Results tagged ‘ Madison Bumgarner ’
Six good reasons to like San Francisco Giants’ rotation order of Cain, Bumgarner, Lincecum, Zito and Vogelsong
So you’d think since we were advocating for Ryan Vogelsong to be the opening day starter that we’d be upset with Bruce Bochy’s announced rotation.
Bochy said the rotation will go like this:
- RHP Matt Cain
- LHP Madison Bumgarner
- RHP Tim Lincecum
- LHP Barry Zito
- RHP Ryan Vogelsong
But we don’t have any problem with this rotation, and here are six good reasons why we like this rotation.
NO. 1: Barry Zito earned the right to open the home opener when the Giants will hoist their 2012 World Series flag. It was Zito who saved the season in Game 5 of the NLCS with his gem in the fourth of the six elimination games the Giants faced last fall.
NO. 2: It sets up the right-left-right-left-right format in the rotation.
NO. 3: Putting Lincecum at the No. 3 slot instead of Vogelsong keeps Timmy’s fragile psyche in place. Vogey can handle being the No. 5 better than Lincecum, who has been the No. 1 guy the past four seasons.
NO. 4: The Giants have won the past 14 games started by Zito, and the Giants want to win their home opener.
NO. 5: Last weekend when Cain, Bumgarner and Lincecum started the season opening series in Arizona — not necessarily in that order — and the Giants lost all three games, it was Zito who pitched a shutout in his season debut in Colorado. Pitching in San Francisco will be much easier.
NO. 6: It’s sets up the rotation against the Cardinals exactly as it aligned in Games 5, 6 and 7 of the NLCS: Zito, Vogelsong, Cain.
Pablo Sandoval was the MVP of the 2012 World Series. And that was an easy call.
The Panda hit .500 (8 for 16) with three home runs, four RBI, a double and only two strikeouts. And, of course, he had the three-homer game.
But there were a lot of MVPs in the World Series for the Giants. Here are others:
RHP Tim Lincecum 4.2 IP, 0 hits, 0 runs, one walk, eight strikeouts
RHP Sergio Romo 3 IP, 0 hits, 0 runs, 0 walks, five strikeouts, three saves
LHP Madison Bumgarner 7 IP, 2 hits, 0 runs, 2 walks, 8 strikeouts, 1 win.
RHP Ryan Vogelsong, 5.2 IP, 5 hits, 0 run, 4 walks, 3 strikeouts, 1 win
OF Gregor Blanco, 4-15 (.267), 3B, RBI, three great catches, great relay throw to Marco Scutaro to get Prince Fielder at the plate
C Buster Posey, 4-15 (.267), HR, 3 RBI, caught outstanding series, two shutouts.
LHP Barry Zito, 5.2 IP, 6 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts, 1 win, 1-2, RBI
LHP Jeremy Affeldt, 2 IP, 0 hit, 0 run, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts
SS Brandon Crawford, 3-12 (.250), RBI, stolen base, outstanding defensive shortstop
Madison Bumgarner gives San Francisco Giants a severe case of deja vu in Game 2 World Series victory
Stop me if this sounds familiar to you.
The Giants open the World Series by smacking around the American League’s best pitcher who entered the series with three standout postseason performances and a playoff ERA under 1.00.
They follow that up by shutting out an American League lineup that includes the potential league MVP in Game 2.
And Madison Bumgarner throws up nothing but zeros in his first start of the series.
No, Giants fans, this is NOT the 2010 World Series, but it sure feels like it.
Even the Giants acknowledged as much.
“It feels the same, but we know it’s not going to be the same until we win a World Series,” left-hander Jeremy Affeldt said. “They’re not going to roll over.”
And don’t tell Bumgarner this is not the 2010 postseason, because after two sub-par playoff starts, MadBum recaptured his magic on the mound.
Bumgarner silenced the Tigers’ bats with seven shutout innings, allowing just two hits and two walks while striking out eight.
