 left, we're in good shape but it sure would be nice to get that division title.  Tied at 2 in the 9th, Matt Duffy drives in two with a pinch single off of Addison Reed, we're gonna win it 4-2.  That pulls us to 2 back in the West, which is as close as we'll get to winning the division. This was Duffy's 27th big league game, it would be next season when he finished second in the NL Rookie of the Year, the following season that he was dealt away to Tampa, and then an achilles tear wiped out his 2017 season.

See you tomorrow.  Go Giants!

September 16 - Top 5 Moments in San Francisco Giants History

Saturday, September 16, 2017

What is this all about?


Here are the top 5 September 16 moments in San Francisco Giants history.

Walk off 1978 home vs. Reds, aw, the poor '78 club, 13 days before we took a doubleheader from the Phillies to pull a game out of first place and since then we've only one one game.  Like the opposite of the '65 September run.  So, now we're 9 back (9 back! we've dropped 8 games off the lead in less than two weeks!) but we get one here. 2-2 with 2 out in the 9th - Terry Whitfield singles home the winning run off of Doug Bair. It's too late, obviously, we're still 9 back with 13 games left and the super fun '78 ride was over.  Let's check out this losing streak.

9-4 we go to LA for two, we're 23 over .500, a game out of first place, it's a Labor Day game, sold out Dodger Stadium on a Monday afternoon.  Second place Giants-First place Dodgers, we had a 4-0 lead headed to the bottom of the fifth and they score 5, all earned off Halicki.  We had the tying run on third with 1 out in the 8th, but Terry Forster got both Ivie and Herndon

9-6, now we're 2 back, Jim Barr gives up 5 earned in 3 innings, then Minton gives up 3 of his own in relief and it's never a game

9-7, now it's 3 back and we go to Atlanta for 2.  They break a 5-5 tie in the 8th, we have the tying run on third with one out in the 9th, but Gene Garber gets Ivie and Hector Cruz

9-9, we won on the 8th to get back to 3 out, we go to Cincinnati for two, we're up 3-2 going to the bottom of the 7th, Knepper gives up 4 consecutive hits to open the inning, he winds up allowing 3 runs.

9-10 we're still just 3 out, things are fine despite these losses, it's really still okay - we're down 3-1 heading to the bottom of the 8th, John Curtis comes on in relief and gives up 4 earned and only gets one out.

9-11, so now it's 4 out, but we're going back home to host the first place Dodgers for two, giving us a chance to get right back into it - it's a Monday night and the fans turn out, I've been tough on Giants fans but we get 36,000 paid.  The Dodgers hit Vida, he gives up 4 in 4 innings, we cut it to 4-2, but then they get 3 more in the 9th to put it away.

9-12, so, now it's 5 and we're fully desperate, we're down 1-0 through 7 innings, they get 2 in the 8th and then Lavelle is left out there to soak it up in the 9th, they get 5 earned off of him.

Now it's 6, I won't do the next 3, but we lose those too and get to 9 and that's what happened.

1998 at Arizona, we've been eliminated in the west but are 4.5 out of the WC with 11 to go, Orel Hershiser goes 6, strikes out 6, gives up 3 earned, it's 4-4 in the 10th when Barry Bonds triples home the go ahead run off Gregg Olson.  We win it 6-5.  A 39 year old Hershiser spent one season in San Francisco, he was okay, a 91 ERA+ in 202 IP (thats a lot of innings for an old guy). He was a Met in '99 and finished his career back in LA in '00. Hershiser started 34 games for the Giants, this was the 32nd - he wins the final two.

2000 at San Diego - we're 7.5 up with 16 left, so we're in good shape headed to October.  Almost 5 hours for this one, 15 combined pitches, Jeff Kent breaks a 3-3 tie in the 13th with a run scoring single off of Carlos Almanzar.  We win it 4-3.  Calvin Murray led off for us here, went 3-3.  We drafted Murray 7th overall in '92 (who was picked 6th?  Derek Jeter).  It never happened for Calvin, it took him seven years to get called up and then he was never able to crack the lineup. He had a Giants career 78 OPS+ in 627 PA. We sold him to the Rangers early in the '02 season and his big league career ended as a Cub in 2004.

Walk off 2005 home vs. Dodgers, we're 6.5 out with 16 left, the WC is not in play as we're under .500 - it's not over, but we'd probably need to run the table.  4-4 in the bottom of the 9th, Todd Linden singles home the winning run off of Duaner Sanchez. Bonds hit his first homer of the season in this one, off Brad Penny. Linden was a fifth OF, his Giants career OPS+ was dreadful, 59 in 415 PA despite our picking him 41st overall in 2001 (we took Brad Hennessey 21st and Noah Lowry 30th, considering the Mets got David Wright at 38, we could have spent those resources more wisely).  We let Linden go early in the 2007 season and he finished his big league career with the Marlins that season. 6 years later he was back in our system - in these recaps I discuss when a big league career ends, but often a professional career extends years following.

2014 at Arizona - only a dozen games left, we're 4 out in the West, but 4.5 clear in the WC, so we're in good position to get one of those last spots despite dropping 3 straight. Jake Peavy comes up big here, 7 2/3, gives up just one earned, 5 hits, we've got a 2-1 lead with 2 out in the 8th when Sergio Romo gets AJ Pollock to fly to right to end the inning.  We win 2-1, move to 3 back in the West and maintain that 4.5 game WC cushion.  It's the worst ERA+ of Romo's Giants career in 2014 at 93, in 430 Giants innings his career mark was 146.

See you tomorrow.  Go Giants!

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