On this very date 10 years ago, the Giants played the final game of the 2008 season. They beat the Dodgers 3-1 at AT&T Park behind Tim Lincecum’s 13 strikeouts in seven innings. The Giants ended the season 72-90, 12 games behind those same Dodgers, their fourth consecutive losing season.
But Lincecum’s performance wrapped up what would be the first of two consecutive Cy Young awards (265 strikeouts in 227 innings) and the Giants actually had a winning record over the final two months of the season (28-27). There was a reason for optimism heading into 2009, even though the sole bat added in the offseason was Edgar Renteria.
Ten years ago today, the Giants ended their beginning and started the next phase of the franchise. Three world championships, four playoff runs overall, Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford, Brandon Belt, Madison Bumgarner, Hunter Pence, The Core Four,
And this, the last great highlight of the decade:
As they did a decade ago, the Giants drafted a power-hitting catcher with their high draft pick. These Giants are not at the end of their downturn, but right in the middle of it. Their resources and potential smarts might make it easier to turn things around quickly, but for now, let’s at least take a step back and realize that everything that happened after the final out of a game played ten years ago forever altered the franchise for the better and it’s something we’ll never forget, but it’s over.
Just because something ends doesn’t mean it’s bad or was never good. We don’t know what the next decade will bring the Giants, but after everything that’s happened, we know where we want it to go again. The Giants had never won a World Series in San Francisco before. We had no concept of what that would feel like or any potential fallout (I am getting emotional about Gregor Blanco’s final weekend?). Ten years ago feels like yesterday.
There’s no way to know what the next decade will bring, but we’ll know it all too well before long. Lincecum and Cain gave us hope back then. The past ten years should give us hope right now.