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A brief history of Giants opening days

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Remember Ty Blach’s rendezvous with Game #1?

Tampa Bay Rays v San Francisco Giants Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Thursday was opening day for the San Francisco Giants. Scratch that: Thursday was supposed to be opening day for the Giants.

Which means today is supposed to be the day you spend feeling warm and happy, and you can’t quite figure out why. And then you remember: Because baseball is back. Warm, sunny, happy baseball, and it doesn’t matter that the Giants lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers 36-0 yesterday (or 3-1, as per my hypothetical recap), because there are still 161 glorious games of grassy baseball, with the perfect sounds of ball meeting wood, ball meeting leather, and broadcasters meeting ears.

So since we don’t have yesterday’s opening day to remember fondly, let’s remember some other opening days fondly. And not so fondly.

I’m not going to dive deep into games of past, partially because that would take a lot of time, partially because it wouldn’t be all that interesting, and partially because I’d rather people just have their own associations from these games.

So instead I’m just going to go through the last 30 opening days, giving you the basic information: Who the Giants played, how they did, who was the starting pitcher (and closer, when applicable), and who the offensive star was.

Hopefully it triggers some happy memories. And not many bad ones.

Let’s go.

April 11, 1990

Stadium: Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium
Result: Giants 8, Braves 0
Starting pitcher: Rick Reuschel - 5.2 innings, 3 hits, 3 walks, 4 strikeouts, 0 runs, W
Offensive star: Robby Thompson - 3-4, double, home run, 2 RBI

Note: The Giants played an opening day doubleheader, losing the second game 4-3.

April 9, 1991

Stadium: Jack Murphy Stadium
Result: Padres 7, Giants 4
Starting pitcher: John Burkett - 7 innings, 9 hits, 0 walks, 3 strikeouts, 3 earned runs, ND
Offensive star: Kevin Mitchell - 1-4, home run, 2 RBI

April 6, 1992

Stadium: Dodger Stadium
Result: Giants 8, Dodgers 1
Starting pitcher: Bill Swift - 7.2 innings, 7 hits, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts, 1 earned run, W
Offensive star: Robby Thompson - 3-4, double, 1 RBI

Note: Beat LA.

April 6, 1993

Stadium: Busch Stadium II
Result: Giants 2, Cardinals 1
Starting pitcher: John Burkett - 6 innings, 6 hits, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts, 1 earned run, W
Save: Rod Beck - 1 inning, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 0 earned runs
Offensive star: Matt Williams - 2-4, double, 1 RBI

Note: Not a lot of strikeouts in the early 90s, huh.

April 4, 1994

Stadium: Candlestick Park
Result: Giants 8, Pirates 0
Starting pitcher: John Burkett - 7 innings, 5 hits, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts, 0 runs, W
Offensive star: Matt Williams - 2-3, 2 home runs, 5 RBI

April 26, 1995

Stadium: Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium
Result: Braves 12, Giants 5
Starting pitcher: Terry Mulholland - 2 innings, 8 hits, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 6 runs, 5 earned runs, L
Offensive star: Robby Thompson - 2-4, home run, 3 RBI

April 1, 1996

Stadium: Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium
Result: Braves 10, Giants 8
Starting pitcher: Mark Leiter - 5 innings, 6 hits, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts, 6 runs, 3 earned runs, L
Offensive star: Glenallen Hill - 2-4, home run, walk, 2 RBI

April 1, 1997

Stadium: 3Com Park
Result: Pirates 5, Giants 2
Starting pitcher: Mark Gardner - 5 innings, 5 hits, 2 walks, 9 strikeouts, 1 earned run, ND
Offensive stars: Glenallen Hill and Jeff Kent - 1-3, 1 RBI

Note: The Giants score both of their runs on sacrifice flies.

March 31, 1998

Stadium: Astrodome
Result: Giants 9, Astros 4
Starting pitcher: Shawn Estes - 3.2 innings, 8 hits, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts, 4 runs, 2 earned runs, ND
Offensive star: Jeff Kent - 5-7, double, home run, 4 RBI

Note: I blame Estes’ performance on the trash cans.