MadBum’s performance coupled with another night of solid defense and just a little bit of luck was enough to propel the Giants to a 2-0 victory in Game 2 of the World Series, and a 2-0 series lead.
About the only thing Bumgarner didn’t do was extend the team’s streak of having a pitcher drive in a run in a fifth consecutive postseason game.
So it leads to the question: What was the difference between this game and Bumgarner’s two previous starts in which he posted an ERA of 11.25?
“I went into the seventh inning instead of getting took out in the third,” Bumgarner said.
Nah, c’mon Madison, get serious.
“The only difference was being able to make pitches,” Bumgarner said. “I hadn’t been able to do that this postseason. And tonight …. Buster caught a great game, defense did great.”
It’s got to be more than that.
“I thought the first inning would be a critical inning for him, for his confidence, also just to see where he was at,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “Really, I mean, what a job he did. He’s worked on some things, and Rags — Dave Righetti, our pitching coach — did a great job getting him back on track. He had great poise out there with a great delivery, and he stayed right on for seven innings.”
So Righetti is some kind of miracle worker then?
Bumgarner made three bullpen sessions on Righetti’s supervision between Game 1 of the NLCS — a 6-4 loss to the Cardinals when MadBum gave up all six runs in less the four innings of work — and Thursday’s Game 2 of the World Series.
They also studied video, finding that MadBum had bad mechanics that was leading to unnecessary stress and fatigue on his arm. After the third session, the Giants decided Bumgarner was ready to return to the rotation. And was he ever.
Game 3 starter Ryan Vogelsong said: “It’s a testament to him. It’s not easy to fix yourself like that and go out there and perform so well. He wasn’t just OK. He was really good.”
Yes, he was.
When this series started, most Giants fans were hoping the Giants could split the first games with the Tigers, given that Barry Zito and Bumgarner were set to start. Then the plan was to get the series back to San Francisco for Games 6 and 7, and hope the Giants’ run of postseason magic could continue.
Now they head to Detroit with a 2-0 series lead and their two best pitchers this postseason — Ryan Vogelsong and Matt Cain — taking the mound there.
And thoughts now turn to returning to San Francisco simply to have another parade.
But if anyone knows not to get ahead of themselves, it’s these Giants.
“You can’t count Detroit out,” Sergio Romo said. “Look at what we were able to do to get here.”
Game 1: Cardinals 6, Giants 4
Game 2: Cardinals (Carpenter) at Giants (Vogelsong), 5:07 p.m. Monday
Game 3: Giants (Cain) at Cardinals (Lohse), 1:07 p.m. Wednesday
Game 4: Giants (TBA) at Cardinals (TBA), 5:07 p.m. Thursday
x-Game 5: Giants (TBA) at Cardinals (TBA), 5:07 p.m. Friday
x-Game 6: Cardinals at Giants, 1:07 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 21
x-Game 7: Cardinals at Giants, 5:07 p.m., Monday, Oct. 22
Normally, it’s the visiting team that comes into the best-of-seven series looking to at least split the first two games.
But if you had asked any Giants fan heading into the 2012 NLCS, they would have gladly taken a split.
Now, the Giants almost need that split.
Things started badly for the Giants Sunday, got a little better, but ended with a 6-4 loss to the Cardinals in the Giants’ third consecutive home postseason loss at AT&T Park.
And the overriding question after the loss was: What is wrong with Madison Bumgarner.
A pitcher who was so key during the Giants’ 2010 World Series run has been in a major funk this postseason.
It continued Sunday, as MadBum was tagged for six runs on eight hits, one walk in 3 2/3 innings.
Things started off well for Bumgarner as he set the Cardinals down in order in the first on two groundouts and a line out to left.
“He came out with good stuff, but it dropped a little bit,” manager Bruce Bochy said.
But in the second, Bumgarner got stung again by the long ball, something the Giants’ had hoped to avoid by having Bumgarner start at home.
David Freese’s two-run shot to left gave the Cardinals a 2-0 lead.
