I am batting for Erin this week with “This Week in Giants History” and am taking you back to the year 2000.
The lineup featured Barry Bonds, Jeff Kent, Rich Aurilia and J.T. Snow, among many other premier San Francisco Giants, and the year was the first season that the Orange and Black played at then-Pacific “Pac” Bell Park-now, AT&T Park.
The Cincinnati Reds were in town, and though the two teams had the same number of losses, at 31, the Reds were in second place in their division, only three-and-a-half games back of the St. Louis Cardinals, while the Giants were in fourth place, six-and-a-half games behind first place Arizona.
Cincinnati jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first when Pokey Reese singled, stole second, advanced on a groundout and scored on another groundout. They added a second run in the seventh, on another groundout, taking a 2-1 lead and it was almost enough.
The Giants had scored once in the fourth when Ellis Burks walked and Rich Aurilia doubled him home. Later in the sixth, with one out, J.T. Snow doubled, but was stranded when Doug Mirabelli grounded out to end the inning.
In the bottom of the ninth, with Danny Graves facing the numbers 8, 9, and 1 batters in the lineup, the Giants got things started with a one-out walk to Bobby Estalella. Marvin Benard followed with a single, advancing Estalella to second, and after a fly-ball out by Bill Mueller, Barry Bonds knocked in Estalella, bringing Jeff Kent to the plate. Kent singled home Benard for the walk-off win.
The thing that jumped out at me about this game and this lineup, is the fact that four of these guys are in camp each spring, answering questions and making suggestions, and some of that work is paying off.
It’s nice to go back and find that the guys who are helping our players get it done now, were getting it done then.