Watching last night’s game against the Diamondbacks, and the eventual celebration that took place, left me with a funny feeling. As I tweeted during the game, I found it supremely appropriate that Aubrey Huff, a leader of the 2010 team, but a huge liability this season, made the last out by flying out weakly to center. Oh, the difference a year can make. I also found it appropriate – in a sickening way — that the D-Backs took the lead on a triple by — wait for it — a rookie first baseman. While the Giants decided (somewhat bizarrely, I might add) to remove their young 1B prospect for a pinch runner in the 7th inning, the D-Backs stuck with theirs, and they were rewarded for their patience.
The contrast is stark, and a little upsetting.
When I look back on the year, I see a lot of stuff that I liked and can take away as positive: Pablo Sandoval returning to form, the strong pitching, and Sergio Romo’s historic season, to name a few.
However, there are large, frustrating, tracts of the season that I’d rather forget. I’m talking about Orlando Cabrera, Aaron Rowand, Miguel Tejada, Aubrey Huff, Bruce Bochy’s management, the handling of Brandon Belt and other niggling aspects that I won’t rehash. Maybe I’m feeling pessimistic, but for every good thing, I can think of two negative things.
It’s what you make of it. If you were never a fan of the Brian Sabean / Bruce Bochy combo, then this season probably sent you over the edge at times. If you chalk up the Giants’ woes to things like chance, and injuries, then you might be able to walk away from this season with a “get ‘em next year” attitude. Everything is still too fresh for me take a position on at the moment, but I don’t think we can assume that injuries were the primary cause of such a poor (or maybe frustrating is the better term) year.
I think there are legitimate complaints on whether or not Brian Sabean knows what makes an offense tick. The Giants for all their terrific pitching couldn’t score runs this year. “Waiiit for it, waiiiit for it” turned into “It’s not going to happen”. The Giants have assembled a truly talented group of pitchers. Truly talented. But the offense was dreadful. Win-Loss records are stupid, but check this out: Matt Cain 12-11, Tim Lincecum 13-13, Madison Bumgarner 12-13. Two of the three (Cain and Lincecum) had ERAs under 3.00. Bumgarner’s ERA is under 3.40.
So, yeah. The offense was bad.
The Giants, technically, are still in the Wild Card race, but let’s not kid ourselves. The season is essentially over, we’ve just got to play the remaining games. I’ll be watching, as I’m sure you’ll doing the same, but I can’t help but feel this was a year that got away from the Giants. And truthfully, that sucks.