In the fourth it got worse. Daniel Descalso raked a double down the line in right. Pete Kozma followed with a double down the left field line and it was 3-0 Cardinals. After striking out pitcher Lance Lynn, Jon Jay singled home Kozma. Then Carlos Beltran’s two-run homer to left ended Bumgarner’s night.
“I think (he’s) just struggling with command,” catcher Buster Posey said. “Breaking balls not getting buried in. It doesn’t have quite the same finish on it. I’d say that’s the main thing.”
More troubling was the radar gun on Bumgarner, which Alex Pavlovic of the San Jose Mercury News reported at being around 88-89 mph in the fourth inning, lower than the 91-93 mph we are used to seeing from Bumgarner.
“That’s the way it’s been the past two starts,” Bumgarner said. “Not a whole lot of life on the ball. At the same time, you’ve still got to find a way to make pitches.”
Well, it’s been more than the last two starts in the postseason. It actually dates back to August.
Bumgarner had a string of eight consecutive quality starts from July 13-Aug. 20, culminating with eight shutout innings (four hits, 10 Ks) at Los Angeles.
Since then, he has only had one quality start — Sept. 17 at home against the Rockies, when he gave up one run on four hits in six innings. However, in that game, he walked a season-high five batters. In his other regular-season starts, he’s given up 3 to 5 runs in between 4.0-6.1 innings per start.
And you’ll recall the Giants didn’t exactly finish the season against powerhouse lineups: Cubs, Rockies twice, Padres twice.
In the postseason, he gave four runs on seven hits in four innings vs. the Reds. And then Sunday’s start.
In his last four starts, he’s given up six home runs — in pitcher friendly ballparks (3 starts at AT&T, one in Petco).
So what does this mean for Game 5?
“We’ll talk about it tonight, tomorrow, and as we get to Game 5 what we will do,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “But, he’s one of our guys. He’s had a great year, and we’ve seen what this kid has done for us during the season and in the postseason. But, it’s something that we’ll discuss.”
Depending on what happens Monday with Vogelsong, it looks as if Barry Zito might get the call.
For what it’s worth, Zito gave up two runs on eight hits in 6 2/3 innings in his only start in St. Louis this season on Aug. 7.
In baseball, it’s often said not to read too much into one win. It’s a 162-game season. The Giants still have eight more games against the Dodgers. And it’s only August 20.
All that is true. And I heard someone say that the Giants fans may not think Monday’s win was that big win two days from now.
But MoreSplashHits disagrees. So here are 10 reasons why Monday’s victory over the Dodgers was a big win.
NO. 1: THEY AVOID A SWEEP – The worst thing that could have happened to the Giants is being swept again by the Dodgers and leave L.A. 3.5 games out of first place. Now, at worst, the Giants will leave 1.5 games back. Or they will leave a half-game ahead. Or they will leave 2.5 games up. Monday’s win makes all that possible.
NO. 2: THEY BEAT KERSHAW – Last year, Clayton Kershaw owned the Giants, going 5-0 with a 1.07 ERA in six starts against them. This season, Kershaw has a 1.74 ERA in four starts against the Giants. Very good. But he is also now 1-3 against the Giants. Hard to imagine the Giants have beaten the Dodgers five times this season, and three have come against Kershaw. The Giants beat him 2-1 on May 8, 2-0 on June 26 and 2-1 on Monday. Kershaw’s lone win was a 4-0 win on July 29.
NO. 3: BACK IN FIRST – The victory moved the Giants back into first place, one day after giving the Dodgers back the lead in the NL West.
NO. 4: LINCECUM STARTS TUESDAY – Tim Lincecum has been better since the All-Star break, but the Giants still can’t count on their former ace to deliver a quality start every time out. So coming into his start off a win — instead of back-to-back losses — will allow Lincecum to relax a bit. Plus, he’s facing Joe Blanton, who has given up 14 runs in 15.1 innings since joining the Dodgers.
