Giants

POLL: Giants Memorable Moments -- Cain's Perfect Game vs Winning 2010 NL Pennant

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AP

POLL: Giants Memorable Moments -- Cain's Perfect Game vs Winning 2010 NL Pennant

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 Giants Pregame Live at 3pm to see the next two moments you can vote on! Then, after the Giants and Mets conclude, tune into Postgame Live to see which moment will move on.

1. Matt Cain's Perfect Game in 2012 (15-time winner -- Defeated Giants win 2012 NL Pennant against Cardinals in rain-soaked Game 7)

(From Matt Cain - Giants Pitcher, 2005-2017)

The Perfect Game was one of the most memorable nights of my playing career. 

I had always dreamed of throwing a no-hitter. I had come so close so many times throughout my career and in my younger years, but never had one. 

The ballpark was so electric that night. We had the TaylorMade guys out hitting golf balls. Dustin Johnson hitting monster drives into McCovey Cove, and I snuck one good swing in there as well. 

Pretty surreal day. I still think back to all the plays and pitches during that game. To have every single player on the same wave length and all realizing what was unfolding is truly something special. Everyone likes to say I pitched a perfect game and I get the credit for it but I’m in debt to everyone of the guys who made a play behind me , one that still doesn’t make sense in right center field, and I owe the most to the guy who called 125 perfect pitches behind the plate. 

Thanks to all the fans that have come up to me and shared there story about that night. So fun to hear them all!!

VS.

2. Giants win 2010 National League Pennant

(From former Giants outfielder and current NBC Sports Bay Area analyst Andres Torres)

If you ask me what was harder...winning the World Series against Texas or beating Philly in the NLCS...it was beating Philly. They had a great lineup and pitching staff and those fans there...they're no joke. Fans yelling at you all the time. It wasn't easy to play against them when they were at home.

Juan Uribe was really good...he had that stance...that power...he used to hit with a weight on his bat...he's really strong...great hitter. When he hit that home run...we were going crazy...really pumped. Cody Ross was also great that series. Two home runs off Roy Halladay.

I was so excited, we were going to the World Series and we were going to win. Think about beating Philly with that lineup and that pitching staff was no joke either. We were built like a great like a great company and everbody coming into the clubhouse, we made them feel comfortable, when new guys came in we made them feel welcome and comfortable and we had fun. That's how the Giants are, and when we beat Philly...I thought we had already won the World Series because we believed in each other.

VOTE HERE:

How Giants outfield suddenly became team strength after dismal 2018

How Giants outfield suddenly became team strength after dismal 2018

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants have lost 13 of their last 16 games at Wrigley Field, averaging exactly three runs per game. So in many ways, Tuesday's 5-3 loss fit right in with what you've watched in recent years. 

But there was something about the performance that was still relatively new and encouraging. 

The first two runs came on an opposite-field homer from Austin Slater. The third came when Kevin Pillar yanked a Cole Hamels pitch deep into the bleachers in left, giving him 18 for the season. 

Pillar's homer was the 60th of the season by a Giants outfielder, which already far exceeds last year's total of 44. Giants outfielders, led by Pillar and Mike Yastrzemski, have 23 homers in the second half alone. They have come a long, long way from 2018, and even from the first half of this season. 

"We weren't getting a lot of production from the outfield in the early going, and you look at what we're doing now. Whoever I put out in the outfield, they're doing a great job, they're defending and doing damage with the bat," manager Bruce Bochy said over the weekend. "All that production that you need from the outfield, we're getting it now."

Bochy is getting so much from his current quartet that the Giants don't currently have room for Jaylin Davis, who has nine homers in 16 games since joining Triple-A Sacramento. For now the staff is leaning heavily on Pillar, who plays just about every inning, Yastrzemski and Slater. Alex Dickerson helped turn the season around in June, and while he has struggled since returning from an oblique injury, Dickerson's OPS as a Giant remains above 1.100. 

Ask Bochy about his outfielders, though, and it's not just the offense that stands out. After years of subpar defense in center and infielders getting time in left, the Giants have solidified their outfield defense. 

They're second in the NL with 27 outfield assists and second with 22 Defensive Runs Saved. That's 26 DRS better than last year's outfield. The defensive component gets folded into Wins Above Replacement, and that's the clearest way to show the differences year over year. 

[RELATED: Cueto lasts 60 pitches in rehab start, close to Giants return]

Last year's outfield combined for 0.1 WAR. This year's is already at 4.0 WAR, even with a number of DFA'd players dragging down the overall numbers. In the second half, Giants outfielders have accounted for 3.8 WAR, ranking third in the Majors behind just the Yankees and Dodgers. 

"They're solid all-around players who can play the whole game," Bochy said of his current outfielders. "They're guys who have a lot of range out there and get good reads. They know how to play the game."

Johnny Cueto throws 60 pitches in rehab start, close to Giants return

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USATSI

Johnny Cueto throws 60 pitches in rehab start, close to Giants return

Almost nothing can be learned from a rehabbing veteran's box score in the minor leagues. That was reinforced a couple of years ago when a Dodgers A-ball team crushed Giants ace Madison Bumgarner as he tried to get a feel for his signature cutter.

So throw out the five runs that Johnny Cueto was charged with Tuesday night in Modesto. Look only at the number "60," which is how many pitches Cueto threw in his second appearance for the San Jose Giants.

The big-league training staff had hoped to see Cueto get above 55, and he appeared to have another solid night of work as he inched closer to the majors. Cueto gave up four hits, walked one and struck out three.

His next stop will be Triple-A Sacramento for two more starts.

Cueto is lined up to pitch Monday in Sacramento, and Giants manager Bruce Bochy told reporters in Chicago that he should be back in the big leagues around Sept. 8. For over a year, Cueto has targeted the first week of September. 

The right-hander is now nearly 13 months removed from Tommy John surgery and has had no setbacks. He was coming along so smoothly that the Giants discussed taking away one of the rehab starts and getting him back early, although plenty in the organization preferred caution.

[RELATED: Yaz starring for Giants after big-league chance]

The original path was two starts for San Jose and two for Sacramento, and Cueto is halfway through the schedule that'll soon get him back with the Giants.