San Francisco Giants

San Francisco Giants

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The Giants opened the season with a 5-2 win over the Houston Astros and won their first four games, including a thrilling 5-4 win over the Atlanta Braves in 13 innings in their home opener at AT&T Park. But they failed to put together a winning streak longer than 2 games for the rest of the month, losing four straight games between the 18th and 21st, though strong pitching often kept them in games despite an inconsistent offense. After a tough 7-6 loss to the Phillies in 11 innings on the 28th, the Giants rebounded for a 5-2 win over the Colorado Rockies to close out the month.


After taking two out of three from the Rockies, the Giants traveled to Florida to start a three game series with the Marlins. They led the first game 5-3 behind Tim Lincecum's 13 strikeouts, but fell behind 6-5 in the eighth. Down to their last out, Aaron Rowand hit a home run to tie the game. The Giants won 9-6 in 12 innings and went on to sweep the series.

The team then went through a rough stretch, losing two out of three to the Mets before getting swept by the NL West leading Padres. They recovered a bit by sweeping the Astros, and splitting a two game series with the Padres but then went on a five game losing streak before snapping it with a win over the Washington Nationals. On May 29, Buster Posey was called up to the Giants and had three hits and three runs batted in in a 12-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. That same day, the team signed bay area native Pat Burrell to a minor league contract. Padres CEO Jeff Moorad, Burrell's friend and his former agent, would later say he regretted not recruiting Burrell to the Padres.Originally signed as a bench player, Burrell played his way into the starting lineup and wound up hitting .266 with 18 home runs and 51 runs batted in over 96 games. The team would end May with a flourish, winning 5 of their last 7 games.


The Giants continued their strong play into the month of June. Though they lost the first series of the month to the Rockies, they won 3 out of their next 4 series, including completing a sweep of the Oakland Athletics, who had swept them the previous month. In the second half of the month, the team collapsed, losing their next 5 series in a row and ended the month with a 5 game losing streak culminating in a three-game sweep by the rival Dodgers. On June 30, the Giants traded Bengie Molina to the Texas Rangers, clearing the way for Buster Posey to become the everyday catcher.


The month of July marked a very strong comeback for the team, although it did not start off well. The Giants started the month with a 4-game series against the Rockies and lost the first two, extending their losing streak to 7. After coming back to win the third game despite losing a six-run lead early on, the Giants suffered an arduous 15-inning defeat to Colorado in the fourth game on July 4, putting their record at 41-40. The Giants immediately bounced back and went on a surge, coming back to sweep a 4-game series against the Brewers. They went on to win six of the next seven series during the month, including sweeps against both the Mets and Diamondbacks, with the only blemish being a 4-game split with the Marlins, the most noteworthy of the four being a game in which the Giants led 9-2 at one point only to see the Marlins battle back to tie it. The game was won by the Giants in the bottom of the 10th inning when Andrés Torres hit a game winning single for his fourth hit of the game, making the final score 10-9. On July 20, the Giants beat the Dodgers 7-5 at Dodger Stadium after trailing 5-1 at one point. On July 31, Burrell hit a 2 run home run in the eighth inning to lead the Giants to another comeback win over the Dodgers. Overall, the team went 20-8 during the month, finishing July with a 60-45 record. Also, Tim Lincecum and Brian Wilson were selected for the All Star Game.


After their strong July, the Giants stumbled throughout August. Ace starting pitcher Tim Lincecum, who started the month with an 11-4 record and a 3.15 ERA, lost his edge, going 0-5 with a 7.82 ERA over the month. The Giants lost series against the Braves, Cardinals, Phillies, and Diamondbacks, though they took three out of four from the Chicago Cubs early in the month. After scoring blowout wins in the first two games of a three game series against the Cincinnati Reds, the Giants trailed 10-1 in the third game but scored six runs in the eighth and ended up taking an 11-10 lead. But the Reds came back to tie it in the top of the 9th after Drew Stubbs reached 2nd base on a throwing error by Pablo Sandoval, and Brian Wilson gave up a game-tying single to Paul Janish. Then in the top of the 12th inning, Barry Zito, in a rare relief appearance, gave up the go-ahead hit to Joey Votto. Though the Giants got the tying run to third base on singles by Sandoval and Mike Fontenot in the bottom of the inning, they did not score and lost the game 12-11. The Giants then lost three of their next five games, ending the month 13-15 overall, as the calendar turned to September. The Padres, however, would go on a 10-game losing streak starting on August 26. Three days prior to the start of the Padres losing streak, the Giants acquired Cody Ross off waivers from the Florida Marlins to block him going to the Padres. Ross didn't do much offensively for the rest of the regular season but would become a major factor in the postseason.


On September 10, the Giants defeated the Padres to tie for first place in the NL West after trailing the Padres by 7 and a and a half games on July 4. For the next 15 days, each team traded the top spot. Then the Giants began a four game winning streak to take over first place, taking the lead for good on September 26. Their lead would grow to three games entering the final three games of the season against the Padres as the Giants won 18 of the 26 games they played during the month. Lincecum also rebounded from his poor August, posting a record of 5-1 and striking out fifty two while walking only six.

The Giants pitching staff posted historic numbers for the month of September, going a record 18 straight games giving up 3 runs or less. Their 1.78 team ERA was the lowest in a month since divisional play started in 1969.


Pat Burrell in the Giants' 2010 World Series victory parade

The Giants entered the three game series with the Padres needing just one win to clinch the NL West. They lost the first two games by scores of 6-4 and 4-2 before clinching the NL West with a 3-0 win on the final day of the regular season, finishing with a 92-70 record. Because the Atlanta Braves also defeated the Phillies that day, they clinched the NL Wild Card, eliminating the Padres from contention. They would face the Giants in the NLDS starting October 7.


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