July 31 - Top 5 Moments in San Francisco Giants History

Monday, July 31, 2017

What is this all about?


Here are the top 5 July 31 moments in San Francisco Giants history.

1967 home vs. Pirates, we're 9 games out, 4-4 in the 8th, Jack Hiatt hits a grand slam off of Roy Face and we're going to win this 8-4.  Hiatt spent five seasons as the Giants backup catcher, we got him before the '65 season from the Angels for Jose Cardenal and sell him to the Expos just before the start of the 1970 season.  He was fine, Giants career OPS+ of 112, you don't hate Jack Hiatt as a bench guy in the 60s and in '67 he really hit well, had a 134 OPS+.  Hiatt had 22 career homers, this was his 7th, it was his first of two career grand slams.

Walk off 1988 home vs. Braves, we're 4.5 out after winning the front half of a doubleheader, we are definitely still in this race, gaining 3.5 games on the lead in the past couple of weeks. We get the sweep, with 2 outs in the bottom of the 10th and a 2-2 score, Will Clark beats Paul Assenmacher with a base hit that scores Robby Thompson to win the game.  Will finished 5th in the NL MVP race for the second straight year; this was his best year with the bat thusfar, he had a 160 OPS+.  Clark was a 7 and a half WAR player in '88, this is his second best ever season (the best is '89, in fact, that's the best season for any first baseman in franchise history) and the 8th best for any Giant first baseman in organizational history.

Walk off 1992 home vs Braves, game 102 and we come in 10 back, 3-3 in the bottom of the 9th, Will Clark just tied the game with a double, and here, with one out, Craig Colbert singles him home off of Alejandro Pena to win the game.  Colbert played 72 big league games as our backup catcher in '92-3, he didn't hit enough to stay. This was his 25th big league game, it looks to be his 12th big league start, his 13th major league hit.

Walk off 2001 home vs Pirates, we were 6.5 out a week before, but come into this one on a 5 game winning streak that has brought us to 4 games out of the lead.  It's 7-7 in the bottom of the 11th, 2 outs, Pedro Feliz singles home the winning run off of Marc Wilkins to keep the winning streak alive. The Jason Schmidt trade was the day before.

2010 home vs. Dodgers, we're at game 105, 14 over .500 and down 2.5 out of first place, we only get 5 hits, but LA just gets 3, Barry Zito strikes out 6 and gives up 3 hits through 7 innings.  We're down 1-0 in the 8th, two out, Pat Burrell hits a 2 run homer off of Jonathan Broxton, and 2-1 is the final score.  Pat the Bat was the number one overall pick in 1998, the Phillies took him as a 21 year old third baseman from Miami (Mark Mulder went 2nd, JD Drew 6th, the Giants took Tony Torcato, a high school third baseman 19th and immediately after the Indians took CC Sabathia 20th). Burrell came up in 2000, finished 4th in the Rookie of the Year race (Rafael Furcal won). Burrell became the Phillies starting left fielder and stayed there (hitting the ball almost every year, until finishing his Phillies career with a 119 OPS+) in 2008.  He went to Tampa in '09 and didn't hit at all, the Rays let him go early this season.  We signed him in late May and he filled the left field hole with a 136 OPS+.  Burrell's last season was 2011. This is his 66th game as a Giant and 8th home run.

See you tomorrow. Go Giants!

July 30 - Top 5 Moments in San Francisco Giants History

Sunday, July 30, 2017

What is this all about?


Here are the top 5 July 30 moments in San Francisco Giants history.

1959 home vs. Phillies game 101, we're a half game out of first - 2-2 with 2 out in the 5th, Willie Mays singles home Eddie Bressoud off of Robin Roberts, we're gonna win it 7-2 and retake first place. This is Willie McCovey's first major league game, he tripled twice and added two singles for 8 total bases.  Mays hit, of course, 660 career homers, 97 of them against the Dodgers.

1951 - Newcombe and Clyde King
1952 - Branca and Ben Wade
1954 - Erskine 4 times, Clem Labine, Johnny Podres, Preacher Roe, Newcombe, Russ Meyer, Billy Loes
1955 - Newcome, Labine 3 times, Erskine twice more, Podres 3 times, Ed Roebuck, Loes, Meyer
1956 - Ken Lehman, Newcombe, Drysdale twice, Koufax, Erskine, Roebuck
1957 - Podres twice, Roger Craig twice, Drysdale
..and then the move west...
1958 - Danny McDevitt twice, Ron Negray, Podres, Drysdale, Roebuck, Newcombe twice, Labine twice, Babe Birrer, Fred Kipp
1959 - Drysdale three times, Johnny Klipstein, Art Fowler, Stan Williams, Larry Sherry
1960- Sherry
1961-Williams twice, Koufax, Podres, Drysdale
1962- Willard Hunter, Podres twice, Drysdale, Koufax, Sherry
1963 - Koufax, Drysdale
1964 - Drysdale, Ron Perranoski, Phil Ortega
1965 - Claude Osteen twice, Drysdale, Howie Reed, Bob Miller, Koufax
1966 - Osteen, Miller, Perranoski
1967 - Jim Hickman, Dick Egan
1968 - Drysdale
1970 - Don Sutton three times, Sandy Vance, Joe Moeller,
1971 - Al Downing, Osteen
1973 - (and one with the Mets) Downing.  two plus decades of killing the Dodgers.

