Brewers-Giants Preview

The San Francisco Giants are struggling at the plate, and that’s
especially true with runners in scoring position.

They may not need to produce much offense for Madison
Bumgarner.

With the bats scuffling, Bumgarner looks to continue his
dazzling stretch as the Giants face the Milwaukee Brewers on
Wednesday night.

San Francisco (50-62) is hitting .243 while dropping 12 of its
last 19 games, but the reigning World Series champion has a
collective .209 average with runners in scoring position over that
stretch.

It’s been even worse of late, with the Giants batting .125 in
the scenario while losing three of four.

Those offensive shortcomings were on display in Tuesday’s 3-1
loss to Milwaukee, as the Giants stranded eight runners and went 1
for 9 with them in scoring position.

“We’ve been in position to win so many of these games. We’ve got
to have somebody come through for us and that was missing again,”
manager Bruce Bochy said. “It’s running rampant right now
throughout the lineup. It’s hit us as a club as a whole and it’s
been here for a while.”

San Francisco won 4-2 on Monday despite going 1 for 13 with
runners in scoring position to open this four-game series Monday,
and Bumgarner (11-6, 2.69 ERA) could again help overcome those
struggles.

The left-hander has allowed two or fewer earned runs while
pitching at least seven innings in each of his last nine starts,
the second-longest such streak in franchise history since records
are available, behind the New York Giants’ Ferdie Schupp’s 12 in
1916-17.

Bumgarner, though, battled through 112 pitches Friday, yielding
one run with a season high-tying 11 strikeouts in seven innings of
a 4-1 win at Tampa Bay.

“Any time you’re able to battle through when you don’t
necessarily have the command you’re used to having, it makes it a
tougher kind of battle,” Bumgarner said. “You’re going to have
games like that.”

He’s 3-1 with a 1.25 ERA in five career starts versus Milwaukee
(48-65), winning the last two at home while yielding two runs in 14
2-3 innings.

Buster Posey is a lifetime .361 hitter with 17 RBIs in 17 career
meetings with the Brewers after going 1 for 3 while being hit by a
pitch Tuesday. However, he’s batting .200 over the past 15 games
while going 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position.

Milwaukee is expected to activate Marco Estrada (4-4, 5.32) from
the disabled list and start him in place of Tom Gorzelanny, who
injured his left elbow Friday when he was hit by a line drive in a
4-1 loss to Washington.

Estrada has been out since June 3 with a strained left
hamstring, and he allowed nine runs and 14 hits in eight innings
over three rehabilitation starts in the minors.

While the Brewers are at the bottom of the NL Central, the
right-hander feels there’s plenty at stake.

“My job,” Estrada told the team’s official website. “I mean, I
don’t see why it wouldn’t be. It’s been two months since I’ve
pitched. I’ve got to show them I can still do it. I’ve been keeping
up with guys and I see that everyone is pitching really well now.
Obviously, I’ve got to fight for my job, and hopefully, they like
what they see.”

Estrada’s only career start versus the Giants ended after one
inning on May 23, 2012, when he injured his right hip running out a
double.