July 21 - Top 5 Moments in San Francisco Giants History

Friday, July 21, 2017

What is this all about?


Here are the top 5 July 21 moments in San Francisco Giants history

Walk off 1965 home vs. Cincinnati, we're 5.5 out of first, 4-4 in the 11th, Bob Schroder pinch singles home Jim Ray Hart off of Roger Craig, Schroder was a Pureblood, the Giants were his only big league club - he was a defensive replacement for 4 totally unproductive seasons, his career OPS+ was 57.  This is his first season, he plays in 31 games but only gets 10 plate appearances.  This is his 14th big league game and his 2nd big league hit.

1971 at Pittsburgh, it's game 98 and we're up 7 in the west, that's a nice lead, we came into the 9th down 4-2, but tied it up, and now the bases are loaded, it's two out - and Willie McCovey hits a grand slam off of Dave Giusti.  McCovey hit 18 grand slams (16 with the Giants) this is the 13th.  It's the only one he ever hit in the 9th inning.

Walk off 1976 Chicago, we're 19 out, the season is over, and we're playing in front of 4000 paid on a Wednesday afternoon at the Stick.  The Count throws a complete game 3 hitter, but we still trail 1-0 when Bobby Murcer bunts his way into a double past a charging Bill Madlock.  That drives home Marty Perez with the tying run - and we'd go onto win it 2-1.  We signed Montefusco at 22 in '72, he got a cup of coffee in '74 and then won the Rookie of the Year and finished 4th in the NL Cy Young in '75 (he was good, nearly 6 WAR and a 133 ERA+ and then was a little bit better in '76, they were his career years).  The Count stayed in the rotation through the '80 season and then was dealt to Atlanta for Doyle Alexander.  He finishes his career as a Yankee in '86.

1980 at Chicago, we're 6.5 out, still in this thing, we go 15 in Wrigley (actually, we go 13 and finish the next day) and it's scoreless through 14 of them.  With an out in the 15th, Larry Herndon hits a 2 run homer off Bill Caudill, we win it 2-0 and live another day.  This is Herndon's last season as our primary center fielder, he moves to left in '81 and is off to Detroit for Dan Schatzeder before the '82 season.

2002 at Los Angeles, we're 2 games out of first and a game and a half behind LA, it's a Sunday night at Dodger Stadium, 4-4 in the 9th, Tom Goodwin hits a 2 run homer off Giovanni Carrara and we're gonna win it 6-4.  Goodwin spent a year as a backup OF with the Giants, he was coming off his second stint with the Dodgers when we signed him as a free agent before the season.  He never hit the ball, had a career OPS+ of 73 and he never reached 90 in any one of his 14 seasons.  He signs with the Cubs after the season which is where he finishes his career.  Goodwin had 24 career homers, this is #23, the only one he hit as a Giant.

See you tomorrow.  Go Giants!

July 20 - Top 5 Moments in San Francisco Giants History

Thursday, July 20, 2017


What is this all about?

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

1968 home vs. Houston, we're 13 out of first place, so the season almost certainly has gotten away from us, Ray Sadecki throws a 2 hitter, gives up only one walk and strikes out 11.  We only score a run (Mays scored from first on a single) so in the 9th, we're up 1-0 and the Astros have the tying run on first with Rusty Staub at the plate and two outs - Sadecki strikes him out to end the game.  Sadecki, of course, was the return for Cepeda early in the '66 season and we sell him short to the Mets after the '69 season.  This is a rough year for Sadecki, he loses 18 games - '69 is worse, he has an 84 ERA+.  '67 was his career year, a 121 ERA+ and 3 WAR.  Not so much Orlando Cepeda, no.

1983 at Chicago, we're a dozen games back, this one goes 10 innings, 3-3 in the 10th, Jack Clark hits a 2 out homer off of Lee Smith, and 4-3 is your final score. This is Clark's 147th career homer.  He'll only hit 16 more as a Giant.

Walk off 1996 home vs. Dodgers, we're 9.5 out, we're well under .500, but any day you walk off the Dodgers it's a good day, particularly here - 50,000 paid at the Stick on a Saturday afternoon, they get their $$ worth - we're down 6-5 in the bottom of the 9th, bases loaded with one out - Robby Thompson singles home the tying and winning runs off of Todd Worrell, we win it 7-6.

How many times have we walked off the Dodgers since the move west?