Walk off 1960 home vs. Reds - we're 7.5 out, 1-1 with 2 out in the bottom of the 10th, Jim Davenport singles home Andre Rodgers off of Jim Brosnan.  Mel Ott is the ultimate Pureblood Giant, 2730 career games, all of them with the Giants.  After that is Bill Terry 1721 games, all with the Giants. Then Travis Jackson, 1656 games.  And then Davenport at 1501 games.  Obviously, all of the players ahead of Davenport played in New York - but for Pureblood San Francisco Giants, the answer is Davenport.

1969 at Chicago, it's game 103, 10 days after the moon landing, we're 2 games out of first place, 3-3 with an out in the 9th, Dave Marshall singles home Gaylord Perry ('cause of course he's still in the game) off of Rich Nye.  We win it 6-3.  We got Marshall from the Angels system for Hector Torres, he plays 187 games over three seasons as a backup OF for the Giants.  He's okay, after this season we ship him with Sadecki to the Mets.

1974 at Atlanta, we're 19.5 out, 3-3 in the 12th, Chris Speier hits a bases loaded double off of Danny Frisella that clears the bags, we win it 6-3.  Adding both his stints together, Speier was a Giant for ten seasons.

2014 home vs Pirates, a week before we had a 2.5 game lead, but we've lost every game since, 6 straight, and now trail by 2.5 games.  You try dropping 5 games to the lead in a week.  It's hard to do.  Down 5-4 in the 7th, Gregor Blanco singles home the tying run off of Justin Wilson and we go on to win 7-5. Blanco was not great with the glove, but could hit enough to be a useful 4th OF for his first four Giants seasons; he wound up as the primary center fielder here when Pagan went down with an injury.

See you tomorrow.  Go Giants!

July 29 - Top 5 Moments in San Francisco Giants History

Saturday, July 29, 2017

What is this all about?


Here are the top 5 July 29 moments in San Francisco Giants history.

1958 at Cincinnati, the inaugural San Francisco Giants are half a game out of first place, trailing 3-2 with 2 out in the bottom of the 9th, Ray Jablonski hits a 2 run homer off of Willard Schmidt and we win it 5-3.  Jablonski spent two years with the Reds before coming over to the last New York Giants team in '57 (the only season of his career he had an OPS+ above 100) this was his only year in San Francisco, getting time at both third and left, he went to the Cards along with Bill White for Sam Jones.  Jablonski hit 21 homers in his two Giants seasons, this was the last one.

1991 home vs. Expos, we're 10 games back, but on a real roll, having won 8 in a row, we're up 6-5 in the 9th, the Expos have runners on the corners with one out and Delino DeShields at the plate - Dave Righetti gets him to go 4-6-3 to end the game.  The day before was Dennis Martinez's perfect game against the Dodgers.  Righetti was drafted 10th overall by the Rangers in the winter draft in '77 as an 18 year old lefty from San Jose City College (first overall pick was a catcher named Kalvin Adams who never made the bigs). He never played for Texas, he was part of a big 10 player deal with the Yankees, the biggest name headed the other way being Sparky Lyle.  Righetti got a cup of coffee in '79 but was Rookie of the Year with New York in '81 (the NL award went to Fernando with Tim Raines finishing second) Righetti led the league in ERA+ in '81, 174 in 105 IP.  Righetti wouldn't fall below 100 ERA+ in any season until '92.  He moved to the pen in '84 and remained the Yankee closer until leaving as a free agent before this season.  Righetti left almost everything in New York, he was okay this year as our closer (24 saves, 106 ERA+) but just fell off the table in '92 and was gone after the '93 season, a career Giants ERA+ of 78.  Righetti finished his career with the White Sox in '95.  He returned to the Giants organization in '99, joined the big league staff in 2000, and through 2017, remains as the pitching coach (the only guy to serve as a San Francisco coach longer is Ron Wotus, who is also still with the club as of this writing and started in '98).

