2011 Recap: Lack Of Offense Doomed Giants

In retrospect, the Giants didn't do all that badly. At least based on how they fared in the standings in relation to their weak offense.

The Giants scored 570 runs, their fewest (in a non-strike year) since 1985, the only year in their history they lost 100 games. That year, they scored 556 times.

San Francisco didn't lose 100 this year. In fact, the Giants finished above .500 at 86-76.

While the team and its fans were disappointed about the 2011 finish following the 2010 championship, it could have been far worse, especially with Buster Posey and Freddy Sanchez sustaining season-ending injuries in the first half.

It's hardly a consolation. The fact is, fine work by the rotation and bullpen repeatedly went to waste because of a lack of run support. No one got burned more than Tim Lincecum, who had a losing record (13-14) despite a 2.74 ERA.

There was little turnover after 2010, but now the turnover could be extreme because of players who are too old (Mark DeRosa), too broken down (Pat Burrell) or too inefficient (Cody Ross).

It finally appears to be time to get younger and more athletic, especially at shortstop and center field. The Giants need more energy on defense and at the plate, and they can't afford to hit .173 with runners in scoring position and two outs, as they did this year.

Eighty percent of the rotation is set. So is most of the bullpen. But seven of eight everyday positions have questions. Only third baseman Pablo Sandoval is a slam dunk, though Posey and Sanchez are determined to be in the Opening Day lineup at catcher and second base, respectively, and it seems a good bet that Nate Schierholtz will play an outfield corner.

That leaves first base (Aubrey Huff? Brandon Belt? Brett Pill?), second base (Sanchez if healthy; otherwise, Jeff Keppinger), shortstop (Brandon Crawford?) and center field (Andres Torres?).

A year removed from the championship, that seems like a tall order.

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