SAN FRANCISCO—With the weather flirting with the 80’s and a slight breeze tickling the 41,873 in attendance, the San Francisco Giants’ final game as defending World Series Champions almost felt like a love letter to their fans. The last game of the 2011 season was not quite the way fans envisioned—with the Giants losing 6-3 to the Colorado Rockies—but it provided the opportunity to bid the season adieu.
Giants starter Eric Surkamp lasted 4.2 innings as he allowed four earned runs on eight hits and two walks as he struck out three batters.
The offense hit the three-run mark, but it wasn’t enough to sweep the Rockies. The loss, however, was not as painful as those endured a week prior and it’s because of the “meaningless” status of the game that today was more of a hat tip to the fans.
21 Giants players had a chance to take to field at one point throughout the game, allowing the fans to cheer for their favorites.
Veterans Mark DeRosa and Pat Burrell started the game, contributing offensively going 2-for-4 and 1-for-3 respectively. Like others on the team, it may have been the last time they may wear the Giants uniform.
Burrell, aware this may be his last Major League game as a player, was clearly emotional. At his exit, thunderous applause filled the ballpark. Fans weren’t just paying their respects to Burrell, they were also thanking him for being such a pivotal part of the cherished 2010 World Series Championship.
Just as the game was a way to say goodbye to players that may not return, it also provided a glimpse into the future as younger Giants, such as catcher Hector Sanchez and first baseman Brett Pill, also started the game.
The San Francisco Giants, although eliminated from the postseason, played hard until the very end—cliché, but true. Their fans, although disappointed with the reality of no playoffs, stayed faithful in their orange and black and were rewarded with a post-game “thank you” on the field from the Giants.
The season is over for the Giants and the end of the game felt like it. Giants outfielder Justin Christian struck out to end the game. The ball flying past his swinging bat was just the punctuation to a season that many did not envision.
With that strikeout the ballpark was filled with a confused silence as if to say, “That’s it?” After the moment of collective silence, that was it. The end of their reign was accepted, then cheers filled the space as did the hope for a better 2012.
The Giants finished the season with an 86-75 record—good enough for second place in the National League West.
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