1997 home vs. Mets, 5 days before we were 4 games up but now the lead is down to 1, we're down 2-1 in the 7th when Mark Lewis hits a 2 out grand slam off of Greg McMichael - we win this one 5-2.  Mark Lewis was supposed to be a star, he was the second overall pick in '88, Cleveland took him as a high school shortstop from Ohio (Andy Benes went first, Robin Ventura 10th, we took Royce Clayton 15th) but he never hit for the Indians and in before the '95 season they sent him to the Reds where he had the only good season of his career with the bat.  In '96 he was in Detroit, we picked him up before this season - he got 372 plate appearances backing up at third and second and was the same replacement level player for us that he was at every stop.  He'd leave at the end of the season and finished his career back in Cleveland in 2001.  Lewis had 48 career homers, 10 as a Giant, this was the only grand slam of his career.

2001 at Arizona, we are 5 games back, looking for a 4 game sweep in Phoenix, Randy Johnson strikes out 12 and walks just one - but Shawn Estes gives up only 4 hits in 8 innings, it's 2-2 with 2 out in the 9th, Marvin Benard hits a two run homer off of Byung-Hyun Kim and we're gonna win it 4-3.  The Mariners drafted Estes 11th overall as an 18 year old high school senior in 1991.  The Yankees took SI coverboy Brien Taylor first overall and he never pitched a game in the bigs, Two picks after the Mariners took Estes the Indians took a high school third baseman from New York City named Manny Ramirez.  We didn't pick until 33rd overall, we took a lefty from Long Beach St named Steve Whitaker who you do not remember because he only pitched as high as AAA for 16 games.  They can't all be Manny Ramirez.  Estes never pitched a game in Seattle, we got him during the '95 season along with Wilson Delgado for Salomon Torres.  Estes gets some starts in both '95 and '96 but becomes a full member of the rotation in '97, in which he has a 130 ERA+, it is by far the best season of his 13 year career.  This is his last season as a Giant, prior to '02 we send him to the Mets for Desi Relaford and Tsuyoshi Shinjo and then bounces around, after leaving New York he pitches for 5 more clubs, finishing up in San Diego in 2008.

Walk off 2009 home vs. Pirates, we're 8 games out, still in the postseason hunt, we 3 hit the Pirates, Matt Cain goes 8, allows only 3 singles, but we can't get him the win, it's scoreless in the bottom of the 10th, with two out Randy Winn singles home Eugenio Velez off of  Matt Capps for the 1-0 Giants victory.  Earlier in the day we made the Freddy Sanchez trade with Pittsburgh.  Randy Winn was a Giant for five seasons; for nearly all of that time he was our starting right fielder and for his Giants career was a dead average 100 OPS+ bat.  We got him at the deadline in '05 from Seattle for Jesse Foppert and Yorvit Torrealba, his best Giants seasons were '07 and '08, he hit .300 and cracked a 100 OPS+ in each.  In '08 he was over a 4 WAR player, through 2017 it's the 37th best season for a Giants right fielder in franchise history.  He falls off the table in '09, has a 76 OPS+ and never really is able to hit the ball again.  He signs with the Yankees before the '10 season and finishes his career in St Louis.  Through 2016, Randy Winn is the 39th greatest San Francisco Giant of all time.

See you tomorrow.  Go Giants!

Top 10 Television Shows 2017 (April-June)

Friday, July 28, 2017

Jan-Mar is here.

I'm behind, obviously, but in my own defense, I'm behind.

I've yet to see, but will see:

Master of None
Kimmy Schmidt
I Love Dick

I also have not quite finished two of the shows on the list, so that might be reflected in a year end adjustment (Veep/Fargo)

1. Better Call Saul (AMC)
2. Veep (HBO)
3. Fargo (FX)
4. The Americans (FX)
5. Sneaky Pete (Amazon)
6. Last Man on Earth (Fox)
7. Dear White People (Netflix)
8. Silicon Valley (HBO)
9. Billions (Show)
10. Review (Comedy C)

Here's the thing - outside of Better Call Saul, which was the qualitiative equivalent of last season, all of the premium shows slipped.  Veep, as I mentioned in 2016, clearly suffered a decline after the departure of its creator/showrunner, and you see that slide continue here, it's high placement demonstrative of how much better than the sitcom field it had been.  Fargo was great in season two, and not nearly as gripping in season three.  The Americans had its worst season to date, running in place throughout.  Those shows, however, are of a different caliber than the remaining field - Sneaky Pete, like Billions, was more fun than art.  Last Man on Earth really shows its strength when its not a comedy.  Dear White People was a good film turned into an equally good show; Silicon maybe had its worst season, and the list also includes the last 4 episodes of Review.  

July 28 - Top 5 Moments in San Francisco Giants History

What is this all about?


Here are the top 5 July 28 moments in San Francisco Giants history.