April 5, 1999

Stadium: Cinergy Field
Result: Giants 11, Reds 8
Starting pitcher: Mark Gardner - 5.1 innings, 9 hits, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 5 runs, 4 earned runs, ND
Save: Robb Nen - 1 inning, 2 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 0 runs
Offensive star: Ellis Burks - 3-5, double, home run, 2 RBI

April 3, 2000

Stadium: Pro Player Stadium
Result: Marlins 6, Giants 4
Starting pitcher: Livan Hernandez - 6 innings, 9 hits, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts, 5 runs, 3 earned runs, L
Offensive star: Ellis Burks - 1-3, home run, walk

April 2, 2001

Stadium: Pacific Bell Park
Result: Giants 3, Padres 2
Starting pitcher: Livan Hernandez - 7.1 innings, 6 hits, 3 walks, 6 strikeouts, 2 earned runs, W
Save: Robb Nen - 1 inning, 0 hits, 0 walks, 3 strikeouts, 0 runs
Offensive star: Barry Bonds - 1-3, home run, 2 walks, 1 RBI

Note: Ahh, there’s Barry.

April 2, 2002

Stadium: Dodger Stadium
Result: Giants 9, Dodgers 2
Starting pitcher: Livan Hernandez - 8 innings, 4 hits, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts, 2 earned runs, W
Offensive star: Barry Bonds - 3-4, 2 home runs, 5 RBI

Note: Beat LA.

March 31, 2003

Stadium: Qualcomm Stadium
Result: Giants 5, Padres 2
Starting pitcher: Kirk Rueter - 5 innings, 5 hits, 2 walks, 0 strikeouts, 2 earned runs, ND
Save: Tim Worrell - 1 inning, 1 hit, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 0 runs
Offensive star: J.T. Snow - 2-3, home run, walk, 1 RBI

Note: Zero strikeouts. The Woody specialty.

April 5, 2004

Stadium: Minute Maid Park
Result: Giants 5, Astros 4
Starting pitcher: Kirk Rueter - 6 innings, 5 hits, 3 walks, 0 strikeouts, 2 earned runs, ND
Save: Matt Herges - 1 inning, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 0 runs
Offensive star: Barry Bonds - 3-3, 2 doubles, home run, walk, 3 RBI

Note: Another Woody specialty.

April 5, 2005

Stadium: SBC Park
Result: Giants 4, Dodgers 2
Starting pitcher: Jason Schmidt - 7 innings, 4 hits, 2 walks, 9 strikeouts, 2 earned runs, W
Save: Armando Benitez - 1 inning, 1 hit, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 0 runs
Offensive star: Edgardo Alfonzo - 3-4, double, home run, 2 RBI

Note: Beat LA.

April 3, 2006

Stadium: Petco Park
Result: Padres 6, Giants 1
Starting pitcher: Jason Schmidt - 7 innings, 7 hits, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts, 4 earned runs, L
Offensive star: Lance Niekro - 1-2, walk, 1 RBI

Note: The winning pitcher was Jake Peavy.

April 3, 2007

Stadium: AT&T Park
Result: Padres 7, Giants 0
Starting pitcher: Barry Zito - 5 innings, 4 hits, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts, 3 runs, 2 earned runs, L
Offensive star: Barry Bonds and Randy Winn - 1-3, walk

March 31, 2008

Stadium: Dodger Stadium
Result: Dodgers 5, Giants 0
Starting pitcher: Barry Zito - 5 innings, 8 hits, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 4 earned runs, L
Offensive star: Aaron Rowand - 2-3

Note: Back-to-back opening day shutout losses, baby!

