Did you know that 2017 isn’t the first poor year the Giants have had since moving into AT&T Park? It’s true! Now, it is the most poor year, but the Giants have had five sub-.500 seasons before this year since moving in. And since I’m just a boy on a blog asking you to buy tickets to Giants games on StubHub, it seems worth going over a game from each of those seasons just so you don’t lose (more) hope about whether it’s worth it to go to Giants games. It is! Because you could see a great game, which happened at least once in every season, which I will now summarize in the hopes that you then buy tickets on StubHub.
In some ways, 2005 is a good comp for 2017. This year’s team is worse, of course (I have a macro for that phrase and it’s saved me a lot of time this season), but it was a team that was relying on a star veteran who was seriously injured and then complementary players who mostly fell off a cliff, creating a seriously underwhelming lineup and pitching staff. However, in the early days of 2005, before the disappointment really became apparent, they played a game against the Rockies at SBC Park that was as up and down as a game can get.
The Giants jumped out to a 6-0 lead behind Noah Lowry, who was doing a good job of preventing runs even without great peripherals, and then the bullpen happened. Lowry, Jim Brower, Scott Eyre, and Tyler Walker combined to give up 8 runs in the top of the 7th (very relatable to 2017 Giants fans!), which was the down part of the “up and down as a game can get,” but after an Omar Vizquel RBI single in the bottom of the 8th, Pedro Feliz led off the bottom of the 9th with a walk, Edgardo Alfonzo singled him over to third, and then Marquis Grissom hit a walk-off homer to win the game.
The amazing part of this game isn’t the blown lead and comeback, by the way. It’s the clutch Pedro Feliz walk. That’s really what got it on here.
After a spectacular 2003, Jason Schmidt had stumbled a bit in 2004, and then had a much poorer 2005 than anyone expected, but he rebounded in 2006 to be much closer to the ace he had been. He never had a better performance than June 6 against the Marlins, when he struck out 16 in a complete game win.
The iconic moment came in the ninth inning, after a couple singles and a wild pitch had put runners on second and third base with no one out in a one run game. Schmidt then struck out Miguel Cabrera, Josh Willingham, and Jeremy Hermida to seal the victory and set the single game strikeout record for the Giants since they’d moved to San Francisco. AT&T Park went wild, and for good reason: it was one of the all-time great games in San Francisco history.
YOU: This better be the 756 game
ME: That doesn’t seem very applicable since the Giants don’t have a Barry Bonds this year
YOU: I don’t care
ME: Also they lost
YOU: I don’t care
ME: Fair enough
Barry Bonds hit the 756th home run of his career off of Mike Bacsik of the Nationals on August 7, 2007, and you could have been there. There were seats available. You could have gone. Sure, you “weren’t in town” or whatever, but this is baseball history, and you could have been there. Or maybe you, the reader, were actually there (like Grant was!), and bully for you. The point is, you should have been at AT&T Park for it.
(sobs quietly to myself forever because I wasn’t there)
Matt Cain was on the Giants for a lot of bad years, and he turned in a lot of spectacular performances in those years, and he took a lot of losses in those spectacular performances. The offense, you see, just didn’t much care for giving him run support. Too gauche.
On July 24, 2008, against the Nationals at AT&T Park, the offense did their part against Tim Redding, scoring one entire run for Matt Cain, and waiting to do that until the bottom of the 8th inning in a scoreless game. Cain then gave us all a bit of drama, a bit like Jason Schmidt had done in that game in 2006, giving up a double and then a single to put runners on second and third with one out in a one run game. Then Matt Cain did what Matt Cain always did best: got a shallow fly ball from Ryan Zimmerman and a less shallow one from Austin Kearns to end things. It wasn’t the flashy, dominating Jason Schmidt game, but it was vintage Matt Cain.
Tim Lincecum had spent a year and a half being a shell of himself, but on July 13, 2013, in front of one of the most ecstatic crowds of the season, he threw a no hitter against the Padres. The crowd cheered wildly for their hero, and wouldn’t you love to have been there with them? It really was a special moment for a special player in Giants history, made even more memorable for being in front of so many Giants fans in what can only be described as definitely a home game.
Whether you’re a baseball junkie or casual fan, games are better at the ballpark. Grab seats from our partner StubHub and be part of the action at AT&T Park. And, download the StubHub app to choose the perfect seats with 360° views from your section.