Walk off 1985 home vs. Pittsburgh, we're 19.5 out, so the last two months are going to be a bit of a grind, in fact, we haven't been within 10 games since early June, Rick Reuschel on the mound for the Pirates in this one, he's out of the game by the bottom of the 10th, when, with the score 2-2, David Green singled home Chris Brown off of Cecilio Guante with the winning run.  Reuschel's one of the more underrated pitchers in baseball history, with almost 70 career WAR I'd put him in the Hall of Fame.  He was drafted by the Cubs in 1970, came up in '72 and went into the rotation.  He spent 10 years in Chicago, then was sent to the Yankees for Doug Bird and Mike Griffin; he pitched only a dozen regular season games (and 3 in the postseason, Reuschel started a game in the '81 World Series against the Dodgers) for New York before having two shoulder operations in '82 and getting released. He signed with the Cubs again, left after two years for Pittsburgh, and that's where we are now, this is Reuschel's first year with the Pirates and, by ERA+, the best year of his career at 159. We get a 38 year old Reuschel for the stretch in '87 for Jeff Robinson.  He works a lot, leads the league with 36 starts in '88 and throws over 200 innings as a 40 year old in '89.  His career ends after 10 innings pitched in '91.

Walk off 1990 home vs. Reds, we're still in this, 7.5 games out of first, we've gained 3.5 games on the lead in 4 days, we walked off the Reds the night before, this is a huge, near 50,000 paid crowd at the Stick on a Saturday afternoon, it takes 11 innings but we get them again.  Kevin Mitchell singles home Ernie Riles with 2 out in the 11th off of Randy Myers to win the game 3-2.  The next day Scott Garrelts had a no hitter for 8 2/3 in front of 55,000 paid before giving up a base hit. We get to 3.5 games back but no closer.  Mitch had a 150 OPS+ in '90 - what were the best offensive seasons for the Giants in the 90s?  Let's say minimum 250 plate appearances and 125 OPS+.

'90 Mitch 150 OPS+, 589 PA, Clark 125 OPS+ 678 PA
'91 Clark 153 OPS+ 622 PA, Mitch 141 OPS+ 423 PA, Matt 129 OPS+ 635 PA, Robby 128 OPS+ 573 PA
'92 Clark 148 OPS+ 601 PA
'93 Bonds 206 OPS+ 674 PA, Matt 137 OPS+ 619 PA, Robby 136 OPS+ 559
'94 Bonds 183 OPS+ 474 PA, Matt 141 OPS+ 483 PA
'95 Matt 177 OPS+ 318 PA, Bonds 170 OPS+ 635 PA
'96 Bonds 188 OPS+ 675 PA, Matt 134 OPS+ 455 PA
'97 Bonds 170 OPS+ 690 PA, Snow 135 OPS+ 637 PA
'98 Bonds 178 OPS+ 697 PA, Kent 142 OPS+ 594 PA
'99 Bonds 156 OPS+ 434 PA, Burks 147 OPS+ 469 PA, Kent 125 OPS+ 585 PA

That's 23, shave 3 or add two and that's not a bad list of our best offensive seasons in the 90s.

Walk off 1992 home vs. Dodgers, at the time, it sure seemed like the last San Francisco Giants walk off homer against the Dodgers, 3-3 with 2 out in the bottom of the 9th, Roger McDowell has an 0-2 count on Will Clark, who hits a 2 run homer to right to win the game 5-3.  It's Will's 157th career homer, his 6th career walk off (he only hits one more, he never hits a walk off homer for a team other than the Giants)

2000 at Chicago, it's game 100 and we are tied for first place, it's scoreless in the 9th inning in front of 40,000 on a Friday afternoon at Wrigley, we only got 5 hits, but the one that mattered came with one on and one out in the 9th, Rich Aurilia homering off of Tim Worell, we win the game 2-0.  The two pitchers that Aurilia faced the most in his career were Randy Johnson and Greg Maddux; 59 plate appearances each.

Aurilia vs. Johnson: .333 BA, .908 OPS
Aurilia vs. Maddux: .172 BA, .483 OPS

Walk off 2007 home vs. Marlins, we're a dozen games out of first, 3-3 in the 9th, Ray Durham singles home Fred Lewis off of Kevin Gregg to send everyone home.  We were trailing 3-2 coming into the inning, Mark Sweeney doubled home Dave Roberts to tie the score, setting up Durham.  Sweeney played in a couple hundred games as a Giants pinch hitter/backup first baseman in '06 and '07, we sent him to the Dodgers for Travis Denker (he played in 24 big league games, all for us in '08, he had 9 career hits).  As of this date we haven't made a subsequent trade with the Dodgers.

See you tomorrow.  Go Giants!

July 27 - Top 5 Moments in San Francisco Giants History

Thursday, July 27, 2017

What is this all about?


Here are the top 5 July 27 moments in San Francisco Giants history.

1979 at San Diego, we're 8.5 out, 3-3 in the 11th, Jack Clark (who see see over and over again in this countdown) homers off Mark Lee, 4-3 is the final score.  This was Clark's 60th career homer.

