It is somewhat hard to evaluate the 2009 season of the San Francisco Giants. ON one hand they gave their fans exactly what was expected, good pitching followed by poor hitting. However given the fact that this team had a winning season, after five years of sub .500 baseball we should treat this as a success. On top of that a giant step in the right direction. On the other hand this team was competitive for five months, and when it really counted they could not get the job done. This seems to indicate that this is a team on the rise, and with the right off season moves maybe they can take the next step in 2010.
Their final record was 8-74 and that was good enough for third place in the National League West. While they ended up four games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers, they did spend 3 days in first place and in late April were able to build a half game lead. While the last quarter of their season will be considered a collapse in September they were 11 games back, and rallied to their four game deficit, which seems to suggest that this team can win.
This is an offense that scored just 657 runs in 2009. While three of their starting nine batted better than .300, their team batting average was .257 and that was 11th of the 16 teams in their league. They hit just 155 home runs, second worst in their league, and struck out 1,158 times while walking just 392 times. That was the lowest number of walks by any National League team. Their pitching staff on the other hand was outstanding giving up just 611 runs and featuring three of their starting rotation with more than 10 wins. Their staff ERA was 3.55 and they struck out 1,302 batters while issuing only 584 walks.
In all 2,861,113 fans came to AT&T park to see the Giants play, for their 81 home games they averaged 35,322 fans and that was good enough for 10th of the thirty MLB teams. They were also able to sell 85% of their 2009 ticket inventory.