August 2 - Top 5 Moments in San Francisco Giants History

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

What is this all about?


Top 5 August 2 moments in San Francisco Giants history.

1964 home vs. Pirates, game 105, we're 2.5 games behind the Phillies, this one's fun - it's 1-1 with 2 out in the 8th --- and Duke Snider singles home the go ahead run off of Bob Friend, that 2-1 score holds up. Here's how much of a Dodger Duke Snider was - he was born in LA, went to Compton High School (he and Pete Rozelle were on the same high school basketball team) and signed with the Dodgers as a 17 year old.  Those, of course, were the Brooklyn Dodgers, where he played from '47-57, then moved with the team west to LA until they sold him to the Mets before the '63 season.  The Mets then sold him to us this season.  Duke Snider played in 91 games as a San Francisco Giant as our fifth, maybe even sixth outfielder - really among the last guys on the bench. He didn't hit, his 75 OPS+ was his worst since '47.  He hit 4 Giants homers - the first one was a game tying two run 9th inning homer in Los Angeles.

1966 at Mets, here's a game, game 107 on the season, 18 over .500 and in a tie for first in the NL with the Dodgers.  We're down 3-2 in the 8th, Ozzie Virgil singles home 2 off of Jack Hamilton, we go on to win 5-4.  Virgil was a New York Giant, signed in '53, up in '56, got a couple hundred appearances as a utilityman in '57.  He didn't go west, we dealt him to the Tigers for a utility guy named Jim Finigan who was unproductive in 23 games for the first San Francisco club.  We got him back this season in a deal with Pittsburgh that sent Matty Alou to the Pirates.  Virgil couldn't hit, in 42 games this year he had a 49 OPS+, he gets in one more game 3 years later and finishes his career as a Giant. He had 19 San Francisco hits.

Walk off 1975 home vs. Astros, we walked Houston off the day before and, despite remaining 15.5 games off the lead, do it again here.  31 combined hits in this one but it ends on a wild pitch, 7-7 in the 10th, Bobby Murcer at the plate, a Jim Crawford wild pitch scores Mike Sadek with the winning run.  Von Joshua homered and tripled.  This was Joshua's career year; he grew up a Dodger, signed at 19, up at 21 and spent six largely unproductive seasons as a backup OF.  They let him go before this season and we picked him up, threw him in center field, and he had a 120 OPS+. Joshua had more WAR in '75 than the rest of his career combined and not by a little bit.  And then in '76 it fell apart, he couldn't hit and after 42 games we sold him to the Brewers.  He finished his career as a Padre in 1980.

1998 at Philadelphia, game 110 on the season, a dozen games out in the West but only 3.5 behind the Cubs for the Wild Card spot, up 1-0 in the 2nd, Ellis Burks hits a 2 out, 3 run homer to give us a 4 run lead in a game we'd win 15-3.  Kent and Bonds followed with homers- the first time we had gone back to back to back since '82 (Smith/May/Summers, it's happened a total of 10 times in San Francisco history as of this writing) Bonds went 4-4 with a homer and double, stole a base, then got hit with a pitch in the 7th and charged the mound (Rueter retaliated and the benches cleared a second time).  Burks had an 18 year big league career, 3 of those years in San Francisco. Burks was a deadline deal in '98 with the Rockies, we sent them Darryl Hamilton and it was an enormous win.  Burks never hit anywhere as well as he hit in San Francisco, with OPS+ of 128, 147, and 163 as our right fielder.  He left for the Indians after the 2000 season.  Burks was a 5+ WAR player as a 35 year old in 2000, that's the 27th best season for a right fielder in franchise history.  This was Burks' second game as a Giant, his 226th career homer and his first Giants homer.

2009 home vs. Philadelphia, we're 7 out in the West headed to the 105th game of the season, but we're first in the Wild Card race, down 3-1 with two outs in the 5th, Freddy Sanchez hits a game tying double off of Cole Hamels and we go on to win it 7-3.  The Red Sox took Sanchez in the 11th round in 2000 as a shortstop from Oklahoma City University (we had the pick just before, we took a righty from Oral Roberts named Jackson Markert, he only got 15 games as high as AA and was out of baseball after '04). Sanchez was the Pirates starting third baseman when he hit .344 in '06 and their second baseman when we got him at the deadline this year for Tim Alderson, a top pitching prospect who never made the big leagues and retired after the 2016 season.  Sanchez took over as our second baseman and remained until injuries ended his career during the 2011 season.  He was okay, with a career Giants OPS+ of 98, dead at his career level.  This was his very first game as a San Francisco Giant.

See you tomorrow.  Go Giants!

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