Walk off 1990 home vs. Reds, 8.5 behind these first place Reds, 3-3 in the 9th, Bill Bathe singles home Scott Garrelts (running for Gary Carter) off of Randy Myers.  Bathe played in 121 big league baseball games as a backup catcher. We signed him in '89, he was with us for two years, had 20 hits.  This is his last year as a major leaguer.

1992 home vs. Dodgers, 12 games out in what looks like our last season in San Francisco, this big moment happens early, down 1-0 in the 1st Cory Snyder hits a 3 run homer off Tom Candiotti, Bud Black throws a 3 hitter, and we beat LA 5-1.  The Dodgers were 17 out, to that date, '92 was the worst combined Giants/Dodgers season since the move west.  15 year big league career for Black, we got him near the end, we signed him as a free agent before the '91 season, the best of them was actually the first, despite his leading the league in losses with 16.  Black finished 4 replacement level seasons in San Francisco and then moved on to Cleveland, where he pitched in '95 and then retired.

2004 at San Diego, we're headed the wrong way, a month before we were 3 up and now we're 4.5 back in a tie with these Padres, and that's enough to get 40,000 in PetCo on a Tuesday night.  We're up 6-4 in the 9th, they've got the bases loaded with one out, Jay Peyton at the plate against Matt Herges - he gets a 6-4-3 and we win the game.  Herges came over from these Padres a year before for Clay Hensley. He was great, had a 183 ERA+ in 35 IP.  He did not repeat that performance in '04 and we'll give him to Arizona a year at the '05 deadline.

What were our best seasons for relievers this century?  Say a minimum of 50 IP? and a 150 ERA+?

2000: Nen 286 in 66 IP, FRod 162 in 81 IP
'01: FRod 237 in 80 IP
'02: Nen 177 in 73 IP, Worrell 173 in 72 IP, Witasick 164 in 68 IP
'05: Erye 163 in 68 IP
'09: Affeldt 246 in 62 IP, Wilson 156 in 72 IP
'10: Wilson 217 in 74 IP, Casilla 201 in 55 IP, Romo 180 in 62 IP
'12: Romo 198 in 55 IP
'13: Casilla 161 in 50 IP,
'14: Casilla 204 in 58 IP, Affeldt, 152 in 55 IP
'15: Kontos 165 in 73 IP, Strickland 157 in 51 IP
'16: Law 188 in 55 IP, Kontos 158 in 53 IP,

That's probably not quite the 20 best relief pitcher seasons for us this century given the artificial data parameters, but it's close.

2010 home vs Marlins, it's game 101 and we're in it, we were 7.5 out on the 4th of July but are now 3.5 back coming into this one.  3-3 in the bottom of the 8th, Juan Uribe homers off of Brian Sanches and we go on to win it 6-4.  It's Uribe's 143rd career homer, his 30th as a Giant, he's got 8 more regular season Giants homers to hit.  Uribe hit 9 homers against us, 3 with the Rockies early in his career (the first was off Rueter 8 days before 9/11) 4 with the Dodgers in 2013-14 and then 2 with the Braves in 2015.

See you tomorrow.  Go Giants!

July 26 - Top 5 Moments in San Francisco Giants History

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

What is this all about?


Here are the top 5 July 26 moments in San Francisco Giants history.

Walk off 1963 home vs, Pittsburgh, 24 days before we were a game out of first place - six days before we were 10 back, we come into this one 7.5 games out, trying to win our fifth straight after sweeping the Mets, 4-4 with an out in the 9th, Chuck Hiller hits a 2 run walk off homer off of Roy Face.  Hiller got two years as our primary second baseman, couldn't hit enough, particularly in '63 where he had a 62 OPS+.  Hiller only hit 20 career homers, this is his 7th and his only career walk off.  Here's good - of those 20 career homers, 3 were off Bob Gibson.

1969 at St Louis, it's game 99 and we're 2 games out of the lead, down 6-5 in the 9th, Jim Ray Hart hits a two run homer off of Joe Hoerner, we win it 7-6.  It's Hart's 142nd career homer. Hart's last year as our primary third baseman was '68, beginning this year he comes off the bench at both third and left all the way until he's sent to the Yankees early in the '73 season.  The first San Francisco third baseman is Davenport, he keeps that job through '63 and Hart takes over from '64-68, in '69 it's Davenport again.  That gets us into the 70s with just these two guys (then it's Gallagher/Goodson/Ontiveros/Reitz and you just want to bring Jim Ray Hart back)

1975 at Houston, we're 16 out, playing a doubleheader in Houston, down 2-1, Bobby Murcer doubles home 2 off of Ken Forsch, 3-2 winds up the final score and then we also get game 2.  Murcer hit in both his Giants seasons, his career Giants OPS+ was 125. You know who Murcer really hit well in his career? Catfish Hunter.  21 hits in 58 at bats, that's a .362 BA and he had a 1.027 career OPS against him. On the other hand he was a career 0-11 against Dennis Leonard.

