PROGRAMMING NOTE: NBC Sports Bay Area is looking back at the Giants' 60 Memorable Moments since the franchise moved from New York to San Francisco. Tune into Pregame Live at 4:30pm to see the next two moments you can vote on! Then, after the Giants and Rockies conclude, tune into Postgame Live to see which moment will move on to the next round! Make your vote count!
1. Brandon Belt's 18th inning homer against the Nationals in 2014 NLDS (Six-time winner -- Defeated Will Clark's home run off Nolan Ryan in first-career at-bat)
(From Alex Pavlovic)
By the end of an 18-inning win over the Nationals in Game 2 of the 2014 NLDS, the Giants were drained in every way. It would be understandable if some of them have few solid memories of the six-hour, 23-minute marathon game, but Brandon Belt will never forget the details. His solo shot off Tanner Roark in the top of the 18th was the difference in a 2-1 win. Four years later, the moment is still fresh in his mind, from his preparation for the at-bat to the emphatic bat drop:
(From Brandon Belt)
"I remember chugging a Red Bull. It was late into the night and that's tough, it's mentally draining and physically draining to be in a game like that, where you're giving everything you've got to win a baseball game. I was drained at that moment to say the least. I remember chugging a Red Bull and going out there and thinking, 'I'm just going to try and get on base and see what happens.' I remember just not trying to do too much and he gave me a pitch that I could handle, that was kind of in my happy zone. It felt like one of the first home runs I ever hit. It's like you're in Little League and you hit a home run and it's like you're in a dream and it's not real life -- it was kind of the same way.
"We had just played so long and it was such a big moment in the game, and the fact that I was able to come through and help us win with such a big hit, it was surreal to me. I felt like I was floating around the bases. I think (the bat drop) was relief, more than anything. When I do that I don't really know I do it. It was really just relief. The way the game was going, we had to assume it was over after that. The bullpen had done so well and everyone was so tired. It was going to be tough for (the Nationals) to come back after that.
"We were just ready to go home. We had a long flight after that. We just put so much effort into it and all the guys did so great. Pablo came up with a big hit in the ninth inning and Petit throwing (six shutout) innings. For me, that was the pivotal game of that entire playoffs. We were playing the best team in the NL and to be able to come home up 2-0 was huge."
2. Yusmeiro Petit's consecutive outs record in 2014
(From former Giants reliever Javier Lopez)
Yusmeiro Petit always had a presence about him. He was humble and proud. Quiet and confident, but what stood out was how appreciative he was about getting to play in the big leagues. A lot of guys have egos thinking they need this role or that, but Petit never complained. He was the working man's baseball player. Start? Sure. Relieve? No problem. He was comfortable in whatever situation you put him in.
The year before, he came one strike short of a Perfect Game against Arizona at AT&T Park. He had me and all of his teammates at the edge of our seats. It was a guy just asked to make a start, and he almost did the unthinkable. Matt Cain wanted to see it happen, and he was as nervous as anyone. He lived it, but having to watch it made it that much more exciting. Alas, Eric Chavez spoiled the party, but Petit never gave it another thought. He completed the game in 95 pitches and hugged his teammates like he always did. Happy about the performance, but happier that we won. Humble.
In 2014, Yusmeiro had another shot at history and this time he didn't miss. It all started innocently enough on July 22 in Philly with Grady Sizemore rolling out to second base. What happen next seemed to fly under the radar for many because as a reliever you never know when the phone would ring. Out after out, appearance after appearance, he continued to get people out. He would not just get them here and there, they were all in a row. No walks or hit batters, just nothing but outs! It took over a month until history was made.
I remember him saying that he would get the start with Timmy Lincecum scuffling, and again Petit was just thankful for the opportunity. A start against the Rockies who we all know can hit. Line drive out to start the game by Blackmon to Pence. A strikeout of LeMahieu, and then a quick test, a full count to Justin Morneau, but he got him to fly out to center on the next pitch. After he got Giant killer Arenado to fly out to center to start the second, we knew we were in for a special day. That set the NL record for consecutive outs held by former Giant Jim Barr back in 1972. 1972!! He continued to get outs and set the mark with a strikeout of Charlie Culberson. A Major League Record 46 in a row! I was as excited as I was the year before for Yusmeiro. He had done something that seemed unthinkable. For over 6 weeks, relieving or starting, he just got outs. Amazing! We all went nuts in the dugout and when the crowd realized what had just happened, they gave him a standing ovation.
In a season with so many storylines and unbelievable performances, I believe Petit's is the only one to compete with Bums. He would go on to throw 6 scoreless innings in Washington before Belt's famous home run off of Tanner Roark. He would go on to have a postseason of his life. 3-0 with a 1.42 ERA covering 12 2/3 innings. Winning a game in every round. He would win a World Series game after another three-inning performance in Game 4, oh and get a hit as well. Bet you forgot that one!
Never, not once did he ever change. Cool, calm and collected. After every outing, good or bad, he'd always pat his glove coming off the mound and stare up at the family section. Knowing he wasn't just doing his job for his team, but for his family too! A true pro and Forever Giant!