NO. 5: CAN’T WASTE A GOOD START – After having two starters (Barry Zito and Ryan Vogelsong) failing to pitch into the fifth innings in their last two games, it was imperative that the Giants get a quality outing from Madison Bumgarner. They got that, as MadBum threw eight shutout innings. And the Giants cannot afford to get solid pitching outings and waste them.
NO. 6: IT WAS ON NATIONAL TV – Scribes across the country have been writing off the Giants in the wake of the Melky Cabrera suspension. It was a perfect time to show that the Giants are here to stay in the NL West, as the game was aired live by ESPN.
NO. 7: THEY BEAT AN NL WEST RIVAL – The Giants came into Monday with an 8-10 record this season against the Dodgers and Diamondbacks. They have a 24-9 record against the other teams they will face the rest of the season. Given that schedule and coupled with the Dodgers’ tough schedule and the Diamondbacks’ 4.5 game deficit, the Giants can win the NL West by simply playing .500 baseball in the remaining 18 games against L.A. and Arizona. Now, they are 1-0 in those final 18.
NO. 8: GIANTS WERE COMING OFF A LOSS – If the Giants are to stay in this race, they must avoid long losing streaks. The best way to do that is to not start ANY losing streaks. Having lost Sunday in San Diego, the Giants made a move toward starting a winning streak on Monday.
NO. 9: THE DODGERS WERE COMING OFF TWO WINS – The Giants also have to do what they can to prevent the Dodgers from going on a long winning streak. The Dodgers finished their recent road trip by winning their last two in Atlanta.
NO. 10: IT’S THE FREAKIN’ DODGERS – Any win over the Dodgers is a big win.
Two weeks ago, Matt Cain set Giants franchise history by throwing the first perfect game in team history.
Not to be outdone, the other four pitchers on the staff have teamed up to match Cain’s accomplishment in one.
Led by outstanding starting performances by Barry Zito, Ryan Vogelsong, Tim Linecum and Madison Bumgarner, the Giants have posted four consecutive shutouts for the first time in franchise history.
It’s the first since the 1995 Orioles that a team has posted four consecutive shutouts.
On Monday, it was Zito, George Kontos and Shane Loux shutting out the Dodgers 8-0.
On Tuesday, it was Vogelsong, Jeremy Affeldt and Santiago Casilla shutting out the Dodgers 2-0
On Wednesday, it was Lincecum, Javier Lopez and Sergio Romo shutting out the Dodgers 3-0.
On Thursday, it was all Bumgarner in a 5-0 win over the Reds.
Bumgarner took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and finished with a one-hitter with two walks and eight strikeouts.
The streak of 36 consecutive shutout innings set a San Francisco Giants record of 35 set back in 1960.
It’s the third one-hitter or better the Giants pitchers have thrown this season.
They have 10 shutouts on the season — the last four and five of the last six home games.
- April 9 — 7-0 at Colorado (Zito CG)
- April 15 — 5-0 vs. Pittsburgh (Cain CG)
- April 18 — 1-0 (11) vs. Philadelphia (Cain start)
- May 19 — 4-0 vs. Oakland (Vogelsong start)
- June 3 — 2-0 vs. Chicago Cubs (Zito start)
- June 13 — 10-0 vs. Houston (Cain CG)
- June 25 — 8-0 vs. L.A. Dodgers (Zito start)
- June 26 — 2-0 vs. L.A. Dodgers (Vogelsong start)
- June 27 — 3-0 vs. L.A. Dodgers (Lincecum start)
- June 28 — 5-0 vs. Cincinnati (Bumgarner CG)
The 10 shutouts tie the Giants with the Angels for the most in the majors this season. The Giants lead the National League by a significant margin. The Mets have eight, then the Diamondbacks have five. Eight other teams have four.
And let’s not forget about the offense. All nine Giants who played Thursday reached safely as the Giants drew six walks and had nine hits. Even Bumgarner collected a hit. Melky Cabrera went 2 for 2 with two walks.
Oh, and Thursday’s win put the Giants all alone in first place in the NL West for the first time all season.
Good times, Giants fans, good times.
