August 11 - Top 5 Moments in San Francisco Giants History

Friday, August 11, 2017

What is this all about?


Here are the top 5 August 11 moments in San Francisco Giants history.

1962 home vs. Dodgers, the great 1962 Giants are 74-42 but 4.5 games behind the first place Dodgers, this is a weekend series at the Stick, we took the opener and this is a Saturday afternoon in front of a giant crowd, a McCovey 3 run homer off of Drysdale in the 6th gave us a lead, this is the 9th, we're up by a run but the Dodgers have the tying run on first, nobody out, Frank Howard at the plate - but Stu Miller gets him 6-4-3 and we're gonna win this one 5-4. We sweep them the following day to move 2.5 out of first place.  It's Miller's last season as the Giants closer, as a starter he led MLB in ERA+ back in '58 (155) and was nearly as good as our closer in '61 - but he's 34 this year, has a 93 ERA+ and so you understand why we send him to Baltimore after the season.  It was a mistake, in 5 Orioles seasons he has combined 145 ERA+ and is an effective bullpen arm the remainder of his career.

1974 at Chicago, we're 22.5 out, here's a Sunday doubleheader, a Mike Caldwell complete game gave us a game 1 win, we're down 4-3 with 2 out in the 9th of game 2, Tito Fuentes hits a 2 run single off Dave LaRoche, we win this one 6-4 and get a little bit of joy in a dreary year.  4 years before he would throw 23 complete games for the '78 Brewers, Caldwell was in his first year in San Francisco after being the return from the Padres in the Willie McCovey trade.  And he was terrific in '74, his 130 ERA+ was the second best mark of his career (only behind the aforementioned '78). He collapsed in the two remaining years of his Giants tenure. After the '76 season we sent him, D'Acquisto and Rader to the Cards for Willie Crawford, John Curtis, Vic Harris.  By mid '77 he had been dealt twice more, winding up in Milwaukee where he had an absolutely out of nowhere age 29 season in 1978, finishing second in the Cy Young voting behind Ron Guidry in the season where he won 25 games and had an ERA+ over 200.  Caldwell was good again the following year and then began his decline, retiring after the '84 season.

Walk off 1982 home vs. Braves, on July 30 we were 13.5 games out - but we've won 9 straight, and come into this Wednesday afternoon game only 5 out of first place.  It was all madness.  This was the end of an 8 game homestand, only 22,000 paid despite the scorching run, this is a 3 and a half hour 12 inning game. 6-6 in the 12th, one out - 37 year old Reggie Smith, who just had a heck of a final season in his big league career, hits a game winning 2 run homer off of Carlos Diaz to extend the streak to 10 games and move us 4 out of the lead.  This was the end of the streak, the Dodgers beat us the next day, and by the beginning of September we were 9 games out again and the season was over...or was it... This was Smith's 4th homer in a week, he had 4 career walk offs and 2 were this season as a Giant.  I loved the '82 Giants, what a fun club.  Like the SNL season where they brought in Billy Crystal and Martin Short.

Walk off 2002 home vs. Pirates, we're 7.5 out of the lead - but 1.5 up in the wild card, 4 hours in front of a sold out Pac Bell Park on a Sunday afternoon, 4-4 with an out in the 11th, Ramon Martinez singles home the winning run off of Mike Williams.  We dealt for Martinez out of the Royals system before the '97 season, he came up in '98 and spent 5 seasons as a utilityman, including getting the bulk of the third base plate appearances the year before.  Martinez was okay as a spare piece, he had a 101 OPS+ this year, his last as a Giant, he left for the Cubs in the offseason and would finish his career as a Met in '09.

2005 at Atlanta, we're 8.5 out of first, trying to avoid a sweep by the Braves, down 3-2 in the 7th, Randy Winn hits a 2 run homer off future Giant Tim Hudson and we're gonna win it 5-3. A man described as an obsessive Giants fan was found guilty of phoning in a bomb threat for this game. Let's take a look at his historical recaps. The Marlins drafted Winn 10 years before in the third round out of Santa Clara University (we took Darin Blood ten picks later, he made AAA but no higher and stopped in 2002). The Rays took him from the Marlin syste, in the '97 expansion draft and he came up in '98.  After 5 years in Tampa he went to Seattle (traded for a manager, Lou Pinella) and we got him at the deadline this season for Jesse Foppert and Yorvit Torrealba.  In 58 games with the Giants in '05, Winn played the best baseball of his life, with a 173 OPS+. This was Winn's 9th game with the Giants. He spends 5 seasons in San Francisco, signs with the Yankees after the '09 season and finishes his career in 2010 as a Cardinal.

See you tomorrow.  Go Giants!

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