And so the season as the reigning World Series Champions came to an end. With a 6-3 loss to the Rockies, the Giants ended their season on a bittersweet note.
What was once a promising season finished with injuries and optimism for next year.
“Together, We’re Giant” was the slogan this year. It was one that signified uniformity. However, the team probably didn’t expect that uniformity to go along with injuries. It began with Buster Posey’s tragic collision (the topic of which has been beaten to the ground since) and ended with Jeremy Affeldt’s freak hamburger patty injury. August was the month of doom — and down the team went, one by one, with a bizarre sequence.
The trade deadline also proved to shake things up. Jeff Keppinger was acquired from the Astros weeks before the deadline and was a steal for the Giants.
The trade of the season was for Carlos Beltran. The loss of Zack Wheeler in the trade was certainly one that can only be looked on with hindsight from now on, such as the Tim Alderson-for-Freddy Sanchez trade, but Beltran’s presence did help the Giants in some ways.
Orlando Cabrera certainly didn’t work out from the beginning. The cries of “NO WHY THOMAS NEAL WHY” were heard throughout the Lunatic Fringe. The argument that Cabrera is a terrible player was proven in the two months he spent with the Giants.
But the season wasn’t without high points. Aaron Rowand and Miguel Tejada were designated for assignment, thus ending the long national nightmare of AARON ROWAND … BATTING LEADOFF AGAIN.
The starting rotation, though constantly Cained, was spectacular as always. Ryan Vogelsong’s emergence was a nice surprise, while Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, and Madison Bumgarner lived up to their expectations. The call-up of Eric Surkamp was not a shocker at the time, but if it had been discussed in April, it would have seemed like a joke.
There was also the Pablo Sandoval cycle, Conor Gillaspie’s inside the park home, the Opening Day walkoff win, and the ring ceremony. A season where the team you root for receives their World Series Champion rings can’t be a terrible season in any regards.
Despite the injuries and setbacks, the Giants managed to end the season in second place and held off being eliminated until the second to last series of the season. This was a Giants team that kept fighting until the end and did all they could to hang in there — and they did.
While they don’t have a chance to repeat as World Series Champions, it was a good season. A frustrating one, but a good season.
See you in 2012, Giants.