Twice in '58, a Taussig 9th inning single in May and then a game in September that I won't spoil here.
Once in '59, a Wagner 9th inning homer, the first walk off home run to beat LA.
Once in '61, a Cepeda homer in an August game that we'll get to in a month.
Once in '64, Dell Crandall with a 13th inning homer in June.
Once in '66, on an error in May
Once in '67, Mays hits a 10th inning homer in early July.
A September error in '69
Once in '70 - a Dick Dietz homer in late May
A September error in '72,
Three times in '73, an error in May, and then games in August and September we won't spoil
5 years pass, Darrell Evans gets them in August of '78.
McCovey gets them in back to back years, April of '79 and then June of '80.  Whitfield also got them in June of '80.
Jack Clark in April of '83
Dan Gladden gets them in August of '85.
One in '86, a September game we'll talk about then.
How about Eddie Milner in '87?
Once in '89, Brett Butler in late September.
A wild pitch in 1990
Kevin Mitchell gets hit by a pitch in '91
3 times in 1992.  Bass in April and in June, Matt in September.
Matt again in May '94.
Matt again in May '95
This game.  Robby, July '96.  So this is our 30th ever walk off against the Dodgers.

The Brian Johnson game in '97 (31)
Marvin Benard in early July of 2000 (32)
Barry gets one, in April of 2002 (33)
Back to Benard, April 2003. (34) and then Santiago gets them in June (35)
Cody Ransom in June of '04 (36)
Todd Linden in September '05 (37)
Vizquel in June of '06 (38)
Daniel Ortmeier in September '07 (39)
Like 1973 and 1992, we get them 3 times in 2008.  Rowand and Velez in August and then Dave Roberts in September.  (42)
Juan Uribe in August, '09 (43)
We get them back to back games in May of 2013, a Posey homer and then a Guillermo Quiroz homer. (45)
April, 2014 - Hector Sanchez (46 - the last 3 are all from catchers)
Like '73, '92 and 2008 - how about 3 more in 2015 (and we added one against the Angels for good measure).  Panik in April, Justin Maxwell the next day, and then Alejandro De Aza in late September (49)
Twice in 2016, a Crawford homer in April and Posey in June (51)
And, as of this writing, one more, April of 2017, Pence (52)

2004 at Arizona - even though we've won 6 of 8 we've actually dropped 2 games off the pace and are 2.5 out of the lead.  here, we're up 3-1 in the bottom of the 9th, but the Snakes have loaded the bases with just one out and Robby Alomar at the plate. Jason Christiansen gets him to ground into a 5-3 game ending double play.  This is Alomar's last season, he played in 38 games for Arizona.  He only has 24 games left in his career after this one.  Christiansen was in our pen for five seasons, his best effort coming in '01, where he was lights out in 17 innings after we got him from the Cards.  Other than that, he was subreplacement for us, we sent him to the Angels near the end of the '05 season.

2010  at Los Angeles, we've won 6 out of 7 and are 4 games off the lead, we're down 5-4 with the bases loaded in the 9th, Andres Torres doubles home 2 off of George Sherrill, we win this one 7-5. We had some brushbacks in this one, Clayton Kershaw and Joe Torre got ejected - and this is the one where Don Mattingly, as acting manager, inadvertently made two visits to the mound in the 9th, meaning he had to pull Jonathan Broxton and insert Sherill.   This is Torres' middle year of his first Giants stint, he gets dealt to the Mets after 2011 for Angel Pagan.  Torres comes back in 2013 as a 4th outfielder, it's his last season in the bigs.

Torres takes over as the center fielder this year, in '08-09 it was Aaron Rowand, it was Dave Roberts in '07, Steve Finley in '06, Jason Ellison in '05, Marquis Grissom in '03-04, Shinjo and Kenny Lofton split time in '02, Calvin Murray and Marvin Benard split time in '01, and Benard held the job by himself in 2000.

See you tomorrow.  Go Giants!

July 19 - Top 5 Moments in San Francisco Giants History

Wednesday, July 19, 2017


What is this all about?

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

1964 home vs. Houston, Sunday doubleheader, we come in having lost 5 straight and are a game out of the lead in the NL.  This is Game 1 - both starting pitchers (Marichal and Farrell) throw complete games, it's 2-2 in the 8th when Jim Ray Hart hits a 2 run homer.  We win it 4-2 and then go on to take the back half as well.