April 7, 2009

Stadium: AT&T Park
Result: Giants 10, Brewers 6
Starting pitcher: Tim Lincecum - 3 innings, 4 hits, 3 walks, 5 strikeouts, 3 earned runs, ND
Offensive star: Aaron Rowand - 2-3, double, home run, walk, 3 RBI

April 5, 2010

Stadium: Minute Maid Park
Result: Giants 5, Astros 2
Starting pitcher: Tim Lincecum - 7 innings, 4 hits, 0 walks, 7 strikeouts, 0 runs, W
Save: Brian Wilson - 0.2 innings, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 0 runs
Offensive star: Edgar Renteria - 2-3, double, walk, 1 RBI

Note: Dominant Timmy, and timely hitting by Renteria? Could be foreshadowing.

March 31, 2011

Stadium: Dodger Stadium
Result: Dodgers 2, Giants 1
Starting pitcher: Tim Lincecum - 7 innings, 5 hits, 3 walks, 5 strikeouts, 1 run, 0 earned runs, L
Offensive star: Pat Burrell - 1-4, home run, 1 RBI

Note: The Giants may have lost to the Dodgers, but I would give just about anything for an old Tim Lincecum vs. Clayton Kershaw matchup right now, outcome be damned.

April 6, 2012

Stadium: Chase Field
Result: Diamondbacks 5, Giants 4
Starting pitcher: Tim Lincecum - 5.1 innings, 6 hits, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts, 5 earned runs, L
Offensive star: Melky Cabrera - 2-5, double, home run, 2 RBI

April 1, 2013

Stadium: Dodger Stadium
Result: Dodgers 4, Giants 0
Starting pitcher: Matt Cain - 6 innings, 4 hits, 1 walk, 8 strikeouts, 0 runs, ND
Offensive stars: Pablo Sandoval and Angel Pagan - 2-4

Note: I miss baseball so much that I am grieving this game in which Kershaw complete game shutout the Giants while hitting a home run.

March 31, 2014

Stadium: Chase Field
Result: Giants 9, Diamondbacks 8
Starting pitcher: Madison Bumgarner - 4 innings, 6 hits, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts, 4 runs, 0 earned runs, ND
Save: Sergio Romo - 1 inning, 2 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 1 earned run
Offensive star: Brandon Belt - 3-5, home run, 1 RBI

April 6, 2015

Stadium: Chase Field
Result: Giants 5, Diamondbacks 4
Starting pitcher: Madison Bumgarner - 7 innings, 6 hits, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts, 1 earned run, W
Save: Santiago Casilla - 1 inning, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 0 runs
Offensive star: Angel Pagan - 3-4, 2 doubles, walk, 2 RBI

April 4, 2016

Stadium: Miller Park
Result: Giants 12, Brewers 3
Starting pitcher: Madison Bumgarner - 5 innings, 5 hits, 5 walks, 6 strikeouts, 3 earned runs, W
Offensive star: Matt Duffy - 2-5, home run, 4 RBI

Note: The Giants had four home runs in this game, including Denard Span, Joe Panik, and Buster Posey going back-to-back-to-back in the eighth inning.

April 2, 2017

Stadium: Chase Field
Result: Diamondbacks 6, Giants 5
Starting pitcher: Madison Bumgarner - 7 innings, 6 hits, 0 walks, 11 strikeouts, 3 earned runs, ND
Offensive star: Madison Bumgarner - 2-2, 2 home runs, walk 2 RBI

Notes: Bumgarner K’d 11, hit two home runs, and the Giants lost. It doesn’t get any more Giant. This was his third opening day start in a Giants-DBacks game. It may not be his last. Also, Mark Melancon blew a save to begin his Giants tenure.

March 29, 2018

Stadium: Dodger Stadium
Result: Giants 1, Dodgers 0
Starting pitcher: Ty Blach - 5 innings, 3 hits, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts, 0 runs, W
Save: Hunter Strickland - 1 inning, 1 hit, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 0 runs
Offensive star: Joe Panik - 2-4, home run, 1 RBI

Note: Ty Blach has 1 opening day start, and 1.2 career WAR.

March 28, 2019

Stadium: Petco Park
Result: Padres 2, Giants 0
Starting pitcher: Madison Bumgarner - 7 inning, 5 hits, 1 walk, 9 strikeouts, 2 earned runs, L
Offensive star: Evan Longoria - 2-4

May 2020 opening day come soon, please.