Cain takes the hill against Mike Leake as the Giants and Reds meet at 7:15 p.m. Friday.
The Giants’ 16-game homeless streak at home ended Tuesday with the most unlikely of sluggers.
Madison Bumgarner belted his first career big-league home run in the third inning to snap the string.
It was his first home run since going deep on April 25, 2010 while playing for the Fresno Grizzlies at Portland’s PGE Park.
It was so long ago that PGE Park is no longer PGE Park, and the Portland Beavers are no longer the Portland Beavers.
Then in the eighth, Brandon Belt gave the Giants some breathing room by hitting his first home run of the season, a two-run shot that one-hopped off the arcade and into the bay (technically not a SplashHit; Belt has the last splash hit on Sept. 27 of last season).
So the last three home runs hit at AT&T Park by a Giants was that player’s first home run of the season: MadBum, Belt and Gregor Blanco. Um, not exactly Mays, McCovey and Cepeda.
But the real story Tuesday was another dandy from Bumgarner, who fanned 12 Astros before starting to wane in the eighth and getting pulled.
He finished with 2 runs (one earned) on six hits and no walks in 7 2/3 innings. He threw 98 pitches.
He’ll pitch next Sunday in Seattle against Felix Hernandez.
Matt Cain takes the mound against J.A. Happ at 7:15 p.m. Wednesday. It’s the first of three lefties the Giants will face over the next three days.
In almost a blink of an eye, Friday’s Giants-Cubs game went from a being a 4-0 snoozer win for the Giants to a one-run nail-biter with the Cubs putting the go-ahead in scoring position.
So how did that happen?
Well, let’s take a look at Madison Bumgarner’s night.
At the start, four of the first five balls the Cubs put into play went for singles. But Cubs didn’t do any damage with that because MadBum recorded five of his first seven outs by strikeout. The other two outs came on the the only other ball the Cubs put in play, a double-play grounder by Steve Clevenger.
From there, Bumgarner set down 15 of the next 17 batters, including one double play.
So when he went out for the ninth inning, having thrown 97 pitches, it looked like Bumgarner was headed for his first career shutout.
But after falling behind his first two batters in the ninth — and giving up back-to-back singles — MadBum got the hook from Bruce Bochy.
Normally, I feel Bochy tends to let his starters linger too long. But in this case, with MadBum at 102 pitches, I would have liked to see him face another batter.
But Bochy called on closer Santiago Casilla in what was now a save opportunity. Casilla gave up a three-run homer to Alfonso Soriano, one thing that MadBum is particularly good at avoiding.
Now, a one-run game, Casilla got Reed Johnson for the first outing before giving up a double to Bryan Lahair. Darwin Barney reached on a swinging bunt. Casilla hurt his knee on the play and came out of the game (although Bumgarner indicated later he didn’t think the injury was serious).
Javier Lopez came in and got Clevenger to ground out to first, advancing the runners to second and third. Lopez then got David DeJesus to fly to center to end the game.
- OF Angel Pagan went 1 for 4 to extend his hitting streak at home to 25 games, the best by any player in franchise history.
- Maybe that stint on the DL is just what 2B Ryan Theriot needed. He went 3 for 3 with a double and walk on Friday. He’s 8 for 21 since coming off the DL is now hitting .234 for the season. He was hitting .179 when he went on the DL.
Matt Cain faces Matt Garza in game 2 of the series at 4:15 p.m. Fox game on Saturday. That means if you’re local Fox affiliate chooses not to carry the Giants vs. Cubs (like the Portland affiliate which thinks we care about the Damn Yankees vs. the Tigers) it means the game won’t be available on MLB.TV. Why does Fox think by blacking out a game on MLB.TV it means we’ll have no choice but to watch the Yankees-Tigers? I’ll be listening on KNBR.
After giving up three runs in the fifth, Madison Bumgarner was steaming mad. But it wasn’t clear if MadBum was upset with the umpire or his defense. Or both.
But manager Bruce Bochy said the source of the Giants’ problems on Friday wasn’t the umpire or defense. It was the offense.