Walk off 2001 home vs. Rockies, 5.5 out of first, 1-1 in the bottom of the 9th, Ramon Martinez had just singled to tie the game - Jeff Kent works a bases loaded 2 out walk off of Juan Acevedo to win it.  Four of the top ten second base seasons in franchise history are Kent's, this is the 7th best

Walk off 2005 home vs.Atlanta, 9.5 out, 4-4 with two out in the 9th, Jason Ellison singles home the winning run off of Jay Powell. Ellison was a career 5th OF who got fewer than 600 at bats in his career, but this year he was our primary CF, getting more plate appearances than the rest of his 6 year career combined. He was bad, had a 77 OPS+, which was his career best, and was nothing special with the glove. We sent him to Seattle before the 2007 season for a non prospect.

Walk off 2006 home vs. Milwaukee, it's game 95, we're 2.5 games out, down 6-5 in the bottom of the 9th, Ray Durham wins the game with a base hit that scores 2 off of Derrick Turnbow.  2 years later, almost to the day, it's to the Brewers where we send Durham to finish his career.

2011 home vs. Dodgers, it's game 98 and we've got a 4.5 game lead in the west - we're in good shape here in in mid July, bottom 7, bases loaded, Brandon Belt doubles the first pitch he sees from Hung Chih Kuo down the left field line, scoring 2, putting us up 5-3 and that holds up as the final score. Belt homered earlier in the game, It's Belt's rookie year, he broke camp with the club but got sent down after 19 games (the Giants have never entirely appreciated Belt's value) this was his first game back after a month and a half in AAA. Through 2016, here are the first baseman with more San Francisco WAR than Brandon Belt.

Willie McCovey
Will Clark

That's it.  That's the list.

See you tomorrow.  Go Giants!

July 18 - Top 5 Moments in San Francisco Giants History

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

What is this all about?


Here are the top 5 July 18 Moments in San Francisco Giants history.

1959 at Pittsburgh, it's game 90 on the season and we're 2 up, our biggest lead of the season, Harvey Haddix throws a complete game 6 hitter for the Bucs, we're down 3-2 with 2 out in the 8th - and Willie Mays hits a 2 run homer - those are the last runs scored, we win it 4-3.  That gives us a 3 game lead - which was, to that date, the largest lead in San Francisco history.  Homer #232 for Mays.

1967 at Pittsburgh, back half of a doubleheader (lost first game) we're 5 games off the lead, so still in it as of game 91 of the season, we're down 2-1 in the 7th when Willie McCovey hits a 2 run homer off his longtime teammate Billy O'Dell to give us what turned out to to be the final margin of a 3-2 victory.  It's homer #215 for McCovey.  O'Dell was better both before coming to and after leaving San Francisco, he did five years as a Giant, '60-4, most of which in the rotation, finishing with a Giants ERA+ of 101. We got him for Jackie Brandt, dealt him for Ed Bailey.

1980 at St Louis, it's game 90, we just got swept in Pittsburgh but we're not quite dead yet, 7.5 games out of the lead (we were ten out less than two weeks before) but in the 9th inning, we trailed 7-4 and that's an almost certain loss - but Milt May (three hits on the day) hit a grand slam homer off Kim Seaman to put us up 8-7, and that's the final score.  May hit 3 grand slams in his career, this is the only one in his 4 Giants seasons.

Walk off 1985 home vs. Cubs, now, this is a dead season, we're coming out of the break, 22 games under .500 and 16.5 out of first, Mike Krukow throws a complete game shutout against his longtime team, but it's still scoreless in the bottom of the 9th when Jeff Leonard doubles home Chili Davis off of Lee Smith to win the game.  There aren't too many people more closely associated with the Giants than longtime broadcaster Krukow, he started with the Cubs, drafted in '73, up in '76, in their rotation from '77-'81 (he was okay, career ERA+ just under 100) They dealt him to the Phillies for Keith Moreland and Dickie Noles before the '82 season (has his career best ERA+ 118) and before the '83 season he came to San Francisco with Mark Davis for Al Holland and Joe Morgan. He was okay, a Giants career ERA+ of 92, his best year coming in '86 when he wins 20 games and finishes third in the Cy Young race.  He's in the Giants rotation really until breaking down in '89, the last season of his career.  

