August 3 - Top 5 Moments in San Francisco Giants History

Thursday, August 3, 2017

What is this all about?


Here are the top 5 August 3 moments in San Francisco Giants history.

Walk off 1978 home vs. Dodgers, it's game 108, we're 20 games over .500, a half game up in the West on the Reds and starting a series against the third place Dodgers.  42,000 paid for a Thursday night game at the Stick. With 2 outs in the top of the 9th, Lee Lacy tied the score with an inside the park home run when Larry Herndon and Jack Clark collided in the outfield (probably, it should have been called a catch by Herndon).  Now it's 4-4 in the bottom half, Darrell Evans singles home Terry Whitfield off of Terry Forster to send everyone home.  We were a game up at the end of the day; it had been seven years since we had spent a day in first place after the All Star break.   McCovey hit homer #504.

1982 at Atlanta, we're 13 out, playing out the string...or so it would appear...we're about to go on a 10 game winning streak that's going to bring us all the way to 4 games out of first, this is win number one. Down 3-2 in the 9th, no reason to think at all anything was about to happen in 1982 - when Tom O'Malley hit a 2 run homer off Gene Garber. We win it 6-3. We drafted O'Malley in the 16th round in '79 as a high school second baseman from Pennsylvania. 2 picks prior the Pirates took Ron Wotus out of a Connecticut high school; as of this writing he's spent nearly two decades as a Giants coach.  This is O'Malley's rookie year and the best year of his career with the bat (102 OPS+). We decide to go with him at third base, pushing Darrell Evans to a backup role and then over to first base in '83. It never really takes and in early '84 we send him to the White Sox for nobody.  O'Malley finishes his career as a Met in 1990. O'Malley hit only 13 career homers, this was the 2nd (he hits his last homer against us, off Scott Garrelts, 8 years and two weeks later).

1993 at San Diego - what's our record?  It's 71-35, holy cow this is a good club.  We're 7.5 games up in the, that's actually down, on July 22 we were 10 up, but c'mon, stop worrying.  Here, we're down 7-5 with 2 out in the 7th, that's not Will Clark's fault, he hit a 3 run homer in the 5th - and he's up again in this spot, against former teammate Mark Davis, and he ties the game with a 2 run triple. It's a 6 RBI night for the Thrill.  We're gonna win this game 12-7.  Here are Clark's career numbers against Davis: 8 for 17, 1.471 OPS.  Everyone knows Clark's homer off Nolan Ryan in his first game - he kept hitting Ryan, 12 for 36, 6 homers, career OPS of 1.274. How about Will vs. Roger Clemens? 8 for 20. 1.406 OPS.

1999 at Arizona, it's game 107, we're only 3.5 out of first, playing the first place Diamondbacks - 2 outs in the 8th, despite only giving up 3 hits on the night (7 innings, 2 hit ball by Livan Hernandez, in his second San Francisco start) we trail 1-0, Charlie Hayes hits a 3 run homer off Omar Daal and we win it 3-1. Hernandez was already an international phenomenon when he defected from Cuba as a 20 year old in 1995; he pitched in one game for the Marlins in '96, and finished second in the Rookie of the Year race in '97 (Scott Rolen won). We got him at the deadline, just a week before this game, for Nate Bump (our first round pick in '98, he spent 3 serviceable years in the Marlins pen) and Jason Grilli (our top pick in '97. Grilli was the 4th pick overall, a right hander out of Seton Hall, so this was a big roll of the dice trade for the Giants, the top pick overall in '97 was Matt Anderson a pitcher from Rice, he threw 7 replacement level seasons.  The Angels took Troy Glaus just before our Grilli selection; the Jays Vernon Wells right after. Lance Berkman went 16th. Jayson Werth 22nd. We took an Arizona St outfielder Dan McKinley 49th. He got to AAA with the Expos organization but not above. Grilli is still in the league, now 40 years old, as of 2017, he's pitched for 9 clubs, currently he's in the Rangers pen).  Livan was a Giant for four seasons, the only one with an ERA+ over 100 was 2000, his career Giants ERA+ was 92, so he was just a guy, but a guy who you could count on to take the ball - 240 innings in 2000, 226 in '01, 216 in '02.  Just before the '03 season we sent him to the Expos for Jim Brower.  Livan finished up his career in 2012 as a Brewer.  This was Hernandez's first Giants win.

Walk off 2001 home vs. Phillies, this is game 110 and we are rolling, on the 25th we were 6.5 games out but haven't lost since, 8 straight wins to bring us to a game out of the lead in the West (and a half game out of the WC) starting a weekend series against the Phillies, it's 2-2 with 2 out in the bottom of the 9th - Andres Galaraga hits a 2 run walk off homer against Turk Wendell.  We move a half game out in the West (and never get closer).  The version of Galaraga who the Giants got was old man Andres, he was 40 when we got him at the deadline from the Rangers for not very much - he hit in 49 games for us, producing a 127 OPS+.  He left after the season to go back to his original club, the Expos, but would then return in 2003, and again, even as a 42 year old, was solid with the bat, with a 118 OPS+ in just under 300 plate appearances.  He finished his career the following season with the Angels.  This was Galaraga's second Giants homer, the 372nd of his career.  It's only his second career walk off - he's going to hit one more and it's going to happen next month.

See you tomorrow.  Go Giants!

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