When the San Francisco Giants had to defend their World Series championship in 2011 for the first time since moving out West, they failed to even reach the postseason for a myriad of reasons.
So far in 2013, things are starting to unfold in an all too familiar way for Giants fans.
The Giants had a four-game lead over the Arizona Diamondbacks on July 29 of 2011. They were 16 games over .500, and all signs were pointing towards San Francisco's 2010 championship run not being a fluke.
However, injuries piled up at an alarming rate. At one point in the season, Aubrey Huff was the only position player to have not spent time on the disabled list, and he was having a disappointing season anyways.
Giants like Buster Posey, Carlos Beltran, Pablo Sandoval, Freddy Sanchez, Barry Zito, Cody Ross, Santiago Casilla Brian Wilson had all spent time on the disabled list. In fact, the Giants had to use the disabled list 25 times, which was the most by any team in a single season since 1987.
It was a difficult season for anyone affiliated with the Giants since they didn't get a fair shot to defend their crown.
This year, while the injury bug hasn't bit nearly as hard, injuries are starting to happen that are eerily similar to 2011.
Both Jeremy Affeldt and Casilla have found themselves on the disabled list, and they are two of manager Bruce Bochy's preferred relievers late in games. In addition, Ryan Vogelsong, Angel Pagan and Pablo Sandoval are also currently on the Giants' DL.
They soon could be followed by teammate Marco Scutaro, who was hit in the hand by a 94-mph fastball on Tuesday, June 11. The latest news is that he's out indefinitely although we'll know more in the coming days.
While the injuries are mounting, this isn't the only reason for the Giants' recent struggles. Pitching, which has been the backbone of the team for the past five seasons, has been preventing them from going on any sort of run this season.
The team's ERA currently sits at 4.14, which ranks 20th in the majors. Worse yet, the Giants' starting staff has accumulated only 26 quality starts, which ranks 27th in both leagues.
When it's all said and done, however, the Giants are only two games out of first place in the NL West. When a team can say that in the midst of a slump, things could certainly be worse.
If the San Francisco rotation can even somewhat resemble that of its 2012 staff, the Giants can again be one of the favorites to win the NL pennant—that is, as long as their injuries stop accumulating.