Walk off 2000 home vs. Texas, we're a game and a half out of first place on a Tuesday night in our first season at Pac Bell, we trail 3-2 with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th, Armando Rios hits a 3 run homer off of John Wetteland, to thrill the crowd and move us to a half game off the lead.  A year later Rios is gone with Vogelsong in the deadline deal with the Pirates that gets us Jason Schmidt.

See you tomorrow.  Go Giants!

July 17 - Top 5 Moments in San Francisco Giants History

Monday, July 17, 2017

What is this all about?


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

1969 home vs. Dodgers, we're two games out of first place in our 93rd game of the year and starting a 4 game series against LA. We trail 13-11 in the 7th, 2 out, Bob Burda hits a 3 run homer off Jim Brewer and we win it 14-13.  Burda spent four seasons pinch hitting for the Giants, he hit 13 career homers in a seven year career, 6 of them as a Giant.  This is his 3rd.

2000 home vs. Texas, it's game 90, we're 1.5 out of first, down 5-4 in the 7th, JT Snow hits a 3 run homer off Doug Davis.  We win this one 10-8. It was his second homer of the day. Snow's in year 3 of his 9 season run as Giants first baseman.  Will left after the '93 season, Snow arrived in '97.  Between that:


These were homers 144-145 in Snow's career.

2002 at St Louis, it's game 94, we open up a series in St Louis 2 games out of first place, We're up 5-4 in the 9th, but they've loaded the bases against Robb Nen with Tino Martinez at the plate.  Nen gets him 6-4-3 to end the game.  We fleeced Nen from the Marlins after the '97 season for Joe Fontenot, he kills it immediately, has a 266 ERA+ and 40 saves in '98.  It's worth 5 and a half WAR, the second best season for a relief pitcher in franchise history.  Nen remained the closer throughout his 5 year Giants career, which ends after this season, also a good year (all he had were good years) he had 43 saves and a 177 ERA+ in '02, which, through 2016, is the 12th best season a Giants reliever ever had.  Robb Nen killed it is my point.  Through 2016 Nen's the 26th best San Francisco Giant ever.

2005 at LA, we're 10 games out of first, finishing up a series at Dodger Stadium, 1-1 in the 9th, 2 out, Michael Tucker hits a 3 run homer off Yhency Brazoban, and that does it, we win 4-1.  (Entirely by happenstance, I'm writing this on Tucker's 46th birthday).  Tucker's two year Giants stint is just about over, we send him to Philly in a month and a half.  This is his last Giants homer.

2015 at Arizona, it's our first game after the break, we're 4.5 off the lead, this one goes a dozen innings, we use 10 pitchers.  The last one is Ryan Vogelsong, He's on the mound in the 12th, we're up 6-5, they have a man on - Yasmany Tomas at the plate, he grounds into a 4-3 double play and we're gonna win this game.  It's his first relief win in almost a decade.  Vogelsong was 20 when the Giants drafted him in '98, he pitched in 34 innings for us before getting moved to Pittsburgh in '01 as part of the Jason Schmidt trade.  After being out of the league for 5 years, he came back to San Francisco in 2011 and had the best year of his career, with a 129 ERA+.  By 2013 his productive career was over, he had an ERA+ of 60. He went back to Pittsburgh after the 2015 season and finished up his big league career as a Pirate.

See you tomorrow.  Go Giants!

July 16 - Top 5 Moments in San Francisco Giants history

Sunday, July 16, 2017

What is this all about?


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

1959 at Philadelphia, a game up in the west despite our losing the front end of this doubleheader, both Johnny Antonelli and Gene Conley throw complete games, it's scoreless in the 9th, 2 on, 1 out, Dusty Rhodes pinch singles home Leon Wagner to put us up 1-0 in the only run that would be scored.  Rhodes was a folk hero for the New York Giants, up in '52, was a pinch hitter through the end of the New York run in '57, most notably as a star in the '54 Series.  He was in AAA the entire '58 season, so wasn't part of the inaugural Giants, but played 54 games for San Francisco this season, which turned out to be his last in the big leagues.  In those 54 games - he had 54 plate appearances.  Rhodes had 9 hits as a San Francisco Giant.

