September 18 - Top 5 Moments in San Francisco Giants History

Monday, September 18, 2017


What is this all about?

Here are the top 5 September 18 moments in San Francisco Giants history.

Walk off 1961 home vs. Braves, we're 8.5 out with 19 to play, down 2-1 in the bottom of the 9th, Orlando Cepeda hits a 2 run walk off homer off of Bob Hendley, we move to 8 games off the lead. Cepeda hit 46 in '61, this was 41 - he'll get Spahn tomorrow and Burdette the next day. This was his 4th career walk off - his third was a month prior. We never get closer than 7.5 back.

1965 at Milwaukee, less than two weeks ago we were in second, but we won 14 straight (hell, yeah, 1965) and are now 3.5 up with 14 to play. Ron Herbel goes 7 and a third, gives up just 3 baserunners, it was still scoreless in the 7th when Tom Haller led off with a home run off of Hank Fischer, we only got 5 hits - but win this one 2-0.  Herbel was a reasonably effective spot starter/swingman in his 7 year Giants career, a 98 ERA+ in 718 IP. After the '69 season we sent him to San Diego and he was out of the league by '72. We keep our 3.5 game lead on the Dodgers with 13 to go.

Walk off 1977 home vs. Reds, we're long since eliminated, but we get a little satisfaction here, 2-2 with 2 out in the 9th, 39 year old Willie McCovey singles home the winning run off of Pedro Borbon. McCovey didn't hit at all in '76, but in his Giants return surged to a 132 OPS+.

Walk off 1997 home vs. Los Angeles, look at this one, we're 1 game behind the first place Dodgers (one game up in the WC) with 10 games left in the season.  It's a 2 game series, we beat the Dodgers the day before, this is a Thursday afternoon at a sold out Candlestick for a four hour game, we were up 5-1 through 5, but they tie it up and then load the bases with nobody out in the 10th, Rod Beck slips it by striking out Todd Zeile and getting Eddie Murray to ground into an inning ending 4-2-3. Brian Johnson ended the game in the 12th, leading off with a first pitch homer to left center off Mark Guthrie to pull us even with LA with 9 games left in the season. We head to San Diego for the weekend. Johnson his 49 homers in his 8 year career, almost half of them in his 2 Giants seasons.  This is his 3rd of 4 career walk offs, the only one he hit as a Giant.

2002 at Los Angeles, we were 8.5 back a couple weeks ago, that number is 6.5 now, that's too many with 10 left, but really what we're fighting for is the WC spot, we are one game up on the Dodgers for the last spot in the playoffs.  That's really what this game is about - it's a 4 game series in LA, we split the first two, this is a 4 hour Wednesday night game. 3-3 in the third, Russ Ortiz leads off with a homer off Robert Ellis, we're going to win the game 7-4. Ortiz hit the ball pretty well in '02, he had an 88 OPS+.  Ortiz hit 7 career homers, 4 of them as a Giant and this the last of those four.  His other 2002 homer also came against the Dodgers, against former Giant Terry Mulholland.   We stay 6.5 out in the West, our lead over the Dodgers grows to 2.  We lose tomorrow however, and with 8 games remaining we go to Milwaukee on Friday one game up on LA for the last playoff spot.

See you tomorrow.  Go Giants!

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