San Francisco Giants: Most Memorable Moments from 2012
For the San Francisco Giants, 2012 was a magical year. Through wins, losses, new acquisitions and suspensions, the Giants had a string of memorable moments which formed the 2012 season.
Matt Cain’s perfect game made history, and Hunter Pence pumped up the team when its back was against the wall.
Every player on the team contributed in his own way, leading to a second World Series championship for the franchise in three years. There were many memorable moments throughout the year, but these are some of the most unforgettable.
Matt Cain's Perfect Game
All 27 Outs of Matt Cain's Perfect Game
Several important moments occurred during one game on June 13, 2012. Matt Cain pitched perfect game No. 22 in Major League Baseball history and the first for the Giants franchise.
His 125 pitches against the Houston Astros became the most thrown in a perfect game. His 14 strikeouts tied the perfect-game record held by Sandy Koufax.
Possible good luck charm: The jet-pack man flying around in McCovey Cove that night.
Another potential key: golf.
Cain knocked a golf ball out into the cove during a pregame event with PGA Tour player Dustin Johnson, and that one swing Cain took just happened to be the best one that occurred all night.
Gregor Blanco's Catch
This catch deserves its own slide. Gregor Blanco was able to make it to deep right-center field and rob Houston Astros’ Jordan Schafer of a hit in the top of the seventh inning. The right fielder's diving catch kept Matt Cain’s perfect game intact.
San Francisco is familiar with the phrase, “The Catch,” and Blanco’s has been noted as one of, if not the best of the year.
2012 All-Stars: Voting and Game
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
One thing is for sure, the San Francisco Giants fans are really good at online voting. Pablo Sandoval won the starting spot at third base over the New York Mets’ David Wright, Buster Posey started over Yadier Molina and Carlos Ruiz, and Melky Cabrera was selected as a starting outfielder.
Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford each placed second in their positions on the 2012 ballot, and even the inactive Freddy Sanchez finished fourth in second basemen, with 2.29 million votes.
Matt Cain was chosen to start the 2012 All-Star Game against the Detroit Tigers’ Justin Verlander. The five first-inning runs were all hit off Detroit's ace, which included Pablo Sandoval’s bases-clearing triple, the first in All-Star Game history.
Seven of the eight NL runs were either scored and/or driven in by members of the Giants and led to the National League securing home-field advantage in the World Series.
Marco Scutaro Joins the Giants
The trade deadline was approaching, and the San Francisco Giants had not made a move yet. The Los Angeles Dodgers were battling with San Francisco for first place in the NL West and were making big moves to help their chances.
The Giants first trade of the season: Charlie Culberson to the Colorado Rockies for Marco Scutaro.
The Scutaro trade wasn’t a flashy one. The reactions ranged from content with his versatility and depth to anger that this may have been San Francisco’s answer to the Dodgers' trade for Hanley Ramirez.
Scutaro's trade, along with the one for Hunter Pence, was one of the most important moments for the Giants in 2012.
After being traded, Scutaro said he knew a couple players on the team, “but I guess I just have to go there and find some friends.”
There’s a good chance he did not have a problem making friends in San Francisco, as Scutaro proved to be one of the biggest parts of the San Francisco Giants’ season playoff run. In the NLCS, he went 14 for 28 with three doubles and four RBI while playing a solid second base before being named MVP.
Melky Cabrera Suspended
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Melky Cabrera had been a huge asset to the San Francisco Giants all season. He set a Giants franchise record for most hits in the month of May and sparked an onslaught of “melkmen” and “melkmaids” at AT&T Park until he tested positive for testosterone.
Cabrera was suspended for 50 days and ended his time with the Giants with a league-leading .346 batting average.
The suspension was a major moment for the entire league and a huge hit for Giants players, management and fans.
Cabrera and Buster Posey had been responsible for most of the production so far, so once the left fielder left the picture, other players had to rise. In the end, the team banded together for a strong finish in the season and postseason.
NLCS Game 7: Hunter Pence’s Awkward Hit
The San Francisco Giants had to win three games in a row—twice. In the seventh game of the National League Championship Series, the Giants were able to punch their ticket to the World Series as the rain poured down in a 9-0 win over the St. Louis Cardinals.
One of the oddest moments in the year came with one swing of the bat and three points of contact.
Hunter Pence’s base-clearing double was part of a five-run inning for San Francisco. The unexplainable hit began going left then veered right, past Pete Kozma and into the outfield. Watching it over and over only solidifies the awkwardness that broke the game open.
Pence’s bat, named Fryer, was sold for $400 to a fan only an hour after the game. After hearing that Pence hoped to have it back, the season ticket holder who purchased the bat quickly got in contact with the Giants to return it to its original owner.
Buster Posey Wins All the Awards
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Okay, all the awards may be an exaggeration, but Buster Posey must have needed to clear a wall for all the recognition he received in 2012.
Less than a year after the season-ending collision at the plate that shattered Posey’s ankle and any chance at a 2011 return, the 2010 Rookie of the Year returned to AT&T Park and led his team to another World Series title.
Along the way he started the All-Star Game with battery mate Matt Cain and was later awarded a batting title and Silver Slugger Award after leading the league with a .336 average.
Posey was also named NL Hank Aaron Award winner and NL Comeback Player of the Year, and he became the first catcher in 40 years to win the National League’s Most Valuable Player honor.
NLDS Game 3: Hunter Pence's Pregame Speech
The Giants came into Cincinnati down 0-2 after losing both games at home. The postseason was not over in San Francisco, though, as Hunter Pence rallied his teammates in Game 3 and the Giants went on to take the series from the Reds.
As he fought through leg cramps, Pence contributed to the win with a sliding catch into the right field wall with a single in the 10th inning.
The pregame rally was more about Pence’s intensity than about the actual words, according to some of the Giants in the huddle. Just watch the video to see some of Pence’s teammates remember his amped up speech.
World Series Game 1: Pablo Sandoval Hits 3 Home Runs
Game 1 of the 2012 World Series started off with a bang thanks to Pablo Sandoval. The San Francisco Giants faced Justin Verlander in San Francisco, and Sandoval knocked out two home runs off the ace, who was taken out after only four innings.
He hit one more solo shot in the fifth inning, becoming the fourth player to hit three home runs in a World Series game. His performance in Game 1 set the pace for the rest of the series.
World Series Champions
Pablo Sandoval and Marco Scutaro, World Series and NLCS MVPs.
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
You knew this slide was coming. What would a memorable moments slideshow be without a World Series win?
After winning three in a row while facing elimination in both the NLDS and NLCS, the San Francisco Giants took a different approach during the World Series.
The Giants swept the Detroit Tigers in four games after excellent pitching performances from Barry Zito, Madison Bumgarner, Ryan Vogelsong and Matt Cain and solid relief efforts from Tim Lincecum, Sergio Romo and the rest of the bullpen.
That, combined with offensive outbursts and other timely hitting, and you have the San Francisco Giants, your 2012 World Series Champions.
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