1963 at Pittsburgh, 4 years later it's another doubleheader in Pennsylvania, we're 7 out of first (we lose the second half) Don Cardwell throws a complete game for the Pirates, it's 2-2 with two out in the 9th and it's Willie McCovey - he homers for what turns out to be the winning run.  McCovey played just 59 games in '59 and was still the unanimous choice for Rookie of the Year. A 188 OPS+ will do that.  He led the league in homers in '63 with 44, it's his first All Star Game performance.  This is McCovey's 91st career homer, he hits #92 in the second game.

1969 home vs. Padres, it's game 92 on the season, down 2 in the west, only 3200 paid on a Wednesday afternoon.  Gaylord looking for the complete game win, we're up 4-3 in the 9th, the Padres have the runners on the corners with one out, Perry gets John Sipin to go 1-6-3 to end the game.  Gaylord signed with the Giants at 19 in the summer of '58, four years later he was up with the big club. He's in the rotation in '64 where he stays through '71. This is his second best Giants season, he's got a 142 OPS+ and is worth a half dozen WAR.  

Walk off 1976 home vs. Phillies, we're 18.5 out, the season is over, this is a 92 minute game on a Friday night at the Stick, complete game win for Ed Halicki, complete game loss for Jim Kaat - it's the bottom of the 9th, 2 out in a scoreless game, Bobby Murcer sends everyone home with a walk off homer.  It's Murcer's 163rd career homer, he'd have 4 walk offs but this was the only one as a Giant.  This is the 49th San Francisco Giants walk off homer.

Walk off 1995 home vs. Astros, we're 6 out, having dropped four games to the lead over the past 2 weeks, it takes us 5 hours and 14 innings to get a game back, it's 6-6 in the bottom of the 14th, JR Phillips leads off with a homer off of Doug Brocail to send everyone home. JR Phillips was bad, subreplacement for his career, OPS+ of 60 as a first baseman.  He broke in with us in '93 after washing out in the Angels system. This is the only year he got more than 150 plate appearances, splitting time at first with Mark Carreon. He went 1-6 in this one, was hitting .157 at game's end. This is his 7th career homer and the only walk off he'd ever hit.  We deal him to the Phillies for nothing early the next season and he's out of the league before the turn of the century.

See you tomorrow.  Go Giants!

July 15 - Top 5 Moments in San Francisco Giants History

Saturday, July 15, 2017

What is this all about?


Here are the top 5 July 15 moments in San Francisco Giants history.  I get a good deal of satisfaction when they're from all different decades as that wasn't engineered, just sort of happened that way.

1958 home vs. Phillies, the inaugural San Francisco Giants are a game out of first, starting a series against the Phillies, We get 3 hits, a couple harmless singles and a 6th inning Willie Kirkland double that will lead to the only run of the game.  This spot is the 9th inning, we're up 1-0 but the Phillies have two on with one out, Mike McCormick trying to finish off a complete game shutout win - he gets Carl Sawatski to go 4-6-3 to give us the victory.  It's McCormick's first year in the rotation, he got some action as a 17 year old in '56 and was in the pen in '57.  He moved west with the club and in '60 has a strong year, with a 130 ERA+ and 6+ WAR, through 2017 that's the 53rd best season for a starting pitcher in franchise history.

1978 at Pittsburgh, 18 over .500 with a 3 game lead, we're down 5-4 with 2 out in the 9th inning, Darrell Evans singles home the tying run off of Kent Tekulve and we win this game in 11.  This is a great lost season for the Giants as it didn't really lead to anything.  We won the west back in '71, but here's how many games out we finished between then and '78:

72 - 26.5 out
73 - 11 out
74 - 30 out
75 - 27.5 out
76 - 28 out
77 - 23 out

And then after this season

79- 19.5 out
80- 17 out
81 - 11.5 out

But, here we sit in 1978, 89 games into the season with the best record in the National League.

1983 home vs. Cards, we're 11.5 out, Joaquin Andujar throws a complete game, but we get him in the 8th, down 4-3, Chili Davis hits a 2 run homer.  That will do it, we win 5-4.  This is Davis's worst career year with the bat, he's 23, in his second full season, and has an OPS+ of 85.  He'll never be under 100 again the rest of his career.

1997 at San Diego, we've got a 3 game lead, and scored all the runs there are to score in the 7th, 13 of them, that ties the San Francisco record. Just an inning prior we were down 2-1 when Barry Bonds hit his second homer of the game, a 2 run shot off of Andy Ashby.