Walk off 1980 home vs. Pittsburgh, we're only 7.5 out, so there's still some season left for us to win this division, bottom of the 10th, a guy who shows up on this daily list time and time again comes through - Jack Clark triples off Grant Jackson to score Joe Strain with the winning run.  Clark hit the ball, career Giants OPS+ of 134 and he hit even better than that in both St Louis and San Diego.  Jack Clark killed Jerry Reuss, 24 hits in 63 at bats (.381) with an OPS of 1.154 and five career homers.  On the other hand he was hitless in 14 career at bats against Bill Swift.

Walk off 1998 home vs. Reds, we're 13 out and this is game 105, so the season's done, we only get 3 hits in this one, the third coming with a 1-1 score in the bottom of the 10th, Jeff Kent led off with a homer off Stan Belinda to send everyone home.  It was his 4th homer in 3 days. One of the guys Kent killed was Terry Mulholland, 15-39 (.385) with a 1.109 OPS.  A guy he didn't hit was Osvaldo Fernandez (0-10).

See you tomorrow.  Go Giants!

July, 2017 Athlete of the Month

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

June is here.

Roger Federer.  Runners-up: Aaron Judge,  Jordan Spieth,  Jose Altuve

The year is over halfway down, we've got a good race going.  Who will be Athlete of the Year for 2017?

January - Deshaun Watson
February - Tom Brady
March - Russell Westbrook
April - A'ja Wilson
May - Stephen Curry
June- Kevin Durant
July - Roger Federer

July 25 - Top 5 Moments in San Francisco Giants History

What is this all about?


Here are the top 5 July 25 moments in San Francisco Giants history.

Walk off 1978 home vs. Cardinals, we're 21 over .500 with a 2 game lead in the west (we're gonna win! we're going to the playoffs!) almost 40,000 paid on a Tuesday night at the Stick, dueling complete games by Vida Blue and Bob Forsch, we're down 2-1 in the bottom of the 9th, Mike Ivie pinch hits a 2 run homer to win the game.  It's Ivie's first Giants season, he splits time at first with McCovey, it's his second best ever year with the bat (his best is coming in '79) this is Ivie's 32nd career home run and the only walk off home run he'll ever hit.

1988 home vs. Dodgers, we're 7 games back, starting a 4 game set against the first place Dodgers, Kelly Downs throws a complete game 5 hitter and gets the win when, with the score 1-1 in the 7th, Kevin Mitchell hits a 2 run homer off Fernando Valenzuela for the final runs scored in the game.  This is Mitch's last year at third base, he moves to the outfield, really during the '88 season, which is where he spends the rest of his NL career.  This is Mitchell's 47th career homer, three of those had been off of Fernando - do you remember where Valenzuela finished his career?  St Louis.  He pitched in five games for the Cardinals in '97.

1992 at Philadelphia, this is game 96 of what looked for all the world to be the last ever season of San Francisco Giants baseball, we're a dozen games out, it's 2-2 in the 10th, Mike Felder drives home Kevin Bass with a double off of Mitch Williams - we win this one 6-2.  Felder spent 2 seasons as our 4th OF, this was his second and his more productive - with an OPS+ of 106 this is easily the best season with the bat in his 10 year career.  Felder's off to Seattle after the season and never plays a big league game after '94.

Walk off 2003 home vs. Padres, 11 game lead, 28 games over .500, we've won 8 straight, how about one more - 2-2 in the bottom of the 9th, Pedro Feliz hits a 3 run homer off of Jay Witasek to win the game.  This is the best year of Feliz's career with the bat, he has a 102 OPS+ and the last season before we jumped his number of plate appearances beyond a reasonable level.  This is his 19th career homer and the only Giants walk off he'd ever hit.

2010 at Arizona, we're 3 out of first, looking for a 4 game sweep in Phoenix, 2-2 with 2 out in the 10th, Travis Ishikawa singles home what turns out to be the winning run off of Esmerling Vasquez.  This is the last year of Ishikawa's first Giants run, he was drafted 8 years before, as an 18 year old in '02 (in the 21st round, no one else selected in that round who signed made the big leagues; for example, the guy chosen right before Ishikawa was a San Jose St third baseman who never made it above A ball.) Ishikawa came up on '06, was our primary first baseman in '09. He spends all of '11 in AAA and then we let him go and he heads to Milwaukee.  He comes back.

See you tomorrow.  Go Giants!

2010 at Arizona, we're 3 out of first, looking for a 4 game sweep in Phoenix, 2-2 with 2 out in the 10th, Travis Ishikawa singles home what turns out to be the winning run off of Esmerling Vasquez.  This is the last year of Ishikawa's first Giants run, he was drafted 8 years before, as an 18 year old in '02 (in the 21st round, no one else selected in that round who signed made the big leagues; for example, the guy chosen right before Ishikawa was a San Jose St third baseman who never made it above A ball.) Ishikawa came up on '06, was our primary first baseman in '09. He spends all of '11 in AAA and then we let him go and he heads to Milwaukee.  He comes back.

