Surkamp thumped again as Giants lose 2011 season finale
Rookie left-hander Eric Surkamp got tagged for four runs on eight hits and two walks and couldn’t get out of the fifth inning as the Colorado Rockies put an end to a disappointing 2011 campaign by the San Francisco Giants, beating the defending champs 6-3 Wednesday afternoon at AT&T Park.
It was the second straight poor start for Surkamp, who was previously unbeaten in his first four Major League starts.
It was also the last time the Giants got to wear their 2010 World Series Champion patches on their uniforms.
A sellout crowd of 41,873 was on hand to bid adieu to the team that a year ago was baseball’s darlings. While the Giants may have stumbled across the finish line this year, the fan base did not. San Francisco achieved its 81st consecutive sellout of the year (and 91st straight if you go back to the 2010 season). With a season total of 3,387,303 seats sold, the Giants annihilated their previous attendance record of 3,318,800 set in 2000, the first year the beautiful waterfront ballpark was open.
Not so beautiful, of course, is what happened to the title defense this year.
A rash of major injuries (one after another, it seemed) finally caught up to the Giants in August, when the team had its first non-winning month of the season. After going 13-12 in April, 16-12 in May, 17-11 in June, and 15-11 in July, San Francisco fell apart (11-18) in August, finally letting the NL West slip out of their hands on Aug. 9 to the Arizona Diamondbacks. (The Jints went 14-11 in September, but by then it was too late and Arizona finished very strong.)
The Giants already did not have a terribly intimidating offensive unit before losing Buster Posey and Freddy Sanchez to season-ending injuries. But losing the likes of Pablo Sandoval, Carlos Beltran, Cody Ross, Andres Torres, Nate Schierholtz, Mike Fontenot, Brandon Belt, and a host of other position players for extended stints on the DL proved to be too much.
As such, San Francisco crossed the plate just 570 times in 2011 — the lowest 162-game total by an NL team since the Los Angeles Dodgers scored just 548 runs in 1992.
I’ll have my season review post up tomorrow, so I won’t delve much deeper than that here.
On a positive note, Pat Burrell went 1-for-3 in what was very likely his final game in a Giants uniform. He’s still battling a foot injury that is threatening to end his career.
More positives: Torres swiped two bases, giving him 19 on the year. And Beltran finished his contract year at .300 despite going 0-for-2 at the plate. Giants manager Bruce Bochy pulled him out of the game before he had a chance to go 0-for-3 and dip below the .300 mark. It was also good to see Aubrey Huff own up to his shitty year. He told reporters after the game that he “takes the blame for this season. If I did half of what I did last year we’d be in a better spot.” No argument here, Huff Daddy.
In a bit of irony, the Giants’ season ended Wednesday in total 2011 fashion: with another serious injury.
This time, it was left-handed reliever Dan Runzler who walked off the mound in the seventh inning after straining his left lat. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: He’s getting an MRI.
2011 was definitely The Year of The Injury for the SF Giants, who still finished with a winning record (86-76) for their third straight winning season.
As Bochy said today, we’ll be back in 2012!