RetroSeasons recaps past sports seasons through stories, photos, videos, and stats from every team, league, and stadium in history. Coverage includes the NBA, NFL, MLB and NHL, as well as vintage media from defunct teams and leagues.
Atlanta Braves vs San Francisco Giants - Radio Broadcast / On Thursday, September 14, 1978, the Atlanta Braves and the San Francisco Giants faced off at Candlestick Park. The Braves sent Jim Bouton to the mound, an experienced right-hander who had a unique career trajectory, transitioning from a successful starter to a knuckleball reliever after a series of arm troubles. The Giants countered with Ed Halicki, a towering 6'7" right-hander known for his no-hitter in 1975. At this point in the season, the Braves were in the middle of the pack in the National League West, while the Giants were struggling to keep pace. The 1978 season was marked by the Yankees and Dodgers' fierce competition, each leading their respective leagues, while Pete Rose of the Cincinnati Reds was in pursuit of Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak record.
The game got off to a slow start, with the Braves scoring an unearned run in the second inning due to errors by Halicki and John Tamargo. The Giants responded with a run of their own in the third, capitalizing on an error by Bouton. The Braves' Dale Murphy, who would later become a two-time MVP, made an impact on the base paths by stealing second base and later scoring due to the Giants' errors. In the sixth inning, the Giants threatened to score with a runner on second, but Bouton managed to get out of the jam, maintaining the slim lead.
The Braves broke the game open in the seventh inning, scoring two more runs thanks to key hits from Glenn Hubbard and Jerry Royster. The Giants, however, struggled to generate offense against the Braves' pitching. After Bouton's solid six innings of work, Craig Skok and Gene Garber held the Giants hitless over the final three innings. The Braves added an insurance run in the eighth, securing a 4-1 victory.
The win improved the Braves' standing in the NL West, although they would ultimately finish the season in the middle of the pack. The Giants, meanwhile, continued to struggle, ending the year near the bottom of the division. The 1978 season would conclude with the New York Yankees defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series. The Braves' Dale Murphy, despite his team's middling performance, began to show signs of the player he would become in the 1980s, one of the most dominant in the National League. This game, while not a highlight of the season, was a good representation of the Braves' potential and the Giants' struggles in the 1978 season.