Here's the seventh inning (Stan Javier bats 3 times, yes he does, we may still be up)

Javier single
Wild pitch
Javier steals third.
Lewis doubles.  Javier scores.  Lewis takes third on a Rickey Henderson error.
Wilkins walk.
Rueter safe on a Caminiti error. Lewis scores.  Wilkins to third.
Ashby's replaced by Pete Smith.
Hamilton walks. Bases loaded.  Still nobody out.
Vizcaino singles.  Wilkins scores.  Bases still loaded.
Bonds singles.  Rueter scores.  Hamilton scores.  Vizcaino to third and Barry to second on the throw.
Kent singles.  Vizcaino scores.  Bonds scores.  
Snow grounds to first, it's the first out of the inning. Kent moves to second.  And we've turned the lineup over.

Javier singles again. Kent scores.
Smith's replaced by Rich Batchelor.
Lewis gets hit.
Wilkins walks again.  Loads the bases.
Hill pinch hits for Rueter, 'cause why not?  Single.  Javier scores again. Bases still loaded.
Hamilton walks again. Lewis scores again. Bases still loaded.
Sean Bergman replaces Batchelor.
Aurilia pinch hits for Vizcaino.  Single.  Wilkins scores again. Hill scores. Hamilton to third.
Benard pinch hits for Bonds.  Repeat-Benard pinch hits for Bonds. Single.  Hamilton scores again. 
Kent walks.  The bases are loaded again.
Snow strikes out.  He's made both outs in the inning.  And we've turned the lineup over again.

Javier grounds out.  We score 13 runs with only one extra base hit.  9 hits for the good guys on the inning.

2004 at Colorado, we just swept Arizona and are a half game back in the west, this one goes 3 and a half hours, it's 4-4 in the 9th, bases loaded, two out, Shawn Chacon hits JT Snow to drive in the go ahead run.  We win the game 7-5.  At the age of 36, this was Snow's best year with the bat as a Giant, he hit .327 with a 146 OPS+.

See you tomorrow. Go Giants!

July 14 - Top 5 Moments in San Francisco Giants History

Friday, July 14, 2017

What is this all about?


Here are the top 5 July 14 moments in San Francisco Giants history.

1985 at Pittsburgh, it's game 88, we're 17.5 out of first so the season is over, 2-2 in the 5th inning, David Green homers off Rick Rhoden, we win this one 7-3.  It was Green's 2nd homer as a Giant, he only hits 3 more. 11 were arrested from a fight in the stands the night before.  

1991 at Philadelphia, we're 14 games out of first place, which is too many games to be out of first place, we got 22 hits at the Vet on a Sunday afternoon, with 2 out in the third we were down 3-2, Matt Williams hit a 3 run homer off Danny Cox - we win this game 17-5.  11 total bases for Williams here, he hits a second homer and triples.  Meanwhile, Will Clark has 5 hits and 7 RBI.  A good Sunday in Philadelphia, the most runs an opponent ever scored at the Vet.

1994 at Montreal, 7.5 out, coming into Montreal riding a 4 game winning streak, but facing Pedro Martinez and an Expos team that was 21 games over .500.  We were up 3-1 in the 5th when Darryl Strawberry hit a grand slam off Pedro, we're gonna win this one 8-3.  Strawberry played just 29 games with the Giants in '94, had an OPS+ of 110, hit 4 homers, this was his first and his second comes the next day.  It's Strawberry's 6th career grand slam.  Strawberry also singled and doubled in this one, his fifth game as a Giant and what turns out to be his best Giants performance.

2005 at Los Angeles, were 10 games off the lead, 1-1 in the 7th, 2 on, 2 out, Omar Vizquel hits a 3 run homer on an 0-2 pitch.  We're gonna win this one 4-3. Vizquel was a Giant for four years, the first two good enough to hold down the starting shortstop job, the last two pretty abysmal (Vizquel's Giants OPS+ was 75, and while he was still a good fielder, that bat just shouldn't keep you in any lineup).  This was his first year in San Francisco, he was 38, came over as a free agent from Cleveland where he had spent 11 seasons.  He was our shortstop through '08, after which he went to Texas.  Vizquel played until he was 45, his last year was 2012.  This was Vizquel's 68th career homer.

