The San Francisco Giants produced a solid season, but overall it was disappointing to the fans and the players. The Giants, returning World Series Champions of 2010, lost their final game against the Colorado Rockies Wednesday, Sept. 28 to close their season on a losing note, and a 86-76 record.
But they fell especially short in their last run against the Arizona Diamondbacks, allowing the Dbacks to score 15 runs in one game, while only scoring 2 themselves.
The Giants never seemed to be able to score extra runs in games that mattered.
The beginning of the end came when Buster Posey, catcher for the Giants and National League Rookie of 2010, broke his left leg. The season was plagued by injuries, which inevitably affected the team’s chemistry. Trouble later occurred when Freddy Sanchez, second baseman, dislocated his right shoulder. Pablo Sandoval and Andres Torres were up and down all season with injuries. The lineup never seemed to gel.
Look at their ace-starting pitcher, Tim Lincecum with a record of 13-14. In 11 of those losses he got only one run of support or less. Giants failed to put runs on the board, and left the pitchers out to dry with many scoreless games.
With Posey gone, pitchers such as Lincecum (two-time winner of the Cy Young Award) and Madison Bumgarner had to form new bonds with back-up catchers like Hector Sanchez, who Lincecum admitted to connecting with only as of last week. With the rhythmical harmony between pitcher and catcher being so critical, Posey getting hurt was a real blow to the team. It contributed to Lincecum’s 14 losses this season.
Although this makes Lincecum’s season look second-rate to last season, the man can’t win games by himself!
The bench players and new players were brought in, such as Brandon Belt, Darren Ford, and Manny Burriss. They proved to be strong forces, but the Giants relied too much on their veterans for support. Management yo-yoed Belt when they brought onto the team from the Fresno Grizzlies, dropped back, then brought once more, it left little room for him to form any kind of bond with the team.
He hit a home run in his first major league game; to drop him seemed unwarranted, especially when he became such an asset to scoring. When veterans such as Aubrey Huff and Cody Ross, failed to do what they did in 2010, other players failed to step up. Even more of a reason to keep Belt in the lineup, you would think.
One or two players do not make up an offense, but Huff’s rhythm was lost this season. He had 26 home runs and 86 runs batted in (RBI) last season, while he recorded 12 home runs and 49 RBIs this season. Huff’s lack of contribution pretty much set the tone for the offense.
Despite the Giants the season, fans remained loyal. On Sept. 26, the Giants set a record for the highest single-season attendance in the franchise’s 128-year history-3,303,000 surpassing the 3,277,244 set in 2001. The night also marked the 79th consecutive sell-out game of the 2011 season. If anything kept the Giants going this season it was the dedication of the fans, which I was happy to be a part of.