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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Look Back at '11: What Went Right

In the first part of our 3 part end of season wrap, we'll talk about some of the main things that went right with the Giants in part one, the things that didn't go so well in part 2, and what needs to be done in order to get back where they were in 2010 in part 3.

Obviously, as we've been harping all year, and since the season ended, the starting pitching, and really the pitching staff as a whole, was brilliant. There's really nothing more Bochy and Sabean could have asked out of guys like Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner and Ryan Vogelsong. In the bullpen, the same guys who were nails in the playoffs last fall, picked up right were they left off as Jeremy Affeldt, Javier Lopez, Santiago Cassilla, Ramon Ramirez and Sergio Romo were the main passages from the starters to closer Brian Wilson, who battled some physical problems late which cost him nearly a month of play, but still notched 36 saves and sported a solid 3.11 era. None of the Giants starters won over 13 games, because of lack of run support, but they the main four all had era's under 3.21 and one guy in particular, Ryan Vogelsong, came out of nowhere to become another anchor to this staff. He really picked up the slack were Jonathan Sanchez and Barry Zito left it (more on that in the next post), and he did more than solidify his spot in 2012's rotation, he showed he may be worth a extending a few years at the right price for San Francisco. Although outside of their top-4 starters, things get a little sketchy, they really can't ask for a better base for their rotation as well as a plethora of relievers heading into next year.

As rough as things went overall offensively for this team this season, there were still a few positives to bring out of 2011, believe it or not. The main of which being Pablo Sandoval's re-ascension back among the top-tiere 3rd basemen in the NL with his 23 home run/.315 average year while missing about 1/4 of the season. The ceiling the 25 year-old Panda and 24 year-old Posey have in middle of their lineup is sky high right now and that is a something this team hasn't had in a long, long time. Not since Will Clark and Matt Williams has this team produced 2 home grown daily players with all-star capabilities, and with the way most people expect Brandon Belt to expand in his sophomore season, they could be getting another young phenom in the mix next spring. Belt had a roller coaster year in 2011, but finished off nicely, going 14-43 (.326) with 4 homers and 6 RBI in the final 2 weeks of the year. The Giants sent him to the Dominican for Fall Ball to work on a few things, and I expect him back and hungry in 2012, ready to force his way into the lineup somewhere. Another nice development the Giants saw happen this year was the defensive play of rookie shortstop Brandon Crawford. The 25 year-old proved his glove certainly belongs, and showed some glimpses with the stick, although he probably needs a full year at Fresno to fine tune that swing... All in all though, really tough year for the Giants offense.

Anyway, here's the Giants Baseball Blog awards for the 2011 Giants, pointing out top pitcher, team MVP, top rookie, surprise player and defensive player

Team MVP: Pablo Sandoval- Without him, the Giants may have scored 300 runs all year.
Top Pitcher: Tim Lincecum- Was his normal freakish self with low era and high K numbers!
Standout Rookie: Brandon Belt- Up and down year, but showed he's going to be the real thing.
Surprise POY: Ryan Vogelsong- Nothing else really needs to be said!
Defensive POY: Brandon Crawford- The guys glove was so good up the middle that he was a daily player for most the season while hitting below .200!

Up Next: PT. 2, What Went Wrong
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2 Comments:

  • At 5:25 PM, Anonymous Carl E. said…

    Basically, what went right in a lot less words was the first half. What went wrong was the 2nd half.... I know it's deeper than that. But didn't everyone in baseball pretty much have the Giants locked as a playoff team?

    That's grade a chokery!

     
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