The History of the San Francisco Giants in Showdown Games

Sunday, October 2, 2016

The Giants are in a showdown game Wednesday - both teams face the same conditions: win and advance, lose and go home.

Here's the history of San Francisco showdown games.

October 3, 1962 Game 165 SFG 6 Dodgers 4
Would the Giants/Dodgers rivalry fully migrate from New York? 

The Giants trailed the Dodgers by 2 with 3 left but were able to force a 3 game playoff.  The first two split, getting us the first knockout game in San Francisco history. The Giants trailed 4-2 in the 9th inning, with one on and one out, there was a 92% chance the season was about to end.  Back to back walks to McCovey and Felipe Alou loaded the bases, and then a Mays single/Cepeda sac fly tied the game.  Walks (yeah, the Dodgers walked 4 in the 9th) to Ed Bailey and Jimmy Davenport sandwiched a wild pitch, and a Dodger error brought in the final run.  4 runs in the 9th and the only Giant hit the leave the infield was the leadoff single to Matty Alou.

Play of the Game: Davenport's walk, 32% Win Probability Added.

October 16, 1962 Game 7 World Series. SFG 0 Yankees 1

13 days after we beat the Dodgers, we lost Game 7 of the World Series. For the third time in the Series we matched up Jack Sanford against Ralph Terry.  We got 4 hit and lost 1-0. 

Marichal got hurt late in the season; he gave us 4 innings in Game 4 but that was the extent of his WS contribution in his entire career (Marichal’s top career comps, coincidentally, are Giants from a previous era, Hubbell and McGinnity).  Perhaps a healthy Marichal puts us over the top. 

Or perhaps not – 4 hits in a game 7 of the World Series are unlikely to bring home too many titles.  The only run Sanford gave up was on a fifth inning Kubek double play – Sanford also got us our first hit of the game, a sixth inning single.  Our second hit was louder – McCovey followed a bullet line drive out by Mays with a two out triple in the bottom of the 7th – but Cepeda struck out to end the threat.  Sanford loaded the bases with no one out in the top of the 8th as NYY looked to put us away – but O’Dell came on to get Maris and a Howard double play.  

Our third hit was a leadoff pinch bunt single by Matty Alou in the bottom of the 9th.  Terry struck out Felipe – Terry struckout Hiller – with two outs, Willie Mays (a 10 WAR player in '62) doubled to right but rather than risk getting thrown out at the plate – Alou held at third.

Bringing up McCovey.   On the second pitch he lined hard to an out of position Richardson.  And it was over. 
Play of the Game: McCovey's lineout.  WPA -24%

October 14, 1987. Game 7 NLCS SFG 0 Cardinals 6

It took a quarter century until the next showdown game - The Giants took a 3-2 NLCS lead to St Louis, dropped an excruciating Game 6 1-0, then went down easily the next night, Atlee Hammaker gave up a second inning 3 run homer to Jose Oquendo and the Giants got shut out, 6-0.

Play of the Game: Oquendo's homer. -14% WPA

September 28, 1998 Game 163 SFG 3 Cubs 5
Eleven years later....The Giants won 9 of their last 11 to force a one game playoff in Wrigley - then scored 3 in the 9th to cut the Cub lead to 5-3, but former Giant hero Rod Beck came on to get Jeff Kent and Joe Carter and eliminate San Francisco.

Play of the Game: A fifth inning Gaetti two run homer off Mark Gardner. -20% WPA

October 7, 2002 Game 5 NLDS SFG 3 v. Braves 1

Four years pass - the Giants return to the postseason -- Down 2 games to 1 with Livan Hernandez going against Tom Glavine; we won and then had to go to Atlanta for the showdown game. '02 was a Giants revenge tour; we were a round away from knocking off the team that took us out back in '87, the Cardinals, in the NLCS, and here we faced the Braves, whose second half in '93 was matched only by that Villanova team that beat Georgetown to keep the 103 game winning SFG out of the playoffs.  Back in '93 the tomahawk chop infuriated me; by '02 I was a little surprised they were still doing it, to see the Braves fans, in 2012, still doing that dumbass cheer made me feel a little sad for them; my principal emotion was gratitude not to be a Braves fan.

We didn't get anything in the first; Russ Ortiz walked a couple in the bottom but we escaped and then took a lead we'd never give up in the second on singles by Bonds and Reggie Sanders.  Barry followed up a couple innings later with a homer; the big spot in the game came in the bottom of the fifth when Ortiz walked Sheffield to load the bases with two out but then got Chipper to ground to short.  The Braves got one back in the 6th (off Mike Remlinger and Darren Holmes, ghosts of Giants past) but we then loaded the bases with nobody out in the 7th and pushed across the third run.  Atlanta put them on the corners with nobody out against Nen in the bottom of the ninth - but Sheffield struck out and Chipper hit into a doule play.

