SAN FRANCISCO -- To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Giants’ triumph over the Rangers in the 2010 World Series, we’re taking a look back at where the club stood throughout the regular season, beginning with May. Here’s the first part of our recurring series:
After a 13-9 April, the Giants went 14-14 in May. They finished the month at 27-23 overall, leaving them 3 1/2 games behind the first-place Padres in the National League West.
What went right
The Giants showcased their formidable pitching staff during a three-game sweep of the Marlins that began with a wild comeback victory at Sun Life Stadium. On May 4, Tim Lincecum struck out 13 over seven innings, but he came away with a no-decision after Sergio Romo surrendered a go-ahead home run to Dan Uggla in the eighth. Then the Giants tied the game on Aaron Rowand’s solo homer with two outs in the ninth. San Francisco staged its final rally in the 12th inning, when Aubrey Huff delivered a two-run single to lift the Giants to a 9-6 win.
“I knew a couple of our guys were running on empty,” manager Bruce Bochy told reporters afterward. “That’s why I’m so proud of them.”
What went wrong
The Giants’ offense began to crater following injuries to Mark DeRosa (wrist surgery) and Edgar Renteria (hamstring strain). During a seven-game road trip to San Diego, Arizona and Oakland, the Giants went 1-6 and mustered no more than one run five times. By the end of May, they had scored the third-fewest runs (210) in the National League.
Looking to boost their sagging offense, the Giants promoted a 23-year-old catcher named Buster Posey from Triple-A Fresno on May 29. Posey, the fifth overall pick of the 2008 Draft out of Florida State, was batting .349/.442/.552 with six home runs at the time of his callup.
Posey had reached the Majors in September 2009, but his second stint with the Giants wasn’t guaranteed to run through the end of the season. With Bengie Molina entrenched at catcher, Posey started at first base in his 2010 debut, going 3-for-4 with three RBIs in a 12-1 win over the D-backs.
"This is not long term," Bochy said of Posey playing first, "but it's going to make sense for us until we get all our guys back, and then we’ll see where we’re at.”
Posey never returned to the Minors, of course. He showed he was here to stay by batting .305 with 18 home runs and 67 RBIs over 108 games, becoming the first Giants player to win NL Rookie of the Year honors since John Montefusco in 1975. With Posey behind the plate, the Giants posted an MLB-best 3.36 ERA en route to winning their first World Series title since 1954.
On the same day as Posey’s promotion, the Giants finalized a Minor League contract with Bay Area product Pat Burrell, who had been released by the Rays after batting .202 over his first 24 games of the 2010 season.
The veteran outfielder reported to Triple-A Fresno before being summoned to the Majors in June. Like Posey, he provided a key jolt for the Giants, hitting .266 with 18 home runs over 96 games. Burrell returned to the Giants organization this past offseason as the hitting coach for Class A Advanced San Jose.
“I just expect myself to work hard every day, and when the games come around, try and contribute and help this team get wins, hopefully. … There’s a lot of good hitters on this team. I don’t feel I have to do extraordinary things to help the team win.” -- Posey, after his May 29 callup