This Week In San Francisco Giants History: The Comeback

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San Francisco Giants’ Bobby Bonds, right, and Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn pose with the All Star Game Most Valuable Player trophy after it was presented to Bonds at Royals Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., on July 24, 1973. (AP Photo)

In the year 1973, the San Francisco Giants were facing a brave new world. It was the first season since 1954 in which Willie Mays was not on the roster. He had been traded to New York the prior season and was finishing his career out in a Mets uniform.

With Bobby Bonds in charge of a new outfield. the Giants had a good core of young players mixed with veterans like Willie McCovey to provide leadership and help the team contend. Twenty-three year old Garry Maddox patrolled center field, with 22-year old Rookie of the Year Gary Matthews spending most of his time in left field. A young Chris Speier, himself only 23 years old, was the captain of the infield at shortstop in only his 3rd season. McCovey was the only regular to get playing time who was over the age of 30 as the Giants gambled on young talent to carry them through the 1973 season.

The kids got off to a good start. The Giants entered May at 18-6, the best record in baseball. Continue reading

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Last Time Yankees Visited San Francisco: A Photo Walk Down Memory Lane

I promised during our last podcast that I would post photos that I took when I attended the Yankees vs. Giants game on June 24, 2007, the last time the Yanks visited SF before this past weekend series. But, then I took the family to Tahoe, we saw Endgame, and life happened.

I finally dug out those old photos from the dusty Drobo and have posted a selection below. My god. I have photos of not just Bonds and Clemens, but Hideki Matsui, Derek Jeter, Bobby Abreu, Jorge Posada, Omar Vizquel, Alex Rodriguez, Mike Mussina, Joe Torre and others. A who’s who of Hall of Famers and should be Hall of Famers.

The Giants won that day, 7-2. Roger Clemens came in for relief and ended up walking Bonds. It was a very rare relief appearance for the Rocket.

Anyway, I’d like to remember this day over the past weekend sweep. Box score is here. Revel in the recent history of Yankees vs. Giants baseball!

 

Below is a 7 photo series of a single hit by Barry Bonds in his first AB against Mike Mussina and the New York Yankees on June 24, 2007. Photos by Chad King.

 

 

Below is a 3 photo series of a swing by Derek Jeter against the Giants on June 24, 2007. Photos by Chad King.

 

Below is Roger Clemens delivering a pitch in a very rare relief appearance. Photos by Chad King.

 

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Barry Bonds catching a fly ball in left field in front of his tribute fence marquee. Omar Vizquel is in the foreground. This photo was taken by Chad King on June 24, 2007 when the Giants faced the Yankees.

 

Unfortunately, my telephoto lens couldn’t quite fit both Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds completely within the same frame, so here are a few shots that you can piece together in your mind during their historic meeting. Bonds ended up walking.

 

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Joe Torre coming to the mound to take out Mike Mussina when the Yankees faced the Giants on June 24, 2007. Photo by Chad King.

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Joe Torre leaving the mound after taking out Mike Mussina when the Yankees faced the Giants on June 24, 2007. Photo by Chad King.

 

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Alex Rodriguez swings at a pitch against the San Francisco Giants on June 24, 2007. Photo by Chad King.

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Mike Mussina of the Yankees delivers a pitch with Alex Rodriguez ready at third on June 24, 2007. Photo by Chad King

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Hideki Matsui of the Yankees bats against the SF Giants on June 24, 2007. Photo by Chad King.

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Jorge Posada of the Yankees bats against the SF Giants on June 24, 2007. Photo by Chad King.

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Bobby Abreu of the Yankees bats against the SF Giants on June 24, 2007. Photo by Chad King.

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Mike Mussina of the Yankees delivers a pitch against the SF Giants on June 24, 2007. Photo by Chad King.

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Barry Bonds had 749 homeruns on June 24, 2007 when the Giants faced the Yankees. Photo by Chad King.

 

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Episode #163: The Giants Aren’t Good

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You can download the episode here, or stream it below!

