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The Best Duos in San Francisco Giants History

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Tim Lincecum is surprisingly not on the list but this great photo is Creative Commons so I couldn’t help but use it. Pic by Dirk DBQ

In Major League Baseball, it takes more than one skilled player to field a championship contender. It takes talent all over the field at a variety of positions, both in terms of pitchers and hitters. While having a star pitcher and a star hitter at the same time is no guarantee of success, it does put your team in a position to have the type of season that fans will talk about for generations.

While it’s not quite the same as the NBA, where one standout duo can take a team from the cellar to playoff contention, it’s not uncommon for an outstanding season from a pitcher and position player duo to add 20 wins or more, according to Baseball Reference’s wins above replacement player metric. The number is designed to illustrate the difference between a star player and the type of player that would be considered “replacement level”—that is, one who could be easily signed as a midseason free agent or called up from the minor leagues.

The following is a list of the top pitcher/position player duos in San Francisco Giants history. Using wins above replacement, Stacker compiled a list of the seasons in franchise history that had a pitcher and hitter with the most combined value. Note that, for the purpose of capturing and examining the game’s “modern era”, only seasons after 1969 were used for this list.

#10. 1997 San Francisco Giants
– Barry Bonds: 8.2 WAR (#5 position player in 1997)
– Shawn Estes: 3.8 WAR (#29 pitcher in 1997)
– Total: 12 WAR

#9. 1978 San Francisco Giants
– Jack Clark: 5.9 WAR (#8 position player in 1978)
– Bob Knepper: 6.3 WAR (#7 pitcher in 1978)
– Total: 12.2 WAR

#8. 1989 San Francisco Giants
– Will Clark: 8.6 WAR (#2 position player in 1989)
– Scott Garrelts: 4 WAR (#28 pitcher in 1989)
– Total: 12.6 WAR

#7. 1970 San Francisco Giants
– Willie McCovey: 6.6 WAR (#10 position player in 1970)
– Gaylord Perry: 7.6 WAR (#3 pitcher in 1970)
– Total: 14.2 WAR

#6. 1993 San Francisco Giants
– Barry Bonds: 9.9 WAR (#1 position player in 1993)
– Bill Swift: 4.5 WAR (#17 pitcher in 1993)
– Total: 14.4 WAR

#5. 2002 San Francisco Giants
– Barry Bonds: 11.8 WAR (#1 position player in 2002)
– Russ Ortiz: 2.8 WAR (#51 pitcher in 2002)
– Total: 14.6 WAR

#4. 1969 San Francisco Giants
– Willie McCovey: 8.1 WAR (#5 position player in 1969)
– Juan Marichal: 7.8 WAR (#5 pitcher in 1969)
– Total: 15.9 WAR

#3. 2003 San Francisco Giants
– Barry Bonds: 9.2 WAR (#1 position player in 2003)
– Jason Schmidt: 6.7 WAR (#6 pitcher in 2003)
– Total: 15.9 WAR

#2. 2001 San Francisco Giants
– Barry Bonds: 11.9 WAR (#1 position player in 2001)
– Russ Ortiz: 4.1 WAR (#24 pitcher in 2001)
– Total: 16 WAR

#1. 2004 San Francisco Giants
– Barry Bonds: 10.6 WAR (#1 position player in 2004)
– Jason Schmidt: 6.8 WAR (#5 pitcher in 2004)
– Total: 17.4 WAR

This article originally appeared on Stacker. It has been re-published pursuant to a CC BY-NC 4.0 License.

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