Friday, December 31, 2010

10 Best Giants Moments of 2010

It is the end of the year so it sees fitting to look back on the best moments of 2010. First a few honorable mentions because narrowing it down to just 10 is simply too hard after such a magical season.

Honorable Mention:

Barry Zito's April, it seems like it was forever ago but Zito had a simply dominate stretch to start the season going 4-0 with a 1.53 ERA. It was nice to see Zito pitch at his best and too bad it didn't last all season.

Freddy Sanchez's reaction to Aubrey Huff's game 4 home run, the face and reaction was priceless. Huff hit a moonshot and Sanchez reacted like every one else, just watching in pure amazement.

Madison Bumgarner's World Series Game 4, another moment from game 4. Bumgarner was pitching on the biggest stage as a 21 year old rookie and handled it like a veteran who had done this numerous times. I still remember him breaking down the swing of Vlad Guererro over and over to the tune of 3 Ks.

Cody Ross turns into early 00's Barry Bonds for the Playoffs, in the playoffs he hit .294/ .390/ .686 and was a pitchers worst nightmare.

The Rally Thong, Aubrey Huff sported a red thong that proved to be magical as it propelled the Giants into first place and then to the city's first ever World Series championship.

The World Series Parade, an absolutely fabulous day. A perfect November day in San Francisco, throngs of people crowding the parade route and City Center plaza to catch a glimpse of the hero's of the city.

The Top 10 Moments:

10. The San Diego Invasion of Giants fans: The scene, September 9-12 an important 4 game road series in San Diego against the division leading Padres. The Giants fans prove why they are the best in baseball and travel down in droves to support the team. They outnumber and overpower the Padres fans in the stadium and help propel the team to taking 3 out of 4 and demoralizing the Padres.

9. The Giants pitchers historic September: The Giants were a pitching dominated team and showed that they had a historic caliber staff. In September the team went 18 straight games of allowing 3 runs or less and 23 games giving up 4 or less runs. In 26 September games the pitchers gave up just 50 runs or 1.92 runs per game as the Giants went 18 and 8 and pitched themselves into the playoffs.

8. Matt Cain's 0.00 ERA in the playoffs: Cain often in his career has had to play second fiddle to Tim Lincecum but in this years playoffs he let the baseball world know that he too is a top tier pitcher. Cain pitched 21and a third innings of scoreless baseball earning 2 wins and getting robbed of a third.

7. Buster Posey's 21 game hitting streak: Posey the rookie of the year put together an impressive July which included a 21 game hitting streak, the longest ever for a Giants rookie. In that month he also was the best hitter in all of baseball, not just the best rookie but the best hitter period. In 27 games he reached base in 26 of those games, hitting .417/ .466/ .699 with 7 home runs.

6. Pat Burrell's homer to beat the Dodgers: July 31st, bottom of the 8th inning the Dodgers leading 1-0, 2 outs, a runner on base, a full count and the Dodger's All-Star closer in the game. The tension and excitement in the stadium was palpable. The pitch came in a hard fastball, Burrell took a good rip, he got solid wood on it, a line drive toward straight away left, did it have enough to get over the fence? the left fielder turns and watches, everyone is on their feet annnnnd it is out of here.

The crowd erupted with euphoria. The loudest BEAT LA chants I have ever heard rained down and the Giants pulled out a shocking 2-1 win.

5. Juan Uribe's clutch hits against the Phillies: Uribe with 2 swings of his bat won 2 games for the Giants in the NLCS against the heavily favored Phillies. The first came in game 4 where he hit an improbable sac fly against Roy Oswalt to drive in the winning run for the Giants. The second came in the deciding game 6 where he hit an opposite field home run to break a 2-2 tie. The homerun was amazing because it was the first time this season that Uribe hit a home run to the opposite field.

4. Brain Wilson's slider to end the NLCS: Wilson has a habit of making things a little more exciting then most of us would like and getting the final 3 outs of the NLCS was no exception. Wilson walked 2 batters to put the tying run in scoring position and up stepped Ryan Howard. Howard worked the count full and then Wilson threw what is arguably the best pitch of his career, a sharp slider/cutter that froze Howard as the umpire raised his fist to signal the Giants had won the pennant.

3. Tim Lincecum's 2 hit 14 strikeout shutout of the Braves: If it had not been for Roy Halladay's no hitter this would have been the most dominate start of the playoffs and even with that it might still have been. Tim went all nine innings striking out 14, walking one and giving up 2 doubles. He got an incredible 28 swings and misses and made the Braves hitters look foolish all night. On top of everything he did this while having no margin for error, the offense managed just 1 run and even that was with a gift in the form of a missed call and a bleeder that made it through the 5.5 whole.

This was one of the most amazing pitching outings I have had the pleasure to watch.

2. Buster Posey's 3 hit, 3 RBI debut: The first impression of what would turn into a magical season. Posey came up with the highest of expectations after tearing up AAA and immediately lived up to them. Posey followed up the next day with another 3 hits and this time 2 of those went for doubles. It may not have been a home run in his first at bat like Will Clark but it is still a game that will go down in Giants lore.

1. Edgar Renteria's game winning 3-run homer: There is no other moment that could possibly be number 1, Renteria's home run to give the Giants a 3-0 lead that they would never look back from was the feather in the cap of a magical season. Renteria had been a bust in the eyes of fans after 2 injury plagued years and a big money contract but all was forgiven with this one swing of the bat against the not so invincible Cliff Le.

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