July 24 - Top 5 Moments in San Francisco Giants History

Monday, July 24, 2017

What is this all about?


Here are the top 5 July 24 moments in San Francisco Giants history. 5 different decades.

Walk off 1959 home vs. Cubs, it's game 96 for the second San Francisco squad, we're up 1.5 in the NL, this is really long game for 1959 standards, nearly 4 hours, Jim Davenport breaks the 5-5 tie in the bottom of the 10th, singling home Hobie Landrith off of Don Elston for the walk off win.  It's the 13th walk off hit in San Francisco history.

Walk off 1963 home vs. Mets, it's game 100, we're 8.5 out, so the situation is not great, and the situation here isn't great - we get 3 hit by Al Jackson, the third coming when we trailed 3-2 in the 9th inning, Jim Davenport doubles home 2 runs to win the game.  It's his 4th career walk off hit.

Walk off 1977 home vs. Expos, the season's done, we're 15.5 out, but we won the first half of this double header, we go a dozen in over 3 and a half hours in game 2, it took a Darrell Evans homer to tie it in the 8th, now it's the 12th, 4-4, Jack Clark sends everyone home with a solo shot off of Will McEnaney.  It's Clarks 12th career homer and first walk off (he hits 8 in his career, one was against us in '87 off of Lefferts)

1994 at New York, on July 5 we were 9.5 back but then ripped off 9 straight and are now 2.5 back - you gotta like gaining 7 games in 19 days, we don't know that there won't be a World Series this year, we're on a run, daddy.  We're down 6-5 in the 8th, bases loaded, 2 out, John Franco pitching to...Barry Bonds, on his 30th birthday, he drives home 2 with a base hit, we win the game 8-6.  The day before we had a 3 and a half hour rain delay.  Bonds finished 4th in the NL MVP race, which was his worst finish in 5 years.  The Pirates drafted Barry 6th overall in '85, picked just before him was Kurt Brown, a high school catcher taken by the White Sox.  He never made the big leagues and only got one year in AA.

2003 home vs. Diamonbacks, everything's coming up Giants in late July of '03, we're 27 over .500, we're 10 games up in the west, we've won 7 straight - it's an unstoppable juggernaut - sold out on a Thursday afternoon at Pac Bell, we only get 5 hits, it's 2-2 in the bottom of the 9th, Mike Myers facing....Barry Bonds, on his 39th birthday, he homers to keep that win streak going.  It's homer #646 for Barry, his 7th career walk off, his 5th as a Giant.  It's his 470th career homer as a Giant, sending him past McCovey on our all time list.  Barry, of course, his #762 homers - how many of them were against the Giants?


He got Roger Mason in '86.
Jeff Robinson in '87
Krukow, Downs, and Joe Price in '88
Bedrosian and Don Robinson (got him twice) in '89
Mark Thurmond, Reuschel and Garrelts in '90
Burkett in '91
Francisco Oliveras, Bud Black, and Burkett again in '92

See you tomorrow. Go Giants!

July 23 - Top 5 Moments in San Francisco Giants History

Sunday, July 23, 2017

What is this all about?


Here are the top 5 July 23 moments in San Francisco Giants history.

1972 home vs. Mets, we're 17.5 out, just playing out the string, complete games for both starters here, Ron Bryant against Tom Seaver - we're down 2-1 with 2 out in the 5th when Bobby Bonds hits a 3 run homer off Seaver.  We win it 5-2.  Mays went hitless for the Mets. It's Bonds's 115th career homer.  Seaver normally killed Bonds, in 58 plate appearances Bobby had a .118 BA, that's 6 hits - but four of them were homers.

1988 at St Louis, we were 2.5 out just a couple weeks before, but now are 7 back after getting walked off the night before, 5-5 in the 9th inning, Candy Maldonado singles home Brett Butler off of Todd Worrell, we win it 6-5.  Candy was our primary RF from '87-89, it was Chili in '85-6 and obviously Jack Clark before that, all the way back to 1977.  It was Murcer in '75-6 and before that it was Bobby Bonds, all the way back to '69.  That's 2 decades of Giants right fielders.  The fight at second base is the day after this game.

2008 home vs. Nationals, we're 8.5 back, we're down 4-3 in the 8th, Rich Aurilia hits a 2 run double off Luis Ayala and we win this one 6-4.  The Rangers drafted Aurilia in the 24th round in '92. The only other player drafted in that round, who signed with his team and made it to the majors was Mike DeJean, who had a ten year career as a reliever.

