After back-to-back self-esteem boosting wins by the San Francisco Giants, the Black and Orange will look to close out 2011 on the highest note possible; a sweep of the Colorado Rockies in front of some of the best fans in baseball at AT&T Park.
It will be a day of reflection as well as anticipation as Giants fans are left to ponder ‘what happened?’ and ’what’s next?’ all at the same time. True, missing the playoffs the season after winning a title always stings a little bit, but if you consider all the injuries and low scoring games it was a miracle this team finished as well as they did. They showed determination with all the odds stacked against them, and still almost snuck into the playoffs as the one of the lowest scoring teams in baseball.
There will be some goodbyes at AT&T this afternoon as It will likely be Pat Burrell’s last game of his storied career, getting the honorary start out in left field in front of his home town crowd. Pat the Bat was nothing but a consumate professional and team player during his time in San Francisco, and was especially a fan favorite with the ladies (even more so in the Marina).
Carlos Beltran may also be making his last start for San Francisco as he heads into an offseason filled with free agent frenzy and number crunching for the best deal (well his agent does anyway). Everyone would love it if Carlos returned, but not many will hold their breath.
Where will all the rookies go next year? Does Brandon Belt become the first baseman, or has Brett Pill usurped him for the position? Can Brandon Crawford figure out how to hit enough to become an actual major league player (we all know he’s got the glove)? Will Eric Surkamp break into the rotation? Can Hector Sanchez become the backup catcher?
And of course, the injuries….
Will Freddy Sanchez ever get back to his pre-injury 2011 level? Can Buster Posey catch a full season with metal legs (hyperbole)? Is Brian Wilson’s elbow really a concern?
These questions can not be fully answered yet, but for one afternoon at AT&T Park the fans and players alike can go out with some gratitude, some humble pie, and most importantly a win
Your San Francisco Giants:
1. Justin Christian CF
2. Jeff Keppinger 2B
3. Carlos Beltran RF
4. Pat Burrell LF
5. Brett Pill 1B
6. Mark DeRosa 3B
7. Emmanuel Burriss SS
8. Hector Sanchez C
9. Eric Surkamp P
First pitch is set for 12:45 pm PT this afternoon with coverage on CSN Bay Area and KNBR 680 AM.
For more on the Giants head over to McCovey Chronicles.