Estrada's best stretch of the season came during a string of three consecutive starts he made from Aug. 13 to Aug. 23. Estrada beat the Pittsburgh Pirates, 1-0, on Aug. 13, allowing no runs on just one hit over five innings, then lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers, 5-1, on Aug. 18 after allowing just one run in five innings in a duel with eventual National League Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw. Estrada then bounced back to beat the Pirates again on Aug. 23, 11-4, with a strong seven-inning, two-run, two-hit performance that tied for his longest outing of the season.
With a near identical lineup to the one that captured the franchise's first World Series title in 56 years last season, the Giants looked to recapture the magic of the 2010 season of destiny.
With one of the most meager run-scoring offense in the majors (29th out of 30 teams), the pitching-strong Giants' title defense never made it into the postseason, as the Arizona Diamondbacks won the National League West by eight games and second-place San Francisco (86-76) was never more than a distant contender for the wild card down the stretch.