2014 at Philadelphia, 13 games up with a 1.5 game lead in the west, we only got 5 hits in this one, it's scoreless in the 9th, bases loaded, two out, Hunter Pence clears them with a double off of Jonathan Papelbon, we win this one 3-1.  Pence took over RF from the Giants after coming over from the Phillies at the deadline in '12. Through '16 he's the 43rd greatest San Francisco Giant ever.

2016 at Yankees, we went into the Break with the best record in baseball, 24 games over .500 with a 6.5 game lead in the west.  We haven't won since, dropping 6 straight and our lead is down to 4.  It takes another 12 innings and 4 and a half hours here before we stop that slide, 1-1 in the 12th, Mac Williamson singles home Trevor Brown off of Anthony Swarzak and that 2-1 lead holds up.  We drafted Williamson as a 22 year old in the third round in 2012 (as of this writing, not much value has come out of that round, Andrew Toles has been good in very limited time with the Dodgers) Williamson's time has also been limited, a couple hundred replacement level plate appearances in portions of three seasons beginning in 2015.  He just hasn't hit enough to stay in the lineup despite some opportunities in the Giants outfield.

See you tomorrow.  Go Giants!

July 22 - Top 5 Moments in San Francisco Giants History.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

What is this all about?


Here are the Top 5 July 22 moments in San Francisco Giants history.

1964 home vs. Cubs, it's game 95, just a week before we were up a game - but now we're one out of first place, it's 3-3 in the 6th (we scored those three on a Hal Lanier homer in the 5th) Orlando Cepeda hits a two run homer off Larry Jackson, we're gonna win this one 7-3, but we can never make up that game and get back into first.  It's Cepeda's 208th career homer, he only hits 17 more as a Giant.

1983 at Pittsburgh, game 94, 11 games out, down 3-2 in the 8th, Joel Youngblood drives in two with a pinch base hit off of Kent Tekulve, we're gonna win it 5-3. Jack Clark had five hits on the day. It's Youngblood's first year of 6 in San Francisco and easily his best, he had a 138 OPS+

Walk off 1996 home vs. Cubs, we're 9.5 games out, Kim Batiste pinch homered in the 7th to tie the score at one, and in the bottom of the 9th Rich Aurilia singled with one out - Kirt Manwaring tried to bunt him over but got hit by the pitch, a batter later the Cubs tried to pick Aurilia off second, but the catcher's throw hit him, with 2 outs and Aurilia on third a Marvin Benard ground ball went under Ryne Sandberg's glove to score the game winning run.  It's Batiste's only season in San Francisco, he played 54 games as a Giant and didn't hit at all, having an OPS+ of 49 as a utility guy.  It's hit 26th game as a Giant, his 9th hit and his second of 3 home runs.

1997 home vs. Phillies, it's game 100, the first time we've hit that number on this daily look at great Giants moments, we're 3 up in the NL West, Bonds homered to tie the game in the 5th, but we were down 4-3 in the 7th when Jeff Kent hit a 2 run over off of Jerry Spradlin (Kent's second homer) and we're gonna win it 8-5.  This is Kent's first season in San Francisco after the Matt Williams trade with Cleveland, he was okay, it's really '98 as a 30 year old that he starts the march to his Hall of Fame level career.

2014 at Philadelphia, up 1.5 in the West, we play a near 6 hour game on a Tuesday night at the Vet, 5-5 with 2 out and the bases loaded in the top of the 14th - Brandon Crawford doubles off Jeff Manship, clearing the bases, and we win it 9-6.  Buster Posey had a game tying homer in the 9th. We drafted Crawford as 21 year old in '08 (in the 4th round, Jason Kipnis and Dee Gordon also taken in that round; '08 was also the Posey draft, so a nice haul) he came up in '11 and took the starting shortstop job in 2012.  He's been good every year, particularly so in 2015 and then 2016, although as of this writing has fallen off the table entirely in 2017 in a nearly inexplicable collapse.

See you tomorrow.  Go Giants!

Edit - Walk off 2017 home vs. Padres, game 99 of an historically bad Giants season, we come in 29.5 behind the first place Dodgers, further beind than any Giants team has ever been to any Dodgers team in the entire history of both organizations. 4-4 with 2 out in the bottom of the 12th, Nick Hundley singles home Kelby Tomlinson with the winning run off of Kevin Quackenbush. It's the tenth year of Hundley's career, he signed as a free agent in the offseason after a couple of years in Colorado.  He produces well enough to be your backup catcher, as of this date he's got an 87 OPS+ in 2017. Hundley was taken 28th in the 2nd round by the Padres in 2008 (they took Chase Headley 10 spots prior, he and Yunel Escobar have been the two best players from that round; we lost our pick to the Cardinals in the Mike Matheny signing, they took a Texas high school pitcher who never made it).

See you today.  Go Giants!

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!

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