Reliving eight NL West Division clinching moments by San Francisco Giants
Saturday’s NL West-clinching victory over the San Diego Padres was the second earliest division clinching win among the Giants’ eight NL West Division titles.
Amazingly, six of the division titles were clinched with wins by the Giants over the Padres. Even one of the two titles that were not clinched with a Giants win over the Padres, one of them was clinched by a Padres’ loss.
So let’s relive the previous seven San Francisco Giants’ division clinching moments. Remember, division play began in 1969.
Thursday, Sept. 30, 1971 (Game 162)
Giants 5, Padres 1
Final record: Giants 90-72, +1 over Dodgers
On the final day of the season, the Giants clinched the division title over the Dodgers by one game. Willie Mays had an RBI double and Dave Kingman belted a two-run home run as part of a three-run fourth inning at San Diego Stadium. Juan Marichal did the rest, going the distance for his 18th win of the season.
Monday, Sept. 28, 1987 (Game 156)
Giants 5, Padres 4
Final record: Giants 90-72, +6 over Reds
The Giants were seven games up on the Reds with seven to play when they opened a three-game set in San Diego. Don Robinson was the hero of the game, entering the game in the fifth inning in relief of starter Dave Dravecky. Dravecky was lifted for a pinch-hitter with the bases loaded in the top of the fifth. Robinson pitched five solid innings and even belted the go-ahead home run in the eighth inning. Tony Gwynn, who opened the ninth with single, was on third base with two out when John Kruk hit a fly to left that Jeffrey Leonard caught on the warning track to end the game. An interesting sidenote: Who struck out in the fourth inning against Dravecky as a pinch-hitter for the Padres? Bruce Bochy.
Wednesday, Sept. 27, 1989 (Game 159)
Dodgers 1, Giants 0 (Reds 2, Padres 1, 13 inn.)
Final record: Giants 92-70, +3 over Padres
The Giants were in Los Angeles when they clinched this title. But this title was clinched in San Diego. Even after losing the opener of a three-game series in LA, the Giants were five up with five to go, needed to win one of two games to clinch the division. But after losing 1-0 to the Dodgers on the 27th, the Giants were in the clubhouse at Dodger Stadium when Eric Davis’ RBI double helped the Reds win in the 13th, meaning the Giants didn’t have to go to San Diego for the season-ending series still up 3 on the Padres.
Saturday, Sept. 27, 1997 (Game 161)
Giants 6, Padres 1
Final record: Giants 90-72, +2 over Dodgers
J.T. Snow had a two-run double and Wilson Alvarez, acquired before the trade deadline threw seven shutout innings at Candlestick Park as the Giants clinched their four NL Western Division title, all created by a loss by the Padres (three of them were Giants wins).
Thursday, Sept. 21, 2000 (Game 152)
Giants 8, Diamondbacks 7
Final record: Giants 97-65, +11 over Dodgers
At Pacific Bell Park, the Giants took the lead in the bottom of the eight on pinch-hitter Russ Davis’ sacrifice fly to score J.T. Snow. Another pinch-hitter, Felipe Crespo, singled home Ellis Burks for an insurance run. The Giants needed the insurance as Danny Bautista doubled home Tony Womack. But Robb Nen got Jay Bell on a deep fly ball to center for the final out.
Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2003 (Game 150)
Giants 8, Padres 3
Final record: Giants 100-61, +15.5 over Dodgers
At Pacific Bell Park, the Padres took a 3-0 lead in the top of the second. But Andres Galarraga smacked a two-run homer in the second, and the Giants took the lead in the third inning on Marquis Grissom’s two-run homer. From their Jason Schmidt settled down for seven strong innings and 11 strikeouts.
Sunday, Oct. 3 (Game 162)
Giants 3, Padres 0
Final record: 92-70, +2 over Padres
At AT&T Park, Freddy Sanchez’s RBI single scored Jonathan Sanchez, who had tripled, then Aubrey Huff doubled home Freddy Sanchez for a 2-0 Giants lead in the third inning. Buster Posey homered in the eighth. The rest of the story was five shutout innings from Jonathan Sanchez, and four more zeros posted by Santiago Casilla, Ramon Ramirez, Javier Lopez, Sergio Romo and Brian Wilson.