The season is over, and at game 162 there was no drama, no intrigue, no celebrations. It was a loss to the lowly Rockies that left you with a bad taste in your mouth. Much of this year has been a disappointment and certainly missing the playoffs is one of the biggest.
Starting with those lets look at some of the worst Giants moments 2011
#5 - Freddy Sanchez Injury
Freddy dislocated his shoulder in a slide for a groundball and is out for the season. Before that, the Giants had been riding high and winning in walk-off fashion despite losing Buster Posey, but Sanchez was the 2nd offensive spark to leave.
#4 - Last Dodgers Series
The Giants were on a improbable win streak to come back and make a case for a Wild Card or even a Division crown, but the Dodgers were in the way. The Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw hammered the first nail in the coffin with a spectacular performance and Giants ended up only winning 1 game in the series to effectively end their playoff chances.
#3 - Bryan Stow Assault
Giants and Dodgers fans were equally appalled at the conduct of 2 "Dodger" fans who ambushed Giants fan, Bryan Stow at Dodger Stadium after the game. A game in which the Dodgers had beaten the world champs. With the season over, Bryan is still recovering and serves as another reminder of the ugliness shown this season.
#2 - Being Eliminated by the Diamondbacks
Watching the Diamondbacks clinch the NL West in front of the Giants was like watching a dream die. Even with the injuries this season, everyone believed that the Giants still had a chance. The Diamondbacks proved that they are a legitimate threat, and are deserving of their spot in the playoffs.
#1 - Buster Posey's Injury
There are few things that can make you cringe at simply the mental image. Watching Buster writhe in pain after being blown up at the plate by Scott Cousins ranks as #1 on that list. The season may have ended on that night with Buster being carted away in excruciating pain.
Now that you're all completely depressed let me try to talk you down from the ledge. Here are my favorite moments of 2011
#5 - Brandon Crawford's Grand Slam
Who is this kid?! - Crawford quickly became the new starting shortstop with a towering grand slam in Milwaukee. Buster Posey texted him later that night "You're my new favorite player"
#4 - Nate the Great does it TWICE
Nate Schierholtz had a great season this year despite being cut short by a foot injury. One of those moments was a game on July 7th that the Giants had to come back to tie, thanks in part to a Nate Schierholtz home run and a Pablo Sandoval 2 run Double in the 8th. The Giants hung in there and thanks to the bullpen, went to the 14th inning still tied. Nate who had already homered that game came to the plate with the score 5-5. And he was Great... tatooing a ball to right and sending the fans home happy.
#3 - Freddy Sanchez's Walk-off win
May 6, Thanks to a 2 run double by Nate the Great, the Giants were now tied with the Rockies in the bottom of the 9th. After a double by Cody Ross, Freddy Sanchez stepped to the plate and was greeted by a stadium full of fans chanting "FREDDY FREDDY..." Saying later he heard them all, he slapped a base hit up the middle and Cody Ross scored the winning run.
#2 - Vogelsong's Tip of the Cap
Ryan Vogelsong's story this year has been one of the best I've ever heard in baseball. A 33 year old journeyman pitcher who had played in Japan for 3 years before finally making his way to the big leagues had perhaps one of the best seasons he could hope for. 13-7 with a 2.71 ERA and an All Star selection.
In the start of this epic run, Vogelsong made his first home start on May 8, 2011. In the first 5 innings Vogelsong did not give up a hit, retiring every hitter in order. In fact, Vogelsong had not had a baserunner through those 5 innings. Giving up a lone single in the start of the 6th inning, Vogelsong left in the middle of the 7th to a AT&T Park Standing Ovation, and he tipped his cap to the crowd on the way out.
“That’s the best experience I’ve ever had in baseball, to be honest with you"
- Ryan Vogelsong
#1 - Mark DeRosa's Walk-Off
DeRosa sees the writing on the wall. 36 years old and a free agent this year after missing much of his 2 years as a Giant with injuries. This is a guy who loves the game and was a great clubhouse presence despite not being able to play. On September 13, none of that mattered.
The Giants were in the midst of trying to keep their season alive, and were tied in the bottom of the 12th against the Padres. Ross hit a single to get on base, and was wild pitched to 2nd, Beltran was walked intentionally to get to DeRosa. Finally he would get to be the hero, DeRosa got his base hit and the streak continued. Watching DeRosa celebrating like a little kid was great and I couldn't have been happier for for a better guy.