And you know what? He has a point.
The defense had its issues … again. Brandon Crawford committed another error that led to an unearned run. There was another Arizona hit that Crawford should have snared, and Miguel Montero had a double that should have been caught by Brett Pill in left for the third out of what became a three-run inning.
Despite all that, the Giants can’t expect to come to Arizona, score one run and hope to win a game.
“This offense has got to get going,” Bochy said. “We just didn’t have very good at-bats today. Defense, sure there were a couple of mistakes. I just think that you are going to break out at some point. We scored five runs in the series in L.A. and then come in here and score one. That is not going to work.”
And it wasn’t that the Giants only scored one run. It’s that they didn’t come CLOSE to scoring another.
Melky Cabrera got the Giants on the board with a home run in the first inning. After that, the Giants only got one runner as far a second base the rest of the game, and that came in the seventh when Justin Upton dropped a fly to right off the bat of Buster Posey for a two-run error.
That’s as close to a rally that they got.
The Giants’ other hits: a one-out single by Hector Sanchez in the second, and two-out single by Angel Pagan in the sixth, a two-out single by Aubrey Huff in the eighth and a one-out single by Cabrera in the ninth.
Oh, and the number of times the Giants walked on Friday: ZERO.
Matt Cain takes on Trevor Cahill at 5:10 p.m. Saturday. The Giants didn’t face Cahill in their season-opening series. The last time the Giants saw Cahill, he was pitching for the Athletics. He limited the Giants to two runs on six hits in 14 innings against them in 2011. The results of those two games were a 2-1 win for the Giants on May 20 and a 2-1 win for the A’s on June 19. Oh, and who did Cahill face on the June 19th win? Matt Cain. Yeah, it’s going to be one of THOSE days.
We heard rumblings that Huff may get his first start Saturday since coming off the DL. If that’s true, here’s our best guess at Saturday’s lineup.
- CF Angel Pagan
- 3B Conor Gillaspie
- RF Melky Cabrera
- C Buster Posey
- 1B Brandon Belt
- LF Aubrey Huff
- 2B Joaquin Arias
- SS Brandon Crawford
- P Matt Cain
Remember those days when if the Giants hit a skid, you would look to Tim Lincecum to put a stop to it?
And then if the Freak was in a funk, you’d look to Matt Cain?
But now, it has to be Madison Bumgarner.
Not the Cain is a slouch. He’s lost his last two starts because the Giants didn’t want to score runs for him.
Well, then, maybe Cain should do what MadBum did Saturday.
With the Giants floundering with runners in scoring position and Hector Sanchez on second with one out in the sixth, Bumgarner raked a double to left, tying the score 1-1.
Since getting tagged for eight runs in 1/3 of an inning last June 21 vs. the Twins, MadBum is 11-1 at home. The Giants have won 11 of his past 13 starts dating back to last year. And he’s 5-0 with a 1.54 ERA since his sub-par season-opening start in Arizona.
In short, he’s money.
- Angel Pagan went 1 for 4 to extend his hitting streak to 19 games. He’s hitting .306 over the course of the streak. His season average sits at .259 because he was hitting .111 when the streak started.
- C Hector Sanchez, who was hitless in his previous 11 at-bats entering Friday’s game, went 2 for 4 with doubles (one from each side of the plate) to raise his season average to .255.
- RP Santiago Casilla allowed only a bloop single in the ninth in recording his fifth save in five tries since taking over the role from injured Brian Wilson.
Let’s get Matt Cain some runs as he takes on Shaun Marcum at 1:05 p.m. Sunday. We correctly predicted which eight players would start Saturday, so let’s take a crack at it again.
- RF Gregor Blanco
- 3B Connor Gillaspie (take a freakin’ strike Connor, please!)
- LF Melky Cabrera
- C Buster Posey
- CF Angel Pagan
- 1B Brandon Belt
- 2B Joaquin Arias
- SS Brandon Crawford
- P Matt Cain