The Giants started off this week with a 2-game sweep in Toronto and finished a 4-4 road trip before heading back to San Francisco to face a depleted New York Yankees team that had 15 players on the injured list. That didn’t matter, as the Yanks swept the Giants at Oracle thanks to bad starting pitching, poor defense, and getting behind early.

Despite going 2-3 this week, the Giants sit at 11-17, last in the NL West and only surpassing the Marlins in overall record in the NL. Bum, Holland and D-Rod all did poorly against the Yanks, and Gary Sanchez hit the ball out of the yard twice, one time at 467 feet.

We talk about the week, the last visit to SF by the Yankees (Chad was there for Bonds v Clemens in 2007), who’s hot and not, should Mac be called up, should the pens be moved along with the elimination of Triples Alley and more.

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This Week In San Francisco Giants History: Robby Hits For The Cycle

Robby Thompson

Robby Thompson of the San Francisco Giants warming up in the on deck circle.

In 1991, the San Francisco Giants finished with a 75-87 record. It was the first time in 5 years the club finished below .500 and was just 2 years removed from their appearance in the 1989 World Series. It was also their first losing season under manager Roger Craig.

There were not a lot of highlights during the 1991 season, but one in particular that stands out is Robby Thompson hitting for the cycle on Monday April 22 against the Padres at Candlestick park. Full disclosure, Robby was my favorite Giant growing up. I used to emulate his batting stance and even played 2nd base in my younger years.

Since this particular week in April doesn’t have many big moments in Giants history, let’s take a stroll back to 1991 and Robby’s big day. Continue reading

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Episode #162: At Least the Hitting was Better this Week?

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Buster Posey hits his first homerun since June of 2018 (237 ABs), which was also his first career HR against the Pirates. It was a 3 run HR that gave the Giants a 3-2 win. Photo by Gene S. Puskar

You can download the episode here, or stream it below!

The Giants raised their team batting average over the last 6 games from .199 to .209. The bad news is that the Giants’ pitching staff ERA went from 2.75 to 3.22. Christian Yelich hit 8 homeruns…this week. The Giants have 13 homeruns…as a team….all season. Eric and Chad talk about a 2-4 week during this road trip, dropping 2 of 3 each to the Nats and Pirates. But, in almost every game, a single play was the difference. The Giants are, well…competitive. They truly are. A few hits here and there and the Giants could be .500 or better. They are not getting crushed. They just can’t win most of the close games, which is, well most of their games. At least Buster Posey won a game single-handedly with a 3 run jack to defeat the Pirates 3-2. He also applied the tag to Kang to record the final out at home that game. So, there’s that. But, that’s exactly what the Giants need. And more times than once every 23 games. Also, why can’t the Giants score in the first inning? They are dangerously close to setting the MLB record for not scoring the first to open the season. They are at 23, while the record is 28. Hell, why not? Who cares? BTW, they are hitting .096 in the first inning. All 7 hits are singles. I want to see them score that first first inning run via the little league homerun with like 7 errors on an infield hit.

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This Week In San Francisco Giants History: California Love

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Willie Mays and Duke Snider before the first MLB game in California between the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers

The San Francisco Giants were born during an owner’s vote on May 28, 1957. Well, they weren’t born, that distinction goes to expansion teams, more like they were allowed to exist on that May day in 1957. That day, NL owners approved the move of both the Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers out west to California.

That was the deal, though. Both teams had to move there, or neither did. Baseball wanted to keep travel problems to a minimum and having 2 teams out west made it easier for NL teams to schedule road trips. Airplane travel was just becoming normal, and before the 1958 season, there was no NL team west of the St. Louis Cardinals.

Yes, the Giants had won the World Series as recently as 1954, but attendance was lagging. In 1954, the Giants drew 1.155 million fans to the Polo Grounds. By 1956, that number had already dropped to 629,179. It was thought that fans were moving out to the suburbs and less likely to drive to the city for a ballgame. So the Giants looked to move out of the only city they ever called home. Continue reading

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Episode #161: Pillar Power

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Kevin Pillar hits a grand slam against the San Diego Padres. The Giants’ centerfielder hit 4 homeruns this week, propelling them to a 4-3 record. (Photo: SF Examiner)

You can download the episode here, or stream it below!

