All that’s left for the San Francisco Giants in a disappointing season is trying to close it out on a positive note.
The Giants look for a team-record eighth straight win over the visiting Colorado Rockies when the teams conclude 2011 on Wednesday.
Clutch hitting and dominant pitching lifted the Giants (86-75) to an improbable World Series title last season, their first since moving west in 1958.
San Francisco has scored the fewest runs in the NL with 567 and also ranks last in on-base percentage at .303. Its .242 batting average is second to last in the league.
“It was a tough year for the club in general and with everything that’s happened and trying to keep a consistent lineup out there through numerous injuries,” manager Bruce Bochy said.
“We had some guys who didn’t quite have the year they would have liked to have or we would have liked for them to have. (Hitting coach Hensley “Bam Bam” Meulens) worked hard, believe me, he was relentless trying to get that straight. It was a year when what could go wrong went wrong.”
Not much has gone wrong for the Giants during their seven-game run versus the Rockies, during which they’ve outscored Colorado 47-18.
The Rockies (72-89) are also closing out a season that fell short of expectations, as they are on the verge of their first 90-loss season since 2005.
“We encountered what I would consider to be serious adversity this year, but I never saw anybody complain about it,” manager Jim Tracy told the team’s official website. “I never saw one coach on this staff work less. They worked harder. That’s what you look for when things start to go in a direction that you didn’t anticipate it going.”
Tracy’s club couldn’t get anything going at the plate during a 7-0 defeat Tuesday. The Giants’ Madison Bumgarner(notes), Ramon Ramirez(notes) and Barry Zito(notes) combined to throw a three-hitter, handing the Rockies their 11th loss in 13 games.
Colorado looks to bounce back behind highly touted left-hander Drew Pomeranz(notes) (1-1, 5.68), who impressed in his first two major league starts before getting hit hard in an 11-2 defeat at Houston on Friday. He gave up six runs and lasted two innings.
“I did not see anything from the first inning to the second inning to give me the indication that things were changing,” Tracy said. “To send him out there, it absolutely made no sense to me to do that. Start over with his final start of the year, and hopefully, this is that start that after he’s had a couple like he has had and the inactivity that he has been involved with, that he just experienced one of those nights where the arm wasn’t working.”
Pomeranz gave up two runs in 5 2-3 innings and didn’t receive a decision in a 6-5 loss to the Giants on Sept. 17.
Fellow rookie Eric Surkamp(notes) (2-1, 5.32) yielded a season-worst six runs in two-thirds of an inning during a 15-2 loss at Arizona on Saturday, a defeat that eliminated San Francisco from postseason contention.
The left-hander opposed Pomeranz 11 days ago and gave up one run despite issuing a season-high six walks in 4 2-3 innings. He has gone 1-0 with a 2.31 ERA in two starts at AT&T Park.