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 6 p.m. to see the next two moments you can vote on! Then, after the Giants and D'backs conclude on Wednesday, tune into Postgame Live to see which moment will move on.
1. Travis Ishikawa's walk-off homer wins 2014 NL Pennant (2-time winner -- Defeated Tim Lincecum's Game 3 of 2012 World Series)
(From former Giants third base coach and current NBC Sports Bay Area analyst Tim Flannery)
After winning a one-game Wild Card showdown in Pittsburgh and then dramatically defeating the heavily favored Washington Nationals 3 games to 1, we found ourselves one series away from another trip to the World Series. After four tough fought games against the St. Louis Cardinals, we were leading the NLCS 3 games to 1 and back in San Francisco with our ace Madison Bumgarner on the mound with a chance to make history once again.
Bum would be facing the Cards veteran ace Adam Wainwright, who was very familiar pitching win-or-go-home games. The Cards struck first, scoring one in the 3rd inning, but Joe Panik hit a two-run homer to take the lead and get the packed house in China Basin on their feet and going wild. The Cards came right back to quiet the crowd and steal back the momentum with two homers of their own and take back the lead 3- 2. Bumgarner and Wainwright both went into shut down mode retiring the rest of the hitters they saw. With the Cardinals leading by one, relief specialist Pat Neshek took over in the 8th only to surrender a huge pinch-hit homer to Michael Morse who went down and hooked a slider up and out to left field to tie the game.
Santiago Casilla took over in the 9th and after loading the bases, Jeremy Affeldt came in once again and shut down the Cardinals and keep the game tied into the bottom of the 9th.
With Michael Wacha taking the mound for the Cardinals, the crowd at AT&T came to their feet knowing one run would send us to our 3rd World Series in the last five years. Pablo Sandoval singled to start the inning and with one out, Brandon Belt walked. Joaquin Arias pinch ran for Sandoval. Travis Ishikawa came to the plate to hit and with the count 2-0, he went down and crushed a low, sinking fastball to right field hitting a line drive that looked like it had a chance to get over the head of the right fielder. As the third base coach, I immediately checked my runner at second base, and Árias did the correct thing, going half way on the ball in the air. When I looked back to find the ball, everything went into slow motion and deftly quiet, at least in my head. Then I realized the ball was over the outfielder and we were going to win the Pennant.
At that moment, the quiet in my head erupted into total chaos as the ball continued into the seats for a walk-off, Pennant winning moment that would be part of history forever. Bedlam broke out with Ishikawa running around the bases with his teammates running down the line with him jumping and screaming. Jake Peavy sprinted by me and ran on the field to jump on Travis at second base thinking he hit a double, not a homer to win it. Waiting at home plate, the rest of the team was delirious waiting on Ishikawa to run through the obstacles of people, flying helmets and tears until he touched home plate and sent the Giants to the World Series and his legacy into the history books forever right next to the Bobby Thompson's "Shot Heard ‘round the World" as the "Giants win the Pennant, the Giants win the Pennant, the Giants win the Pennant."
Fans, friends and family danced and partied on the field and then into the Clubhouse to celebrate all night, still not believing what had just taken place. A very surreal moment that will never be forgotten.
2. Willie Mays hits 4 home runs and 8 RBI in Milwaukee vs. Braves on April 30, 1961
The Giants have had 28 different three-homer games in franchise history. Barry Bonds, unsurprisingly, did it four times. Willie McCovey did it three times. Pablo Sandoval has it on his resume in the regular season and postseason. Jarrett Parker did it three years ago at the Coliseum, singlehandedly demolishing the A's. A man named High Pockets Kelly did it in back-to-back seasons in the 1920s.
Only one Giant, though, has gone beyond three, and his identity won't surprise you.
On April 30, 1961, Willie Mays hit four homers and drove in eight runs against the Milwaukee Braves. Mays hit a solo homer in the first, a two-run homer in the third, a three-run homer in the sixth, and a two-run homer in the eighth. He overshadowed Hank Aaron, who hit two homers and drove in four runs for the Braves.
Mays is one of just 16 players in MLB history to hit four homers in a game. Last season, the feat was matched by Scooter Gennett and J.D. Martinez.