Where would the Giants be without Kevin Pillar? He dominated the week, hitting 4 homeruns with 12 RBI. In fact, no other Giant had more than 1 RBI for the week! The Giants sit at 7-10, 4 games back of the Padres, but it would be much worse without Pillar’s contribution. That said, he’s only hitting .155 on the season, so he’s getting timely hits. How long will this last?

We talk about Pillar and the week in review on episode #161, including the insane 18 inning win against the Rockies, surprising pitching from the Shark, and how the bullpen leads all of baseball with a 1.77 ERA. However, they also are at the bottom of the NL with a .199 batting average, and have mustered only 10 homeruns, which is the same as Kris Davis! Eric also introduced a new segment called “Guess that Giant,” which Chad performed poorly in. Let us know in the comments if you guessed this Giant faster than Chad did (we’re sure you did). This was a fun podcast to talk about a winning week. The Giants go on a long east coast trip, so their hitting has to come around at some point.

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This Week In San Francisco Giants History: Zito’s Coors Field Shutout

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The 2012 baseball season had not gotten off to a good start for the San Francisco Giants. Despite racking up 23 hits and 14 runs over their first 3 games in Arizona, the Giants were looking at an 0-3 record after the first series of the young season. The Giants were good, but not good enough as all 3 games against the D-Backs were decided by just 1 run.

Heading to Colorado with fourth starter Barry Zito taking the ball did not give Giants fans hope for ending the skid. After all, this was the same Zito who Giants fans were frustrated with after he signed a 7-year $126 million dollar contract. In 5 years with the Giants, Zito amassed a 4.55 ERA and a 43-61 record in 140 starts. Things had gotten so bad that after he returned from the DL with a foot injury in late 2011, Zito pitched out of the bullpen.

He was not yet the Barry Zito of mythical status from the 2012 playoffs and birth of #RallyZito. Continue reading

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Episode #160: Cody Bellinger has More Homeruns than the Giants

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Brandon Belt has been one of the only offensive bright spots in the early 2019 campaign. Here he hits his third homerun of the year while playing the Tampa Bay Rays at Oracle Park over the weekend. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

You can download the episode here, or stream it below!

In episode #160, Chad and Eric have a lot to discuss. The Giants are 10 games into the 2019 season, and although they haven’t been swept, they also haven’t won a series, going 3-7 in that span and dwelling in the cellar in the NL West. The pitching has been excellent, in fact, 2nd best in the NL, but their offense is non-existent. They have averaged only 2.5 runs per game and are hitting .207 overall. Cody Bellinger has more homeruns (7) than all of the Giants (6). We also talk about the two trades Zaidi pulled off this week and the short cups of coffee for Michael Reed and Connor Joe. Eric brings in a new minor league report, and he’s planning another new segment for the episodes to come this season.

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This Week In San Francisco Giants History: Opening Day 2010

SF Giants Tim Lincecum delivers a pitch

Tim Lincecum

This season I will be rolling out a “This Week In San Francisco Giants History” every Wednesday. It will be fun to look back on some memorable moments in Giants history so I hope you enjoy these glimpses into the past.

April 5, 2010 – The Beginning Of A Golden Era In San Francisco

Coming off an 88 win campaign in 2009, the 2010 Giants were expected to be a competitive bunch. After all, they were returning the 2-time, back-to-back Cy Young Award winner in Tim Lincecum. Don’t forget about Pablo Sandoval either, in 2009 he finished 2nd in the NL in batting with a .330 average.

Things were looking up for the ball club heading into 2010 and Opening Day did not disappoint. The Giants began the season in Houston against the Astros. This was back when the Astros were still an NL team. 2010 was the start of a current streak of 10-straight seasons the Giants have started on the road.

Reigning Cy Young award winner Tim Lincecum got the ball for the Giants and Roy Oswalt took the hill for the Astros. Continue reading

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