2011 at San Diego - it's game 94, we've got a 3 game lead in the west coming out of the break, we spend 4 hours at Petco, It took a 9th inning Aubrey Huff homer off Heath Bell to get us to extras, now it's the 12th, 1-1, bases loaded with 2 out, Mike Fontenot works a walk against Luke Gregerson to give us a 2-1 lead and we'd go on to win 6-2.  Bell had pitched in 99 games since giving up a home run.

See you tomorrow.  Go Giants!

July 13 - Top 5 Moments in San Francisco Giants History

Thursday, July 13, 2017

What is this all about?


Here are the top 5 July 13 moments in San Francisco Giants history.  5 different decades.

Walk off 1958 home vs. Braves, second place Giants - first place Braves, we're one game out in our first ever San Francisco season, it's a Sunday afternoon at Seals, with an out in a 5-5 game in the bottom of the 9th, Felipe Alou singles home the game winning run off of Ernie Johnson.  The Giants signed Alou 3 years prior, he comes west with the club and this is his rookie season, in fact - this is Alou's 29th game in the bigs.

Walk off 1967 home vs. Houston, 5 games out, coming back from the break, a McCovey homer in the 9th got us to extras, in the 10th Hal Lanier scored the winning run on a Sonny Jackson error.  It's McCovey's 213th homer, McCovey hit 8 career homers in the bottom of the 9th to either tie the game or put his team ahead.  The next day, Eddie Mathews hits his 500th career homer against us.

1995 home vs. Houston, we're in the midst of a swoon, we were 1.5 back less than two weeks before but now return from the All Star break six games out of first.  We go a dozen innings against the Astros, ending with a Bonds walk off single off of Jim Dougherty to win it 6-5.  Just another run of the mill 170 OPS+ for Bonds in '95.  If you're looking for his decline phase it never comes, Barry never has an OPS+ below 150 once he turns 25.  He leads the majors in OBP as a 42 year old in 2007 and can't find a job in 2008.  

2000 home vs A's, the first year at the new ballpark, we're 3.5 games out of first and hosting Oakland, a Bonds homer had us up 2-1 in the 6th, the A's had the tying run at second - Russ Ortiz got Matt Stairs to fly out deep to left, and then Barry threw out Miguel Tejada trying to tag up and go to to third.  We won the game 4-2.  Ortiz was 21 when we drafted him in '95, he came up in '98 and was moved into the rotation.  This is his worst San Francisco campaign, an ERA+ of 85.  After '02 he was sent to Atlanta for Damian Moss and Merkin Valdez, he won 21 with the Braves in '03 to finish 4th in the Cy Young race and completely fell of the cliff in 2005, he never approached even decency after '04.  Ortiz came back to San Francisco for a dozen inauspicious games in '07 and actually finished his big league career as a Dodger in 2010.

2014 home vs. Diamondbacks, 9 games over .500 and trailing by a half game, a month earlier we had a ten game lead and now that's all gone, Sunday afternoon rubber match against the Snakes, down 1-0 with 2 out in the 5th - Buster Posey hits a grand slam off of Vidal Nuno, we win this one 8-4.  As of this writing Posey has 4 career grand slams, this was his second (Piazza hit 14, so Posey won't catch him).  Madison Bumgarner also hit a grand slam in this one, the first batterymates to hit slams in the same game.

See you tomorrow.  Go Giants!

July 12 - Top 5 Moments in San Francisco Giants History

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

What is this all about?


Top 5 July 12 moments in San Francisco Giants history.

1958 home vs. Braves, 2 games out of first and hosting the first place Braves on a Saturday afternoon in mid July of our first ever San Francisco campaign, we jump all over Spahn, he doesn't get out of the 5th inning, the big blow coming here, up 2-1 in that 5th, Orlando Cepeda hits a 3 run shot off Spahn to put us up 5-1 in a game we'd win 5-3.  We move to 1 game out of first, it is the closest we've been to the lead in a month.  Cepeda killed Spahn - had a lifetime .344 BA with 10 homers.  Along with the 10 he hit against Drysdale these are the most homers Cepeda ever hit against anyone.

1962 at Philadelphia, 26 games over .500 but still half a game out of first place, we start a 3 game series against the Phillies, we're up 5-3 in the bottom of the 9th, but the Phillies have a man on and the tying run at the plate - Stu Miller gets Jacke Davis to go 5-4-3.  Miller had been a Phillie in '56, he came to the Giants in '57 for Jim Hearn. Miller was 28, he hadn't had a good year since his rookie season in '52 - but was instantly good with the Giants, he moved west with the club in '58 and led the league in ERA+ (155).  Miller was a swingman in '58 but came out of the pen almost exclusively in the rest of his Giants career - that career ended after this (not particularly good) season, We sent him and Mike McCormick to Baltimore where he had several very good seasons closing for the Orioles.

