American League manager Tony La Russa, center left, from the Oakland A’s, and National League manager Roger Craig, of the San Francisco Giants, watch batting practice at Wrigley Field in Chicago, July 10, 1990, both managed against each other in the previous season at the 1989 World Series. (AP file photo)
Former Giants manager Roger Craig passes away at 93; Giants Gear Up For 3-Game Series with Colorado
By Barbara Mason
Former San Francisco Giants manager Roger Craig who was hired to replace former Giant manger Jimmy Davenport with 18 games left in the 1985 season. Craig passed away at the age of 93 as announced by Giants Chief Executive Officer Larry Baer.
Craig managed the Giants to the National League West Division title in 1987 with some exciting former Giants first baseman Will Clark, third baseman and left fielder Kevin Mitchell and outfielder Jeffery Leonard to name a few.
Craig in 1989 led the Giants to a National League title and to the World Series against the cross bay rivals Oakland A’s. The A’s swept the Giants in four games but it was a turn around for the franchise who suffered so much of the 1980s until Craig came on the scene and helped mold them as a post season contender.
Craig will be remembered for the moniker “Humm Baby” which he got from former Giant catcher Brad Gulden who said “humm baby” to the pitchers before they delivered a pitch. The Giants adapted the moniker as their signature for the 1986 campaign “Humm Baby.” Craig managed the Giants from 1985-1992.
Roger also developed a pitching staff that used the split finger fastball that helped show what good pitching did to good hitting in order for those teams to advance to the post season the way they did. Craig also had a good relationship not just with his players but he was patient and answered and worked very well with the reporters who covered the Giants over the years. There is no doubt Roger Craig will be sorely missed.
Giants-Rockies series preview: Monday the San Francisco Giants (29-30) had a second day off in the past four days. They had a day off last Thursday preparing for their past weekend series with the Baltimore Orioles. San Francisco had a shutout in game two (4-0) of that series but dropped games one and three and find themselves below .500 once again. They are 5.5 games behind the co-leaders of their division: the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West.
On Tuesday, the Giants travel to Colorado to take on the Rockies in a three game series. The Rockies have a 26-35 record and are at the bottom of the NLWest.
The Rockies have decided to send Dinelson Lamet to the mound with a 1-2 record and a 13.17 ERA. The Giants starter was undecided early this afternoon but it looks like they may send Sean Manea to the hill. The Giants have some great relief pitching earning a save rate of 76%.
San Francisco has a lot of fire power in contrast to the Rockies with Michael Conforto, Thairo Estrada and JD Davis. Conforto has 11 home runs this season, Estrada has a .301 batting average and JD has 31 RBI’s. They have a solid lineup, all of them able to put runs up on the board.
The Rockies home run leader is Ryan McMahon with 9 homers this season and Elias Diaz has a great batting average at .309. McMahon is also their RBI leader with 34 RBI’s.
First pitch in Tuesday’s game is 5:40 PM at Coors Field in Denver as San Francisco will be looking to not only get back on the winning track but also get their season record back over .500. Fans will be treated to a great match-up between these two teams.
MLB standings aside, both of these teams seem to raise their level of play when they meet so picking a projected winner does not always pan out. It will come down to who has more fire power in this series.