Sarge’s Finest Moment: In what would turn out to be one of his final lasting memories as part of the San Francisco Giants, outfielder Gary Matthews slugged three home runs in a game versus the Houston Astros on this date in 1976 at Candlestick Park. Sarge hit a 2-run homer and a solo shot off of losing pitcher Bo McLaughlin in his first two at-bats, then hit another 2-run bomb off of reliever Gil Rondon in the seventh, and finished the day with 5 RBIs. Jim Barr was the recipient of the generous run support, and he would repay in kind with a complete game six-hitter.
Sad Sam’s Rainy No-No: After Mike McCormick had already thrown a Giants no-hitter three months earlier, Sam Jones nearly matched the performance, but still ended up with a no-hitter himself. How? Rain shortened a game played on this date in 1959 at Busch Stadium, and Jones had blanked the St. Louis Cardinals through seven innings when the game was called with two outs in the top of the eighth with the Giants leading 4-0. The victory over his former mates gave Jones a career-high 21 wins that season. Willie Mays and Willie McCovey gave Jones all the offensive support he would need with a solo home run and a 2-run shot, respectively.
Niekro’s Swan Song a Giant Pain: Hall of Famer Phil Niekro’s final Major League appearance was probably not the way he wanted to go out in front of his home fans at Fulton County Stadium, the knuckleballer surrendered six runs (five earned) in just three innings of work as the Giants pounded him and the Atlanta Braves 15-6. RBIs were plentiful for the Giants, including six driven in by Candy Maldonado and two apiece by Jose Uribe, Jeffrey Leonard, and some young skinny third baseman named Kevin Mitchell.
Just Outhit ‘Em: How do you give up 16 hits to the opposing team and still end up victorious? Ask the 1968 Giants they somehow did this twice. Juan Marichal pulled off this feat in June of that year, and on this date in 1968 Gaylord Perry somehow emerged with a win despite allowing 14 singles and two doubles versus the Cincinnati Reds at Crosley Field. It helped that the Giants scored 10 runs off of just seven hits, thanks in large to two Reds errors and a 3-run bomb by McCovey. Give Perry credit despite the number of hits allowed, he went the distance and struck out eight Reds in the process.
Deer Me: Happy 46th birthday to former Giants draft pick and free swinger Rob Deer, born on this date in 1960 in Orange, CA. Deer didn’t make his mark in baseball strikeout lore until after he was traded away from the Giants in 1986.
My Ace Beats Your Ace: In the first game of the NLDS played between the Giants and Florida Marlins played on this date in 2003, Jason Schmidt out-dueled eventual World Series MVP Josh Beckett in a 2-0 Giants victory at Pac Bell Park. The game featured only three hits apiece by each team, and the only runs in the game were scored on an error by Marlins third baseman Miguel Cabrera and an RBI double by Edgardo Alfonzo in the eighth. Beckett struckout nine Giants in seven innings of work, but Schmidt shut down the Marlins batters for a masterful complete-game victory.
Bonds at His Best: The Giants narrowly missed the playoffs in 1993, but don’t blame Barry Bonds. The slugger showed his mettle on this date in 1993 by homering twice and driving in seven runs in a crucial 8-7 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers at Chavez Ravine. Bonds drove in the eventual game-winning run in the top of the seventh by doubling home Will Clark.
Don Shin eats, breathes, thinks, and bleeds in Orange and Black. Pac Bell Park officially opened on his 25th birthday (the one year he decided to move out of the Bay Area!!!). For the 2000 playoff drive, he dyed his hair orange while studying in Korea. He watched Game 6 of the '02 World Series at a restaurant in LA, and couldn't finish his meal afterwards. Feel free to write him at firstname.lastname@example.org to commiserate, cheer, and complain.
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