Considering the San Francisco Giants needed to use their bullpen
extensively in a second straight walk-off loss, they could use an
impressive starting performance in their opener at Comerica
A repeat of Madison Bumgarner’s latest effort would certainly
The left-hander bounced back from the worst outing of his career
with one of his best, something he’ll look to build on when he
makes his interleague road debut Friday night against the Detroit
Bumgarner (4-9, 3.84 ERA) had a 2.03 ERA in 10 starts from April
27-June 15, but he only recorded one out and was charged with eight
runs in falling 9-2 to Minnesota on June 21.
Five days later, he proved the standard he’d set over the
previous seven weeks was no exception. Bumgarner struck out a
career-high 11 and held Cleveland to a run and six hits over seven
innings in a 3-1 win.
“He’s a big kid. He has a good head on his shoulders,” reliever
Jeremy Affeldt said of the 21-year-old Bumgarner. “That was
awesome. That was probably bigger than just a good outing for him.
I think it was a big part of his maturing process.”
After recovering from his poor outing at home, Bumgarner should
be happy to hit the road for just the second time since May 30.
He’s posted a 1.99 ERA and turned in six consecutive quality starts
away from AT&T Park.
The Giants (46-36) will simply be happy to leave Wrigley Field
after the past two days. San Francisco swept a doubleheader from
the Cubs on Tuesday to extend its winning streak to seven, but
Aramis Ramirez denied the NL West leaders wins Wednesday and
Ramirez singled in Tony Campana in the ninth inning to give
Chicago a 2-1 win Wednesday, then hit a tying blast in the ninth
off closer Brian Wilson on Thursday. The Giants took the lead in
the top of the 13th, but Ramon Ramirez surrendered a three-run
homer to Geovany Soto to give the Cubs a 5-2 victory.
Manager Bruce Bochy wasn’t upset with a relief corps that gave
him 5 2-3 innings, though. He was more concerned about an offense
that went 10 1-3 innings without a hit at one point against
“We’ve got to get these bats going,” Bochy said. “We’ve got some
guys who are scuffling. So, we’ll have to make some changes
Detroit (44-38) had a much more pleasant sendoff against the
Mets after two ugly losses. The Tigers gave up 30 runs to New York
on Tuesday and Wednesday, but Justin Verlander helped them salvage
Thursday’s finale with seven innings of one-run ball in a 5-2
“Each day is a new day in baseball, and that’s the beautiful
thing about this. They go out and score however many runs in two
days with a bunch of hits, but you turn the page,” Verlander
Brad Penny (5-6, 4.66) gets the ball in the opener for Detroit,
and he’s fared well against the NL in his past two starts despite
getting little support. He held the Dodgers to two runs over six
innings in a 4-0 loss June 20, then limited Arizona to two runs
over 6 2-3 innings Sunday and left without a decision in an 8-3
Penny, who made six starts for San Francisco down the stretch in
2009, has enjoyed facing his former team. He’s 3-0 with a 0.47 ERA
in three starts against the Giants since 2008.
Aubrey Huff is 0 for 13 against Penny, but Pablo Sandoval and
Andres Torres are a combined 6 for 7.
Detroit will be short-handed in the bullpen for this series,
having placed reliever Al Alburquerque on the 15-day disabled list
Friday due to inflammation in his right forearm. The rookie
right-hander has been outstanding, going 5-1 with a 2.79 ERA and 47
strikeouts in 29 innings.