Early Grades For San Francisco Giants’ Starting Rotation and Bullpen
Early Grades For San Francisco Giants' Starting Rotation and Bullpen
It is very early is the baseball season, but we are enough games in to get an idea of how each pitching staff is doing. The San Francisco Giants' staff is having an up-and-down season. With that said, they are still tied for first place with the Los Angeles Dodgers. If they are going to continue to battle for a playoff spot, their pitching needs to stabilize.
After a rough first two starts, Cain has been amazing in his last two. He has allowed one run in those two starts combined, with eight strikeouts in each. Unfortunately, he has been unable to get a win. A 2.88 ERA will give fans hope for the future. He deserves a top grade for his last two appearances, but you can't ignore those first two.
Madison Bumgarner earned the Opening Day start for the Giants with how well he pitched last season for a disappointing Giants team. He has had better luck than Cain. Despite a 1.79 WHIP, he still has held onto a 3.48 ERA with a 2-1 record. In two of his starts, he didn't make it past the fifth inning. He hasn't made it past the sixth in any of his starts. He has to get the pitch count down.
Tim Hudson has been the most pleasant surprise of this rotation. After coming to the Giants from the Atlanta Braves, there were questions about how much he had left. The 38-year-old has been the team's best pitcher. The team has won each of his three starts. He has gone at least 7.1 innings in every start. He has surprisingly been their ace. If he can do this all season, he will be a Cy Young candidate.
Tim Lincecum only allowed one run in his last start, and that lowered his ERA to 7.20. To say he has had a rough start is a large understatement. It makes you wonder whether we will ever see that dominant guy who won back-to-back Cy Young awards. To stay positive, you can look at his sparking 17:1 K:BB ratio. That saves him from getting a failing grade.
Ryan Vogelsong has progressively pitched better as the season has gone on. Every start, he goes an inning longer. It seems the whole staff is getting better in their third starts. If they can all pitch like that for the season, then they will have a chance to upset the Dodgers for the NL West. Vogelsong does need to get that 5.40 ERA down before he gets a better grade.
The Giants' bullpen has been one of the best in the entire league. They have four players with seven or more appearances and a 1.30 ERA. They don't have one guy in their bullpen with an ERA higher than 3.38. They have had plenty of work early on with some lackluster starts. Sergio Romo has a 11.57 K/9 and may be quickly becoming the best closer in baseball.
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