San Jose Giants Record Breaking Season in Review

PRESS RELEASE – With the 2011 regular season concluded, the San Jose Giants have a great deal to celebrate. Off the field, San Jose experienced a successful season, breaking their all-time attendance and revenue records. The Giants completed the season with a total attendance figure of 229,233 fans coming through the gates of Municipal Stadium during the regular season and the playoffs. This is a total average of 3,229 per game, which was a 14.74 percent (415 fans per game) increase over 2010. The San Jose Giants also broke their game day revenue record during the 2011 season, increasing per game revenue by 24 percent from 2010.

“This has been a remarkable year both on and off the field for the San Jose Giants,” said Interim President Bill Schlough. “This record-breaking season would not have been possible without the support of our loyal fans, valued marketing partners and the tireless efforts of our devoted staff.”

Off the Field Accomplishments:

* Franchise Attendance Record… The Giants set their single-season franchise attendance record this year. San Jose finished the regular season with a total attendance of 222,547 to break the previous record of 211,054 (2009). The Giants regular season average per game attendance was 3,225 – second in the California League. 2011 marked San Jose’s third straight year of at least 200,000 in total attendance.

* Minor League Baseball Leader. One of only sixteen clubs in all of Minor League Baseball that broke their all-time attendance record.

* Largest Growth in California League. The San Jose Giants had the largest increase in attendance for the California League.

On the field, the Giants won their seventh consecutive first half North Division title (2005-2011) to extend their California League record. San Jose posted a remarkable 51-19 first half record – 13 games ahead of the next-closest team in the division (Stockton). The 51 victories also tied a team record for most wins in a half set by the 2009 club.

Included in San Jose’s first half success were a pair of 12-game winning streaks that vaulted the club to the division title. The Giants first won 12 in a row from May 19 through May 31, posting four shutouts and allowing just one run two other times during the streak. At the start of the win streak, San Jose’s division lead was just one game. By the end, it was at a commanding 10-game advantage.

Consecutive losses followed the streak before the Giants rattled off 12 wins in a row again from June 3 through June 16. In the midst of the second long winning streak, San Jose clinched the division crown and a spot in the playoffs. The Giants had never won more than 11 games in a row during their first 23 years in existence, but accomplished the feat twice in less than a month during the 2011 campaign.

The San Jose enjoyed a terrific regular season with several long winning streaks and another first half division title, multiple players had standout individual performances and the club shattered their franchise attendance record. (C 2011 Tony Medina)

San Jose completed the second half with a 39-31 record – two games behind the division-leading Modesto Nuts. However, the Giants still posted a winning record in all five full months during the regular season while their 90-50 overall mark not only was tops in the California League, but second-best in all of Minor League Baseball. San Jose rolled to another long winning streak claiming 11 straight victories in July before a solid stretch in August of 16 wins over 22 games as they geared up for the playoffs.

Unfortunately, the Giants’ playoff run would be brief as the wild card Stockton Ports earned a three-games-to-one victory in the North Division Series. After the clubs split the first two games at Municipal Stadium, the Ports pitching staff led the way in Stockton combining for just two runs allowed and 26 strikeouts over Games Three and Four to wrap-up the series. It marked the first time since 2008 that San Jose did not reach the Championship Series. The 2011 season concluded Sunday, September 18 with the Lake Elsinore Storm defeating the Stockton Ports in four games to claim their third California League Championship.

Individual Onfield Accomplishments:

With the San Jose Giants posting the top record in the California League, there were several notable individual accomplishments during the 2011 season.

* A remarkable six San Jose players were named to the midseason California League All-Star team, including five pitchers. Starters Chris Heston, Kelvin Marte, Craig Westcott and Zack Wheeler along with relief pitcher Heath Hembree were selected to the team. Hembree did not participate in the California-Carolina League All-Star game in June due to a promotion to Double-A Richmond just days earlier. Additionally, center fielder Gary Brown was chosen and batted leadoff during the All-Star contest.

* Three Giants players and pitching coach Brian Cooper also received mention on the postseason California League All-Star team. Brown was named Cal League Rookie of the Year while Westcott and catcher Tommy Joseph joined the star outfielder on the All-Star squad. Cooper earned the California League Coach of the Year honor after San Jose led the league in earned run average for the seventh time in the last eight seasons.

