This Week in Giants Baseball History

Of course, pitching and defense gets it done down the stretch. But the Giants below used a variety of means to victorious ends – sound pitching, clutch power hitting, clutch small ball, and sound fundamentals.

September 4
A Colossal First Inning: Current San Francisco Giants manager Felipe Alou probably remembers this game fondly – on this date in 1958 at the LA Memorial Coliseum, the Giants scored eight times in the first inning to down the Los Angeles Dodgers 13-3.  Every Giants starter except the pitcher and Ray Jablonski had at least one hit, led by Alou, Willie Mays, and shortstop Eddie Bressoud who all had three hits apiece.  Dodgers starter Johnny Podres suffered the loss, allowing six earned runs in only a third of an inning’s work.

September 5
Foghorn Frenzy: Philadelphia might have the liberty bell, but the Philadelphia Phillies got their bell rung at Pac Bell Park on this date in 2000, as six Giants home runs helped San Francisco to an 8-5 victory over the Phillies.  Barry Bonds went deep twice, and Ellis Burks, Rich Aurilia, Bill Mueller, and J.T. Snow each hit one that never came back.  John Johnstone picked up the victory after future All-Star closer Joe Nathan blew the lead in relief of starter Kirk Rueter.

September 6
Fire Sale Item Does Good: Sure, he would later mar himself by becoming a Dodger, but in 1997, Wilson Alvarez briefly joined the ranks of the Giants after the infamous trade with the Chicago White Sox.  And on this date against the Houston Astros at Candlestick Park, Alvarez was fantastic – surrendering two earned runs in 6-plus innings while striking out 12.  The Giants came from behind by scoring four times in the bottom of the eighth inning, and another White Sox castoff, Roberto Hernandez, got the save in a 5-3 Giants win.

September 7
Not Sexy, But Gets the Job Done: A sacrifice bunt is usually not very noteworthy.  However, on a game played on this date in 1997 at 3Com Park, four of the Giants’ five sacrifice bunts in the game led to four runs as San Francisco defeated the Astros 5-1.  Two sacrifice bunts in the bottom of the sixth inning directly led to two unearned runs, thanks to poor Astros fielding.  Rueter, who laid down the first bunt in the inning, earned the victory over eventual 19-game winner Darryl Kile.

September 8
A Wild Way to End It: Trailing by a run in the bottom of the eighth inning against the San Diego Padres on this date in 1992 at Candlestick Park, the Giants’ game-tying rally consisted of an infield single by Matt  Williams, a sacrifice bunt by Robby Thompson, and an infield single by catcher Steve Decker.  The game remained tied at 5-5 until the bottom of the sixteenth, when Thompson eventually scored from third on a wild pitch from losing pitcher Gene Harris.

September 9
Rocky Mountain Highs: Barry Bonds’s march towards Mark McGwire’s single-season home run record was more like a spring on this date in 2001 at Coors Field, as he slammed three home runs in a 9-4 Giants victory over the Colorado Rockies.  The three round trippers gave Bonds 63 HRs on the season.  Aurilia and Snow also went deep for the Giants, with Snow’s 2-run shot and Bonds’s third home run of the game opening up the floodgates of a 4-4 tie in the top of the eleventh inning.

September 10
Lord, What a Stretch: Gaylord Perry saw his franchise-best 40-inning consecutive scoreless inning streak come to an end on this date in 1967, but Perry and the Giants still won the ballgame 2-1 versus the Chicago Cubs at Candlestick Park.  Perry allowed just one run on three hits, and struck out 8 while going the distance for the victory.  He defeated future Hall of Famer Fergie Jenkins, who also only allowed three hits.

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