Today will be my 26th consecutive Opening Day. Last year I looked at every game in honor of the 25th anniversary, so I'll skip that this time. Here's some random stats.
Giants' record on Opening Day since 1980: 15 wins, 10 losses.
Giants' record vs. Dodgers (today's opponent) on Opening Day since 1980: 0 wins, 3 losses (uh oh).
Giants' record on Opening Day at China Basin: 4 wins (the last four, this is a streak), 1 loss.
For my memory-lane trip, I'll go back to April 14, 1992, about which I wrote last year as well. I chose this game because it was the last time the Giants played their home opener without Barry Bonds in the lineup. It's not pretty ... the Giants only managed three hits while losing 4-0 to the San Diego Padres. How long ago was 1992? Far as I can tell, every Giant but one who played in that game has since retired. The guy who is still around? Royce Clayton, who was 23 years old then and is now in his 15th season in the majors, despite being a dismal hitter. His reputation is based on his glovework, but even there, he's never won a Gold Glove. He made the All-Star team once, and the only time he ever led the league in anything, it was sacrifice bunts.
The Giants' current pitching coach, Dave Righetti, pitched an inning in that game. Perhaps the most interesting thing about the box score is the San Diego thirdbaseman. He homered with Tony Gwynn on base in the top of the first inning, giving the Padres a lead they never relinguished. His name? Gary Sheffield.
One last note. April 5 has been an excited date for home openers. Probably the most excited opener I ever saw was on April 5, 1983, against the Padres. Giants' starter Mike Krukow only lasted 1 1/3 innings, and somewhere in the middle of the game, pitchers Jim Barr and Mike Chris allowed 11 runs in only 2 innings of work. By the time the Giants came to bat in the bottom of the 6th, they trailed by ten runs. Yet they somehow managed to get the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the 8th, before finally falling, 16-13 (completing the "announcer" angle begun by Krukow's start, the final out was made when Duane Kuiper struck out).
The other April 5 opener was in 2002, when Barry Bonds hit a 2-run homer in the bottom of the 10th to beat the Padres, 3-1. So we've seen some good ones on April 5 ... here's hoping for another today.