Where does Travis Ishikawa’s 3-run walk off home run tonight rank in this incredible run of Giants success. Let’s go all the way back to 2000 because there are some amazing moments from back then. This may not be the greatest win of the whole run, but it’s the greatest single moment. I’m going to skip some of the incredible moments that were negative (Kolten Wong’s home run, JT Snow getting thrown out at home to end the series against the Marlins, game 6 against the Angels).
1. Ishikawa. The fact that it was Ishikawa, and not Brandon Belt or Crawford or anyone else, adds to the incredibleness of the event. And even though it happened with the Giants winning 3-1 in the series, if they lost, they were in serious trouble with the series going back to SL. I’ll add that Jake Peavy trying to tackle Ishikawa between 2nd and 3rd base added to the excitement.
2. JT Snow’s 3 run home run to tie game 2 of the playoffs against the Mets (although they ended up losing the game). The desperation of the moment and the fact that the Giants hadn’t yet won a WS made that pretty incredible. I cried when it happened.
3. Tim Lincecum shutting out the Braves. The first game of the new Giants. Tim Lincecum on the national stage for the first time. Maybe the most dominant playoff pitching performance I’ve ever seen. Struck out 15, gave up one hit.
4. Juan Uribe hitting the winning home run against the Phillies. The Phillies were such big favorites, the former champions with all the cy young’s. I was still experiencing PTS from game 6 of the WS against the Angels. That was the turning point.
5. Barry Zito, game 5 of Cardinals series. I’ve said enough about this before. The most improbable moment of so many improbable moments.
6. Buster Posey’s grand slam against the Reds in game 5 in a 2-2 series.
7. Shawon Dunston’s home run in game 6 of the WS against the Angels. This moment was extra special because Dunston was met at home plate by his son, and prior to the game Dunston cried talking about how his son had asked him why he didn’t start anymore and he had to explain that he was old and not very good. And then to hit the home run that at the moment looked like was going to lead to a Giants championship. I’m getting emotional just thinking about it.
8. While on topic… JT Snow grabbing Dusty Baker’s 4 year old son who was in the way as Snow was scoring at home. As Snow scored, he grabbed Darren Baker by the hood and picked him up out of harm’s way.
9. Lincecum v. Cliff Lee in the middle innings. Two great pitchers totally locked in in a 0-0 game with the innings going by so fast because no one could get on base.
10. Hmm…so many still left. How about a tie between Brian Wilson’s final out in 2010; Edgar Renteria’s winning home run that game; Michael Morse tonight; Pablo Sandoval’s 3 home runs against Justin Verlander; the tying run in the 9th of game 3 against the Reds, the broken bat hit by Hunter Pence…What am I forgetting?
Giants have won 8 straight playoff series. Were they favored in a single one? I believe the answer is ‘no’. I guess they might well be against the Royals for the first time.
Giants MLB Drafts, first round: 2002–Matt Cain, 2006, Tim Lincecum, 2007, Madison Bumgarner, 2008, Buster Posey.
Why Bochy is a better manager than me: I thought they should have taken Ishikawa out after his at bat in the 7th inning for defense.
These last four games are why baseball has no peer when it comes to playoff tension. All sports have great finishes. No sport has every moment be potentially game changing. And no other sport involves so many players in so many crucial moments.
Crazy–these last five years for the Giants will be remembered forever. (In twitter years, that means at least until next month).
Oh, and check out https://twitter.com/BestFansStLouis. Not nice losers. The like the ‘f’ word a lot.