1968 at Cincinnati, we're 11 out, tied at 2 with 2 out in the 5th, Jim Ray Hart hits a 3 run homer off Clay Carroll and we go on to win 11-4. Hart hits another homer later in the game, the 133-134th of his career.  Hart was 7-24 lifetime against Carroll, this was his only homer.

1997 at Los Angeles, our 6 game lead in the west had been cut to four after losing the first two games of the series, sold out Dodger Stadium on a Saturday night, down 2-1 with one out in the 9th Mark Lewis and Rick Wilkins go back to back off Todd Worrell to give us a 3-2 lead in a game we'd win 8-5.  Lewis was a bust, the Indians took him 2nd overall in the '88 draft (Andy Benes was first, Robin Ventura 10th) but had a negative career WAR.  This is his one season as a Giant, backing up in the infield, getting some starts in at third.  Wilkins did parts of two seasons in San Francisco as our part time catcher, we got him at the deadline from Houston for Kurt Manwaring the year before and we released him less than 3 weeks after this home run.

2002 home vs. Rockies, we're 88 games in and after walking Colorado off the night before are 2.5 out of first place, Livan Hernandez throws a complete game 4 hitter, the big moment a 2 run Damon Minor homer in the second that broke a scoreless tie.  Minor played in 136 big league games, all as a Giant.  He got a couple hundred plate appearances this season at first base, he was replacement level and never got on a big league field after '04.

See you tomorrow.  Go Giants!

July 11 - Top 5 Moments in San Francisco Giants History

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

What is this all about?


Here are the top 5 July 11 moments in San Francisco Giants history.  Each from a different decade.

Walk off 1958 home vs. Reds, this is game 80 in our inaugural season, we're 2 games out of the lead, we had walk off wins on the 4th, 5th, and 6th - this is the 11th, and this is a 3 and a half hour Friday afternoon game at Seals, 2 on, 1 out in the bottom of the 12th - Orlando Cepeda homers off Hal Jeffcoat to send everyone home. This is the second walk off home run in San Francisco history.  Cepeda is a 20 year old rookie, this is his 17th homer, his first extra innings homer, his first walk off homer.  Cepeda hit 48 career homers against the Reds, he only hit more against the Cubs.  He hit 10 home runs against the Giants.

1969 at Los Angeles, it's game 88 on the season, Marichal beat Sutton the night before, we're 2.5 out, this is a Friday night at Dodger Stadium, 4-4 with 2 out in the 10th, Bobby Bonds drives in two with a single off Jim Brewer, 6-4 is the final score.  The first Giants/Dodgers game was May 3, 1890, as of this writing, the Giants lead the series 1238-1204, although since the move west LA leads San Francisco 533-516. 228 players have played with both franchises.  How many players have played 500+ games with both franchises?  2.  Bill Dahlen and Jeff Kent.  The opposite of that would be Kid Carsey, Bull Durham, and Al Maul who played a total of 7 combined games for the two organizations.  For someone more recent how about Erik Surkamp, 7 games with the Giants and 1 with LA.  How about guys with 10 WAR for both organizations - Dahlen, Kent, Haller, Butler, Stanky, Fitzsimmons, Marquard.

1973 home vs. Cubs, we're 9 over .500 but 5.5 back, 1-1 with 2 out in the 6th, Ed Goodson homers off Milt Pappas, we go on to win the game 7-3.  Goodson played for both Giants and Dodgers, he starts his career in San Francisco, ends it in Los Angeles.

1982 at Montreal, we're a dozen out, 7-7 in the 10th, Milt May homers off Jeff Reardon and we're gonna win it 8-7.  May hit 2 homers that day, the third and final multi-homer game of his career.

2015 home vs. Phillies, it's game 88, we're 5.5 out and trailing 4-3 with 2 out in the 6th, Matt Duffy triples home 2 off of Luis Garcia.  We win it 8-5.  A little over a year later we dealt Duffy to Tampa for Matt Moore.

See you tomorrow.  Go Giants!

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