#SFGiants 8/7 Pre-Game: Lineup Overhaul

By Matt Cowlishaw

Bruce Bochy has totally overhauled the lineup for Wednesday’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers.  Hunter Pence leads off for the 32nd time in his career (first since 2008), Brandon Belt returns to the #3 spot, and Jeff Francoeur gets the start in CF for just the third time in his career.

Aug 2, 2013; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner (40) looks up as he walks back to the dugout after he pitched the sixth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. San Francisco Giants defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

San Francisco has scored 4 runs or more only 6 times in the last 20 games.  With runs at a premium it was time for a change.

Madison Bumgarner (11-6, 2.69 ERA) is charged with the task of keeping the Brewers runs at a minimum — while the new look lineup attempts to reverse the lackluster performances the Giants have had at the plate.

Bumgarner has had 9 consecutive quality starts dating back to June 14th, going 6-2 during that span.  In fact he has gone 7 innings or more in each of those starts (giving up 2ER or less, remarkably) tied for the longest such streak in MLB since 1996.  Both losses were 3-1 outcomes with MadBum only giving up 2 ER and 1 ER against the Dodgers and Diamondbacks, respectively.

Aug 6, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants first baseman Brandon Belt (9) runs for second base on a double against the Milwaukee Brewers during the seventh inning at AT

Marco Estrada (4-4 5.32) gets the start for the Brewers, his first since landing on the DL  June 5th with a left hamstring strain.  He may be limited to around 75 pitches, so it will behoove the Giants to jump on him early.

Giants leadoff hitters are batting just .243 on the season with a .302 OBP.  Hunter Pence has a career .279 average as a leadoff man with a OBP of .320 in limited action.  However this season Pence is hitting .324 when he leads off an inning with a OBP of .364.  So, we’ll see what happens — can’t be too much worse than the production the Giants have received out of the leadoff spot thus far.

And the lineups…

San Francisco Giants

1. Hunter Pence RF

2. Brandon Crawford SS

3. Brandon Belt 1B

4. Buster Posey C

5. Pablo Sandoval 3B

6. Roger Kieschnick LF

7. Jeff Francoeur CF

8. Joaquin Arias 2B

9. Madison Bumgarner P

Milwaukee Brewers

1. Rickie Weeks 2B

2. Norichika Aoki RF

3. Jean Segura SS

4. Jonathan Lucroy C

5. Carlos Gomez CF

6. Khris Davis LF

7. Yuniesky Betancourt 1B

8. Jeff Bianchi 3B

9. Marco Estrada P