August 4 - Top 5 Moments in San Francisco Giants History

Friday, August 4, 2017

What is this all about?


Here are the top 5 August 4 moments in San Francisco Giants history.

1960 at Philadelphia, the third San Francisco team is 7 out on game 99, still in the race but we've been walked off by the Phillies in back to back games.  We're down 7-6 with 2 out in the 7th, Willie McCovey triples home 2 off of Jim Owens.  We win this game 8-7 but can't gain any ground on the lead and never get closer than 7 the rest of the way.  McCovey had 46 triples in his 22 year big league career, 45 of them with the Giants.  This was his 126th big league game and his 8th triple.

1963 at Cubs, it's game 110, back on July 20 we were 10 back, but come into this one 4.5 out and we are in this race. 1-1 in the 10th, Willie Mays homers off of Lindy McDaniel; this is a 175 OPS+ 10.5 WAR season for Mays, the third best season of his career.  Mays won 2 MVP Awards, which seems a little light, he had 11 seasons of 8+ WAR which are MVP quality seasons, let's take a look at how many he should have won.

1954 - won MVP, 9.9 WAR, he was about a win and a half better than Robin Roberts, Mays deserved the award.
1955 - finished 4th, 9.2 WAR, Campanella won, he had 6 WAR, that's not close. Snider finished 2nd, he was about a win and a half less than Mays, that's not close. Banks finished 3rd, now he had 8.25 WAR, still shy of Mays but a Banks vote is reasonable.  No one else is close, Mays should have won the MVP in '55.
1957 - finished 4th, 8.45 WAR, Aaron won, he was just shy of an 8 WAR season, Musial finished second, he wasn't close, about 6 and a half WAR, Schoendienst was third, he was about a win why of Musial - Eddie Mathews (finished 8th) is actually right there with Aaron, a little more than half a win short of Mays.  Mays should have won this also, the Aaron vote isn't terrible, but Mays had the better year.  He should have 3 MVP Awards before the move to San Francisco.
1958 - finished 2nd, 9.6 WAR, Banks won, Banks was terrific, his WAR is 9.55 - that's a dead tie, it should have been a closer race than it was (Banks got 16 first place votes, Mays got 3) but this is a coin flip vote and Banks was a deserving winner.
1960 - finished 3rd, 8.5 WAR, Dick Groat not only won but the only other guys to get any first place votes were also Pirates (Hoak, Clemente). Groat was nearly 2 wins shy of Mays, that's not close. Don Hoak finished second, he was a 5 WAR player, come on 1960 writers, get with it. Banks finished 4th, he had an 8 WAR season, so he was a reasonable vote, if not quite as good as Mays. Mathews and Ernie Broglio but had 7+ WAR seasons.  So look - it's Mays again, this should be his 4th MVP Award and I'm being generous by not giving him '58.
1961 - finished 6th, 8.25 WAR, Frank Robinson won, he was about half a win short of Mays, it's not a lot, but Mays was better.  Cepeda was second, he was two wins short of Mays.  Pinson was third, we was a couple wins short as well.  Clemente was 4th, and his WAR was about 5, just not in the same universe as Mays.  Joey Jay was 5th, and his WAR was half of Mays's.  Half.  You know who had the same WAR as Mays? Ken Boyer, 8.25.  He finished 7th.  You know who was better?  Aaron.  8.8 WAR even though he finished 9th.  He's who got screwed in '61.
1962 - finished 2nd, 9.9 WAR, Maury Wills won, he had 5 WAR, it's an embarrassing vote.  Frank had a terrific year, 8.9 WAR, but Mays is easily the best player in '62 and should have received his 5th MVP Award.
1963 - finished 5th, 10.5 WAR, come on baseball writers, a 10 WAR season finishes 5th in the MVP race? Koufax won, he was deserving, a 10.25 WAR, you can't feel badly about giving him the Award, but the way I approach is the MVP is that, everything being equal, you go with the position player, as the Cy Young is an award that exists.  Dick Groat was second, shouldn't have been.  Aaron was third, had an 8+ WAR season, but that's not close. Dick Ellsworth had a 9 WAR season and finished 18th, such a disaster by the writers.  This should have been Mays's 6th MVP Award.
1964 - finished 6th, 10.95 WAR, the baseball writers are missing the show, Boyer won, Callison second, Groat third, none of them close.  Santo had a terrific year, 9.25 WAR, he finished 8th; Dick Allen had 8.8 WAR but even that's not close.  No one's close.  This is Mays's 7th MVP Award.
1965 - finished first, had 10.95 WAR.  Mays won and should have won.  MVP Award #8.
1966 - finished 3rd, 8.4 WAR, Clemente won and shouldn't have, but Mays should have been behind Santo, Santo should have been behind Marichal, and they all should have been behind Koufax.

So, that's it.  Mays won 2 MVPs and should have won 8 (or maybe 9, but we'll say 8).

1964 at Mets, it's game 107, we're 2 games out of first, so right in the thick of it as we open up a series in New York. It goes 14, 3-3, Jim Davenport singles in what turns out to be the winning run off of Galen Cisco.  Gaylord went 10 in this one. We move a game and a half out and never get closer than that.  Broadcast of the game on WOR in New York was interrupted for the LBJ address to the nation explaining the Gulf of Tonkin incident.

Walk off 1973 home vs. Dodgers, we were 5 out on the 28th, but have lost 4 of 5 so are now 7.5 out here for game 109. Saturday afternoon at the Stick, bottom of the 11th, 2-2, Tito Fuentes homers off Jim Brewer to win it for the good guys.  Fuentes hit 45 career home runs, this is his only walk off.

2014 at Mets, on June 8 we were 10 up, as recently as July 23 we were 2.5 up, but here we are in game 113 two games out of first place (although we still have the second best record in the NL) 3-3 with two out in the 9th, Pablo Sandoval doubles home Gregor Blanco off of Jenrry Mejia and 4-3 will be the final score.  Sandoval signed at 16 years old, made the club at 21 and the next year took over as the starting third baseman.  He largely kept that job through this season; Sandoval was a career 123 OPS+ bat with the Giants.  He signed with the Sox and was a disaster, getting released during the 2017 season and returning to the Giants organization.

See you tomorrow.  Go Giants!

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