Three forgotten things about Giants' eight-run comeback vs. Reds in 2019

Three forgotten things about Giants' eight-run comeback vs. Reds in 2019

Programming note: Watch the re-air of the Giants' thrilling 2019 comeback win over the Reds tonight at 8 PT on NBC Sports Bay Area.

When you think of the 2019 Giants, you do not think about offensive production. But that group did have a 19-run outburst one day at Coors Field, and scored 14 against the Rockies in another game. They scored 13 runs in a win at Petco Park.

The offensive highlight of the season, though, might have come in a game the Giants won by only one run.

On May 3, the Giants went into Cincinnati and overcame an eight-run deficit to beat the Reds 12-11. Stephen Vogt capped the comeback with a solo shot off Reds closer Raisel Iglesias with two outs in the top of the ninth, and Evan Longoria won it with a homer in the 11th.

The comeback matched the largest in Giants history. They also came back from eight-run deficits in 1949, 1970 (twice) and 1989.

The win was as thrilling as any the Giants had last year, and it will re-air tonight at 8 on NBC Sports Bay Area. As you watch, here are three things you might have forgotten about that wild comeback:

An early reason to believe in Vogt

This was Stephen Vogt's season debut, and he ended up being the star after coming off the bench in the fifth inning with the Giants trailing 10-3. Vogt had missed the entire 2018 season because of shoulder surgery and had to spend a month in Triple-A as he got his throwing arm back into shape, but he ended up being one of the more valuable Giants in 2019.

Vogt doubled in his first at-bat for the Giants to cut the deficit to six runs. In the eighth, he singled and scored as part of a three-run rally that got the Giants within one. In the ninth, he did this:

That was Vogt's first big league homer since Sept. 29, 2017.

"Obviously, just a day full of emotions to begin with," Vogt said afterwards. "Just so blessed and happy to be back in the big leagues and playing for this team. To get a chance to come into a game and contribute to a comeback win like that, it really was just emotional."

A rare win in Cincinnati 

Great American Ball Park always will be a special place for Giants fans because of this:

It's OK to stare at the picture for a few minutes. Maybe save it to your phone for a rainy day?

That 2012 comeback was legendary, but in recent years the trip to Cincinnati has been a nightmare, and not just because they try to serve you Skyline Chili everywhere. The Giants had lost seven straight there before that Friday night comeback, getting outscored by 43 runs.

Cincinnati is where we all kind of realized 2017 was going to be a disaster. That team went into GABP in early May and got outscored 31-5 over a weekend series. A year later the Giants took two of three at Dodger Stadium to climb back to .500, then got swept in Cincinnati. Within a few days, Buster Posey was having hip surgery and Andrew McCutchen was a Yankee.

So yeah, it felt pretty good in the clubhouse when the Giants overcame the deficit last year.

"We've had a tough time here," manager Bruce Bochy told reporters. "And then we come in here the first game and get down eight runs, you go, 'Oh man, there's something about this ballpark.' I can't say enough about how they battled and what some guys did to help us win that game."

A debut to forget

Vogt wasn't the only player to make his season debut that day. Tyler Beede was called up after dominating the Pacific Coast League, but he gave up seven earned in 2 1/3 innings. Great American Ball Park is one of the last places you want to have a young pitcher make his season debut, and the Giants would probably take a mulligan if they could have that decision back. 

But Beede rolled with it and ended up showing flashes of his potential last year and this spring before Tommy John surgery shut him down. If you take that first game out, Beede's rookie season looks considerably better. His ERA drops from 5.08 to 4.63.

Former Giant Randy Winn describes feeling of month-long hot streak

Former Giant Randy Winn describes feeling of month-long hot streak

A starting pitcher can take control of a game and singlehandedly lead his team to a win, but in general, it's hard for baseball players to will their team to victory day after day.

Starters pitch once every five days and position players know that even on a five-hit night, you're dependent on your own pitchers standing tall, and every time you reach base, you have to wait a couple innings for another chance to impact the game.

But every once in a while, a hitter gets so hot that it seems he's carrying his team for weeks at a time. The Giants last truly experienced this in 2018, when Brandon Crawford briefly thrust himself into the MVP race and earned an All-Star selection with an absurd stretch in May and June.

Buster Posey won the MVP award with his second half of 2012, and Melky Cabrera dragged the Giants to plenty of wins earlier that year before failing a PED test. In the first half of this century, Barry Bonds could carry the lineup for weeks, even seasons, at a time. 

Randy Winn experienced that after being traded to the Giants from the Mariners in 2005, and that year he had his own hot streak that to this day is one of the most impressive in franchise history. Over the final 30 games of that season, Winn had 54 hits in 123 at-bats, good for a .439 batting average. He hit 11 homers, 13 doubles and three triples, with a slugging percentage of .862 and OPS of 1.331. 

On this week's Giants Insider Podcast, Winn recalled what it felt like to get that hot for such a long period of time. 

"Nothing felt different -- everything just felt really, really easy and really slow," Winn said. "Whenever I felt like I wanted to take a pitch, the pitcher would throw a ball. If in my mind I was thinking, you know what, he might throw me a changeup, and he would throw me a changeup and it was very hittable. When anybody describes 'the zone' or being on fire, what they say is always the same: Everything was really slow, I was really relaxed, and my mind was really clear.

"When I think back on that time or other times when I was hitting really well, those are always the things that I remember. I didn't feel different, I wasn't really doing anything different. It just feels like you're in control of everything."

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Winn was having a solid season to that point, with a .273 average and .742 OPS. He opened September with eight hits in a three-game sweep of the Diamondbacks and never looked back, finishing the year with a .306 average. Winn had 17 multi-hit games in September, including three four-hit games. His 51 hits that month set a San Francisco Giants record that Cabrera tied in May of 2012. 

"It was a great situation for me," Winn said of the midseason trade that brought him to San Francisco. "Coming home, still live in the Bay Area, grew up in the Bay Area, my wife is from the Bay Area, our parents at that time lived in the Bay Area, so for us it was a homecoming and it was just great to be back home."

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On the podcast, Winn also talks about how he would handle this layoff, what it was like playing college basketball with Steve Nash, what made Bonds and Albert Pujols so great, and much more. 

Giants fans vote 'Champ' Tim Lincecum as best version of former ace


Giants fans vote 'Champ' Tim Lincecum as best version of former ace

You the fans have spoken.

We asked you to designate your favorite version of former Giants ace Tim Lincecum, and the social media response was overwhelming.

Lincecum was a part of all three World Series-winning teams in 2010, 2012, and 2014 in San Francisco.

During his first postseason run in 2010, Lincecum put together an impressive stretch of performances, solidifying himself as a franchise icon.

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He kicked off the 2010 MLB Playoffs by throwing a 119-pitch shutout with 14 strikeouts against the Atlanta Braves in Game 1, propping up an offense that only mustered one run of support to give the Giants a leg up in the five-game division series.

He followed that effort up by striking out eight Phillies in a Game 1 road win in Philadelphia, when Cody Ross’ two home runs led the Giants to a 4-3 win.

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Lincecum wrapped up the postseason by earning two World Series wins, including the series clincher in Game 5, striking out 10 Texas Rangers over eight innings as the Giants won their first Fall Classic since the franchise relocated to the west coast in 1958.

Although Lincecum earned plenty of nicknames during his legendary career in San Francisco, “Champ” definitely has a nice ring to it.