San Francisco Giants: All-Time Starting Rotation
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The San Francisco Giants have arguably the best starting rotation in franchise history. Rotation spots 2-5 have dominated the competition, and if their ace Tim Lincecum could adapt and figure things out, they probably would have the best record in baseball for the year.
However, the Giants have had some legendary talent in their time. Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner could earn their way onto the list, but their careers are far from over. Tim Lincecum could still be on this list.
To give you a little bit more about the history, the San Francisco Giants started as the New York Gothams in 1883 and evolved into the New York Giants in 1885. The team became the San Francisco Giants in 1958 when they moved west.
I am giving you the best starting rotation in Giants history, based on their time with the Giants. One or two year stops with the Giants will not be included on the list.
Here we go.
5) Gaylord Perry (1962-71)
Gaylord Perry was known for his spitball
Gaylord Perry’s No. 36 is retired, and it is a reminder of how dominant he was as a Giant right-hander. He is a Hall of Famer remembered for the numerous teams he played for, but he made his mark first as a Giant.
Perry made headlines in 1966, forming a dynamic 1-2 punch with staff ace Juan Marichal. He was 21-8 during that all-star season and made the Giants competitive against the famous rival Dodger combo of Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale.
Perry’s most famous moment as a Giant was tossing a no-hitter against Bob Gibson and the St. Louis Cardinals. He compiled a 134-109 record with a 2.96 ERA in his years with the Giants. The Hall of Famers is also a 300-game winner.
Perry was also world famous for his spitball.
4) Tim Lincecum (2007- )
Tim Lincecum has been dominant in his young career
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Here is your most controversial choice at the No. 4 spot in the rotation, especially in his worst year as a professional. He has five seasons under his belt and has put up dazzling numbers.
Lincecum has already won two Cy Young awards and earned four all-star appearances. He also won two games, including the deciding game of the 2010 World Series. He led the National League in strikeouts three times and all of the Majors once.
Lincecum will find his way out of the confusion and resume his dominant ways.
3) Carl Hubbell (1928-43)
Carl Hubbell was the Giants' ace in the 1930s (carlhubbell.com)
Carl Hubbell was one of the retired names on the left field fence I saw at the ‘Stick while growing up. No. 11 was also one of the greatest pitchers in Giants history. Hubbell was the rock on the rotation of the 1930s, earning the National League MVP in both 1933 and 1936.
Hubbell had a career record of 253-154 with an ERA of 2.98. He was selected to the all-star team nine times and won a World Series in 1933. He won two of the four games in the series and “King Carl” was dominant.
Hubbell’s signature pitch was the screwball, and he is best known for striking out five Hall of Famers in a row in the 1934 All-Star game, among them Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Jimmie Foxx.
2) Juan Marichal (1960-73)
Juan Marichal was known for his high leg kick
Juan Marichal is the most famous and best pitcher during the San Francisco Giants tenure. He compiled a 238-140 record with an ERA of 2.84. He won 20 or more games six times in the 14 years he spent with the Giants.
Although he was one of the most dominating pitchers of his time, he never won the Cy Young award. However, he was a 10-time all-star, threw a no-hitter against the Houston Colt .45s in 1963 and pitched a 16-inning complete game against Warren Spahn.
Marichal had his No. 27 retired and is the San Francisco leader in complete games, shutouts, innings and strikeouts.
1) Christy Mathewson (1900-16)
Christy Mathewson was the best Giant pitcher (sabr.org)
Christy Mathewson is the most famous Giants pitcher and one of the best pitchers of his time. Matty finished his career with the Giants, going 372-188 with a 2.12 ERA. He has the all-time record in wins, complete games, shutouts, innings and strikeouts.
Mathewson was famous for his screwball, like Carl Hubbell, and won more than games 13 times. He won more than 30 games four times in his career. He won 37 games during the 1908 season.
Yes, it was a different era; pitchers went deeper into games and pitched more often. Matty still dominated. He threw two no-hitters during his career and won one World Series in 1905.
Matty was inducted into the very first Hall of Fame class with other legends, such as Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Walter Johnson and Honus Wagner.