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San Francisco Giants: Our favorite moments of 2017

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - SEPTEMBER 11: The San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers stand for the National Anthem before their game at AT&T Park on September 11, 2017 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - SEPTEMBER 11: The San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers stand for the National Anthem before their game at AT&T Park on September 11, 2017 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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San Francisco Giants
LOS ANGELES, CA – SEPTEMBER 23: Madison Bumgarner #40 of the San Francisco Giants throws a pitch in the fourth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on September 23, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Sam Cox: Bumgarner’s Opening Day Blasts

Opening Day of the 2017 season was filled with hope. The Bullpen crisis had supposedly been solved by an elite closer, and the ghosts of the Division Series defeat could be left in the annals of history.

There was no better way to start the season than Madison Bumgarner facing Zack Greinke.

Bumgarner’s crusade for a perfect game was looking good. The Giants’ ace had homered off the Diamondbacks’ starter before. He did it again in the fifth inning as he smoked one to left-center.

The eyes of baseball were on Chase Field on that early April day. Bumgarner is the best in the game when everyone is watching.

It was not just the one monster shot that lit up Opening Day. After a three-run inning for the Diamondbacks – including a two-run dinger from AJ Pollock – Bumgarner batted in the seventh. He delivered a go-ahead homer to become the first pitcher ever to hit two homers on Opening Day. This one was a Hollywood moment, it was an enormous fly ball accompanied by a bellowed ‘done it again’ from Duane Kuiper’s voice.

Next: Is Cain a Hall of Famer?

In a season dominated by lows, the first game of the year stands out as a high point for me. Hope of another October run quickly diminished afterwards, but before the blown save there was a couple of hours when 2017 was full of optimism.

In a less momentous way than 2014, Bumgarner was the highlight of 2017. It has been a torrid year to follow the Giants, but there were many moments I could have picked. However, none generated quite the same excitement as when anything looked possible for the 2017 Giants.

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