August 1 - Top 5 Moments in San Francisco Giants History

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

What is this all about?


Here are the top 5 August 1 moments in San Francisco Giants history.

1971 home vs. Pirates, coming into this first half of a doubleheader the Giants are 22 over .500 with an 8.5 game lead in the West.  We're down 7-6 in the 8th, 2 out, bases loaded, Willie Mays clears the bases with a 3 run double off Bruce Kison and we're gonna win this one 11-7.  Clemente, McCovey, and Bonds all homered in this one. We go on and win the second game too, grabbing a 9 game lead with 52 remaining.  Mays had just 62 career regular season games remaining with the Giants.

Walk off 1975 home vs. Astros, we're 16.5 games out, there's no way to get back in the race, we came into the bottom of the 9th trailing 2-1, Willie Montanez homered off JR Richard to tie it, and the next batter, Chris Speier homered off Richard to win it.  Montanez broke in at 18 with the Angels in '66 and then spent the next 4 years in the Cardinals system.  They sent him to the Phillies in '70 as a replacement for Curt Flood, who didn't report to Philadelphia after traded by St Louis. As the Phillies center fielder in '71 Montanez is second in the NL Rookie of the Year race behind the Braves Earl Williams.  That turned out to be the best year he'd ever have; we got Montanez early this season in a swap for Garry Maddox, he's okay as our first baseman - 110 OPS+ in '75, 116 OPS+ in 60 games in '76 before we moved him to Atlanta for Darrell Evans.  Montanez pretty much moved every year from that point, ending his career back in Philadelphia in '82.  This was his 6th of 10 Giants homers.

1982 at Houston, we're 13 games out and it's game 104, so it certainly looks like the season is over from this vantage point, Nolan Ryan went 9 for the Astros, but this is the 10th, 2-2 with 2 out, Jack Clark (again) hits a 2 run homer off Frank LaCorte, we only got 6 hits but won this one 4-2.  We didn't know it then - but two weeks later we'd be 4 games off the lead.

1998 at Philadelphia, like 16 years prior, we came in 13 off the lead, but there's now a Wild Card and we're only 3.5 games from that spot. Orel Hershiser going for the Giants, former Giant Mark Portugal going for the Phillies - both are long gone with one out in the 10th inning when Rich Rodriguez faced Kevin Sefcik with the bases loaded and the Giants up 8-7.  Rodriguez got him 6-4-3 to end the game. Rodriguez was a Giants bullpen lefty for three seasons, we signed him from the Royals system after he spent the first 6 years of his career with 3 NL teams.  He was stronger in '97 (131 ERA+) than this one (109) or the last one (82).  Rodriguez left for the Mets after '99 and finished his career as an Angel in '03.

2008 at San Diego, we're 11 out and 19 games under .500, up 3-2 with an out in the 10th, Brian Wilson on the mound facing Kevin Kouzmanoff, he grounds into a 6-3 double play to end the game.  Brian Wilson was 21 years old when we drafted him out of LSU in 2003 in the 24th round.  Nothing else came out of the 24th round in 2003. Or the 23rd round.  Or the 22nd.  You see where I'm going with this.  Wilson joined the pen inauspiciously in '06, was very good in just 23 innings in '07 and became the Giants closer this year. He was okay - had a lot of saves but a 95 ERA+, it's really 2009 when Wilson hits and then 2010 when he finishes 7th in the Cy Young voting and is worth 5 WAR.  That's the third best season for any reliever in Giants franchise history.  Wilson gives some ground in 2011 and then misses almost the entire 2012 season with injury.  He returns as a Dodger at the end of 2013 and then his career ends after the following season.

See you tomorrow.  Go Giants!

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