Play of the Game: Chipper's double play, 22% WPA

October 27, 2002. Game 7 World Series SFG 1 v. Angels 4

My mother had been out of town for games 4-6, returned for Game 7 – and called me early in the day to ask if I’d come over to watch.  I told her it was over.  She said they’d really like me to come.  

I told her it was over. We were the '86 Red Sox after the Buckner game.

We scored first – a couple singles in the second and a sac fly put us up 1-0 in the second.  Livan gave it back in the second – and then a 3 run Garrett Anderson double in the third made it 4-1, which was the final score.  We put two in scoring position in the sixth – but Tom Goodwin (Tom Goodwin?) struck out to end our chance.  We put 2 on with 1 out in the 9th– but Shinjo (Shinjo?  You need a goddamn postseason roster with Tom Goodwin and Shinjo?  In the 7th game of the World Series I have to have crucial at bats from Tom Goodwin and Shinjo?) struckout and Lofton flew out and it was done.

A year later, I drove home with my parents from our NLDS loss to the Marlins.  I was in attendance in all four of our one run last at bat division series losses to Florida, the first 2 in ’97, the last in ’03 – and as we drove home, I said, quietly, resolutely, without feeling an ounce of the hyperbole of the moment –

We are never going to win the World Series.  Never.

Play of the Game - Anderson's double. -14% WPA

October 11 2012 Game 5 NLDS Giants 6 Reds 4

Turns out I was wrong (who knew?) we won in 2010 and looked to double down two years later, but doing so required an improbable division series comeback against the Reds.  San Francisco dropped the first two, at home, getting shut out 9-0 (with only two hits) in Game 2.  Winning required a 3 game sweep in Cincinnati against longtime Giant manager Dusty Baker..

We got 3 hits in 10 Game 3 innings - and somehow won 2-1.  

We evened the series 8-3 the following day.

In the showdown game, a Posey grand slam off Giant villain Mat Latos put us up 6 runs in the fifth, and we held on for the 6-4 win.

Play of the Game: A Crawford fifth inning triple that broke a scorless tie, putting us up 1-0. 20% WPA

October 22 2012 Game 7 NLCS Giants 9 Cards 0

Less than two weeks later the Giants needed to do it again.  Down 3-1 to the Cardinals, it took great starts by Zito and Vogelsong in Games 5 and 6 to force the showdown game 7.  

The Giants ripped up Kyle Lohse, scoring 7 in the first three innings en route to a 9-0 win.  The Giants had 14 hits, 3 by NLCS MVP Marco Scutaro, and were on their way to their second world title over the decade.

Play of the Game: A first inning Scutaro single that put runners on the corners with no out.  10% WPA.

October 1, 2014 NL Wild Card Game Giants 8 Pirates 0

Baseball added a second wild card team - that meant a one game showdown between Giants and Pirates to open the 2014 NL playoffs. Bumgarner went the whole way, giving up just four hits - Crawford hit a 4th inning grand slam, the first postseason grand slam by a shortstop in MLB history, and the Giants cruised to the 8-0 win.

Play of the Game - Crawford's grand slam, 19% WPA

October 29, 2014 Game 7 World Series Giants 3 Royals 2

A month after the playoffs started with that Wild Card win - the Giants won Game 7 of the World Series, their third World Championship of the decade.

Home wins in Games 4 and 5 sent the Giants to Kansas City needing just one win to finish the Series; they didn't get it in Game 6 - and Game 7 required an operatic 5 inning relief stint from Madison Bumgarner to make it happen.  The Giants took a 3-2 lead they wouldn't relinquish in the 4th on singles by Sandoval/Pence and then what would turn out to be the winning single by Mike Morse.

Bumgarner came on in the 5th, replacing Affeldt who replaced Hudson - gave up a leadoff single to Omar Infante and then not another baserunner until a Blanco misplay with two out in the ninth put Alex Gordon at third base.  Sal Perez popped up to Sandoval in foul territory to give the Giants their third title.

Play of the Game - the Perez popup. 16% WPA.

Tendown, October 2, 2016

243 is here.  This is Tendown 244.

1. Clinton, February.

there’s just a deep desire to believe that we can have free college, free healthcare, that what we’ve done hasn’t gone far enough, and that we just need to, you know,  go as far as, you know, Scandinavia, whatever that means, and half the people don’t know what that means, but it’s something that they deeply feel. So as a friend of mine said the other day, I am occupying from the center-left to the center-right. And I don’t have much company there. Because it is difficult when you’re running to be president, and you understand how hard the job is —  I don’t want to overpromise. I don’t want to tell people things that I know we cannot do. 

2. Academic Poverty

3. It's Warriors Week at the Ringer

4. Finance is Ruining America



7. Prosecuting the Freddie Gray Killing


9. We Hate Russia Again.

10. Drones.

And one more...

That's all for this time...if there is a next time....

Your pal,


Blogger Template created by Just Blog It