* Brown enjoyed a tremendous first full professional season with the San Jose Giants in 2011 leading the club in batting average (.336), runs scored (115), hits (188), triples (13), stolen bases (53) and on-base percentage (.407). He was also second on the team in doubles (34), tied for second in home runs (14) and third in RBI’s (80). A consistent performer throughout the entire year, Brown hit .328 with six home runs, 47 RBI’s and 32 stolen bases during the first half before batting .346 with eight homers, 33 RBI’s and 21 steals in the second half. He followed his outstanding regular season by hitting .375 with seven runs scored and five doubles in four playoff games. Brown led the Cal League in hits and triples while ranking second in runs scored and stolen bases and third in batting average. A 2010 first round draft pick and Futures Game participant this year, Brown also set the San Jose Giants record for hits in a single-season.

* The strength of the Giants all year was their outstanding pitching staff, most notably the starting rotation. Four pitchers ranked among the top five in the California League in earned run average, including the ERA champion Heston (3.16). Andy Reichard (3rd, 3.38), Westcott (4th, 3.42) and Marte (5th, 3.47) also ranked in the top five. In addition, Wheeler was among the league leaders in ERA and strikeouts at the time of his trade to the New York Mets in late-July. Out of the bullpen, three pitchers had tremendous success as the San Jose closer. Hembree was the top reliever in the league during the first half compiling 21 saves to go with a 0.73 ERA before his midseason promotion. In fact, Hembree still finished the regular season with the most saves in the league despite spending the last 2 1/2 months at the Double-A level. Mitch Lively stepped forward as a dominant closer early in the second half and went 17 straight outings from May through July without allowing an earned run. Down the stretch, Jake Dunning was nearly perfect finishing games collecting saves in 10 out of 11 opportunities while posting a 1.50 ERA in July and a 0.87 ERA in August.

* Other hitting standouts this season included the catcher Joseph, who led the team in home runs (22) and RBI’s (95). The youngest player on the team (20), Joseph hit 16 of his 22 home runs and batted .301 after the All-Star break. Second baseman Ryan Cavan was a steady contributor all year with the fourth-most doubles in the league (38) to go with 12 home runs, 90 RBI’s and a .270 batting average. First-year pro Jarrett Parker added 13 home runs, including four in the playoffs while utility player Alex Burg emerged as a top power threat blasting 14 homers – all after June 1. Shortstop Ehire Adrianza returned to the Giants in late-June after a serious hand injury during spring training and batted .300. Third baseman Chris Dominguez was one of the most feared power hitters in the league during the first half blasting 11 home runs to go with a .291 batting average before a midseason promotion to Richmond. Catcher Hector Sanchez also enjoyed a fantastic first half driving home 46 runs and blasting eight homers in just 42 games. Sanchez earned a promotion to Triple-A Fresno in early-June and then continued his meteoric rise through the organization with a call-up to San Francisco.

Onfield Fun Facts:

* Second in Minor League Baseball. The San Jose Giants finished with an overall record of 90-50, the second most in all of Minor League Baseball.

* Fourth-Most Wins in Team History… San Jose’s 90 wins overall this season were the fourth-most in team history. The 2009 squad holds the San Jose Giants single-season record for wins at 93-47.

* Team Records… The Giants set a team single-season record for doubles this year with 306 eclipsing the previous mark of 292 held by the 2005 club. San Jose’s 139 home runs and 814 runs scored were both second-most in team history. The Giants tied their team mark for road wins in a single-season with 46. San Jose fashioned a 46-24 record on the road to tie the record set in 1991 (46-22). The Giants also shattered the previous team record of eight consecutive road victories when they claimed 16 straight games away from Municipal Stadium from May 19-June 12.

* Big League Debuts… 10 former San Jose Giants have debuted in the major leagues so far this season, including seven with San Francisco: Brandon Belt (March 31), Brandon Crawford (May 27), Conor Gillaspie (June 6 *had previous big league time in 2008 before he played in San Jose), Hector Sanchez (July 15), Steve Edlefsen (August 21), Eric Surkamp (August 27) and Brett Pill (September 6). Joe Paterson (Arizona – April 2), Henry Sosa (Houston – August 10), and Antoan Richardson (Atlanta – September 4) also debuted with other teams. 148 former San Jose Giants have now reached the major leagues, 107 of which have debuted with the San Francisco Giants.

The 25th season of the San Jose Giants affiliation with the San Francisco Giants will begin on Thursday, April 5 at the Modesto Nuts with the home opener set for Thursday, April 12 against the Bakersfield Blaze. The Opening Night Extravaganza will include a postgame fireworks show, 2012 magnet schedule giveaway. The Giants have a 70 home game schedule with the return of fan favorite theme nights such as Homecoming Night, A Giant Luau and Italian Night. The Giants will also host games on Memorial Day (May 28), Independence Day (July 4) and Labor Day (September 3) at Municipal Stadium.

For more information or tickets for the 2012 season, please call (408) 297-1435 or visit sjgiants.com.

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