Injuries and A Lost Season
To say the Giants have had issues staying healthy this year would be the understatement of the century. 16 of 25 players on the Opening Day roster have missed time due to various injuries this year, as well as two of the three trade deadline acquisitions. Take a look for yourself and despair.
- OF Andres Torres, bruised right leg
- 2B Freddy Sanchez, dislocated shoulder
- C Buster Posey, Scott Cousins
- LF Pat Burrell, bone spur in foot
- SS Miguel Tejada, strained oblique
- 1B Brandon Belt, hairline fracture in wrist
- 3B Pablo Sandoval, broken hamate bone
- IF Mike Fontenot, strained groin
- IF Mark DeRosa, wrist
- OF Aaron Rowand, strained ribcage
- OF Nate Schierholtz, bruised foot
- OF Carlos Beltran, strained right hand
- OF Cody Ross, strained calf
- 2B Jeff Keppinger, bone bruise in hand
- RP Sergio Romo, inflammation in elbow
- RP Brian Wilson, inflammation in elbow, strained oblique (from April)
- SP Jonathan Sanchez, sprained ankle
- SP Barry Zito, sprained foot
Given that last year the Giants were supremely lucky in all senses of the word, this year feels a lot like retribution. In 2010, there were really no major injuries to speak of. Outside of Andres Torres’ appendicitis, everyone stayed relatively healthy, as the Giants went on to win the World Series with all sorts of luck on their side. Now it appears as though that luck has turned on us. Players are dropping left and right when they’re needed most. Last night at gametime, the Giants had one non-catcher available off of their bench, and were shorthanded in the bullpen with Romo and Wilson both unavailable.
It’s hard not to feel like there are forces outside of our control working to sabotage the Giants’ playoff hopes at every turn. A lineup with a healthy Buster Posey, Freddy Sanchez, and Pat Burrell changes a lot of things for a team that has struggled all year to score runs. The fact that the Giants managed to be in first for as long as they were was miraculous as it was. But not the DBacks have decided to never lose again, while we continue to freefall, losing in all sorts of creative ways.
I’m not saying I’ve given up on this season completely though. On this date last season, the Giants were 6 games behind the first place Padres. Right now, the Giants are 3.5 games out. Stranger things have happened, and I’m still of the belief that Arizona’s pitching staff is poised for a September meltdown. Beltran will be back, as will Keppinger, Romo, Wilson, Schierholtz, and Sanchez (Jonathan, not Freddy). After this series in Atlanta, the Giants won’t play another team over .500 who isn’t the DBacks (who they have 6 games left to play against).
If the Giants miss the postseason cut, I know I’ll forever remember 2011 as the lost season. It’s the year that if freak accidents hadn’t occurred, then we could very well be at the top of the division. It’s become a year of what-ifs and could-haves. What if Posey, Beltran, and Sandoval were all healthy and playing every day? What if the old Aubrey Huff had shown up in May? What if Jonathan Sanchez had been finally taken a step forward and found the strike zone? We can always hope for a sensational run for the postseason, but that light at the end of the tunnel is looking more and more like a train coming right at us.