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 3pm to see the next two moments you can vote on! Then, after the Giants and Nationals 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 (Nine-time winner -- Brian Johnson's walk-off home run against Dodgers in 1997)
(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. Brandon Crawford's grand slam in Giants' 8-0 win over Pirates in 2014 NL Wild Card Game
(From Alex Pavlovic)
SAN FRANCISCO — Ask a Giants fan for the defining image of the run to the 2014 title and they’ll pick Madison Bumgarner jogging out of the bullpen in Kansas City. Or maybe Madison Bumgarner throwing a shutout in the Wild Card Game.
It was the month of Madison, but early on, he got a huge contribution from his shortstop.
With two outs and the bases loaded in the fourth inning of the Wild Card Game, Crawford dug in against Edinson Volquez. The game was scoreless at the time. Volquez hung a 1-2 curveball and Crawford yanked it into the first row of seats in right field.
Does Crawford believe his huge grand slam got overshadowed by everything Bumgarner did afterward?
“I don’t personally think so, no, because I’ll always remember it,” he said, smiling. “But obviously Bum’s performance was great. I could have hit a sac fly right there and Bum would have shut them down.”
The Giants cruised to an 8-0 win over a talented Pirates team that included Andrew McCutchen, Mark Melancon and Gerrit Cole, who later became Crawford’s brother-in-law. Crawford said he mentions his slam to those three all the time, and he had no hesitation when asked what stood out.
“Obviously the situation is what makes it different than other homers or grand slams, but something else that stands out about it was how loud it was and then how silent it got,” he said. “I think that’s what a lot of people remember about it. Anybody that was there probably noticed that.”
In this bracket, Crawford is up against the other Brandon. Three days after Crawford’s big night, Belt sent the Giants to an NLDS win with an 18th inning solo shot against the Nationals. Asked to state his case, Crawford smiled.
“Mine was for four RBIs, just remember that when people are voting,” he said. “He was due at that point. Mine was only my second at-bat.”
Which #SFGiants 60th Anniversary moment was more memorable?— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) June 8, 2018
The winning moment will move on to the next matchup.