Big League Stew

Repeat pretenders: Arizona turns out lights on Giants season

David Brown
Big League Stew

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The San Francisco Giants played lights-out baseball on their run to the World Series in 2011. But after the stadium lights literally went out at Chase Field on Saturday night, the Arizona Diamondbacks extinguished any chance San Francisco had of repeating as champions.

The Giants run as kings of Major League Baseball ended with a 15-2 loss, an astonishingly ugly thud in which their pitchers tied a San Francisco-era record with 13 walks. A 28-minute power loss at the ballpark dragged things out for the Giants, who were eliminated from the wild card with the loss. The D-backs clinched the NL West on Friday.

Andrew Baggarly, who covers the team for the San Jose Mercury News, said the Giants appear "every bit a 100-loss team" when they fail to pitch well.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy talked at length about the season prior to the game. He had little appetite for a postgame rehash.

"It's over," Bochy said.

Nobody in Major League Baseball has repeated as champs since the 2000 New York Yankees, who that season won the franchise's third straight World Series. Before that, the Toronto Blue Jays won back-to-back Series in 1992-93.

The Giants didn't repeat because they didn't hit. {YSP:MORE}

Some of the team's offensive failures, Baggarly wrote, came from injuries:

I looked back at the first page of my scorebook. I'd forgotten Pablo Sandoval was the No.8 hitter on opening day. If only he'd really been the Giants' eighth best hitter.

Here's how it went for that lineup:

Andres Torres — DL (twice), 40 games missed
Freddy Sanchez — DL, 94 games missed
Aubrey Huff — COMPLETELY HEALTHY!
Buster Posey — DL, 110 games missed
Pat Burrell — DL, 43 games missed
Miguel Tejada — DL, and released, but only 25 games missed due to injury!
Brandon Belt — DL, 34 games missed, plus two demotions
Pablo Sandoval — DL, 40 games missed.

Huff was healthy but produced squat after signing an $11 million contract extension, earned after a great season with the bat and thong. Carlos Beltran hit well after coming over in a big deadline trade, but he also was chronically banged-up.

The front office also made poor decisions with personnel, and Bochy repeatedly played the wrong people — Orlando Cabrera, for example — for extended periods.

The Giants were 61-45 and four games up in the division 51 games ago. San Francisco's disappointing finish was as much of a team effort as the '10 championship.

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