I’ve attended 25 Giants games in my “fan career.” Twenty-five is a pretty special number around these parts, so I thought I’d go back and recap them all, starting from the most recent and working my way back. In case you missed it, here’s Part 1.
Game #16 | April 19, 2013 | AT&T Park | Giants 3, Padres 2
Madison Bumgarner vs Edinson Volquez
Player of the Game: Bumgarner (6 IP, 2 ER, 10 K)
Entertainment Rating: 7 (out of 10) | Record in Games Attended: 10-6
I actually forgot I had attended this game. But as I was going through each season, it came back to me. I had flown into the city from Montana to work a college admissions fair. I bought a single ticket a little closer to the dish than I’d ever been, and walked to the park from my hotel. Only time I’ve been to a game by myself, and maybe that’s why I don’t remember much. Bumgarner was dominant, and I do remember Angel Pagan’s liner scoring Andres Torres to walk it off in the bottom of the 9th. The memory that stands out most to me from this game though is the 7th inning stretch. It was a Friday night, just days after the tragedy at the Boston Marathon, and they played “Sweet Caroline” during the stretch. Everyone belted it. A very passionate, heart-warming moment.
Game #17 | April 20, 2013 | AT&T Park | Giants 2, Padres 0
Tim Lincecum vs Andrew Cashner
Player of the Game: Lincecum (6.2 IP, 0 ER, 8 K)
Entertainment Rating: 6 (out of 10) | Record in Games Attended: 11-6
Timmy just owned the Padres, didn’t he? I actually went to games on consecutive nights, a first for me. This time my mom and sister drove down from the valley to go with me though. Again, the specific memories from this one are fuzzy for some reason. Aside from the pitching staff (Lincecum, Mijares, Casilla, Romo – that’s a quartet!) tossing a shutout, the game-changing moment came off the bat of a beefed-up Pablo Sandoval, who parked a pitch from Cashner into the right-field seats. Those were the only runs of the game.
Game #18 | August 22, 2013 | AT&T Park | Pirates 10, Giants 5
Matt Cain vs Jeff Locke
Player of the Game: Brett Pill (3 hits)
Entertainment Rating: 4 | Record in Games Attended: 11-7
This was a special night, even if the game itself was forgettable. Long before she would become my wife, Keri and I flew to SFO from Montana and she attended her first Giants game. We sat near the Giants dugout, and I remember being so proud to show off the sights of the park, like it was mine or something! The glory faded once the game began, however. Cainer gave up two homers in the 2nd inning, including a towering splash hit to Garrett Jones. In the 4th inning, Cain took a comebacker off the arm and left the game. It was a play that would lead to the first DL stint of his career, and a roller coaster ride for him over the next few seasons. The Giants got thumped, but Brett Pill manned LF and had 3 hits for the good guys. Sorry Brett, but I don’t remember any of them!
Game #19 | June 15, 2015 | AT&T Park | Mariners 5, Giants 1
Tim Hudson vs Taijuan Walker
Player of the Game: Walker (7 IP, 1 ER)
Entertainment Rating: 4 | Record in Games Attended: 11-8
Fast forward two summers to another special game. I had moved back to NorCal for a full-time teaching position. My college roommate, RA partner, coworker, and very good friend Aaron flew out to catch an interleague game against his beloved M’s. It was his first trip to AT&T, and he was in awe. I got us seats in the premium club, a first for me, and we felt like we were VIP’s in the park. Dave Flemming walked right past me in the tunnel and I said hello like I was a giddy 7th grader. The game itself was kind of a dud for the Giants. Seattle’s hyped-up righty Taijuan Walker shut them down over 7 innings, and Kyle Seager hit a late homer off Affeldt to seal the deal. Future Mariner Nori Aoki drove in the Giants’ only run. Score 1 for Aaron, but we’d even the score a few years later…
Game #20 | August 15, 2015 | AT&T Park | Giants 12, Nationals 6
Jake Peavy vs Gio Gonzalez
Player of the Game: Matt Duffy (2 hits, 4 RBI)
Entertainment Rating: 8 | Record in Games Attended: 12-8
This was a fun game – Saturday night, Giants sporting their black alternate jerseys, which are my personal favorites. It also ended up being Keri’s (then my fiance) first in-person win. The offense came out in full force, tagging Gio Gonzalez for 6 ER, all in the 3rd inning. The rookies, Duffy & Tomlinson, really put on a show. Duff-Man hit two doubles and drove in 4, while Kelby (whose career was less than a month old at that point) doubled and tripled. Our seats were near lower level, near the left field foul pole, so we had an up-close view of Duffy’s 2nd inning, bases-clearing double that bounced against the wall and electrified the crowd. Giants pounded out 12 runs on 13 hits. Just an exciting night at the yard, and a great way to spend my 20th Gigantes game.