2015 San Francisco Giants report card continued (Part III): Starting pitchers edition
May 25, 2015; Milwaukee, WI, USA; San Francisco Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum (55) waits for umpires to decide Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Khris Davis (not pictured) touched home plate after hitting a home run in the first inning at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
For the starting pitchers of the San Francisco Giants, the 2015 season may be remembered as the last year of truly being together. With the retirement of Tim Hudson and potential losses in Tim Lincecum and Ryan Vogelsong to free agency, we may not ever see this eccentric and diverse staff together ever again. Not only will we possibly be saying farewell to some of our postseason heroes, but we could be waving goodbye to recently acquired Mike Leake as well.
It seemed as though every time a Giants outfielder would get sent to the DL, a starting pitcher would follow suit soon after. Very similar to the San Francisco outfielders this year, the starting pitching staff had a tough time staying healthy to say the least, and the spot starters, such as Chris Heston and Ryan Vogelsong, struggled to pitch deep into ballgames. Consequently, the Giants bullpen was forced to pitch far too many innings and it’s fair to say that manager Bruce Bochy felt more comfortable with his bullpen than his starting staff.
Perhaps the biggest disappointment this year came from the poor performances by veterans Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum. Although we knew Cain might have a slow return back from his elbow surgery, who would have guessed that the Giants would be better off with a 27-year-old rookie who was drafted in the 12th Round (Chris Heston)?
Of course, we were fortunate to see a good amount of success as well, including the always dominant Madison Bumgarner, a resurgence of Jake Peavy, and a no-hitter from Chris Heston.
Jun 9, 2015; New York City, NY, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Chris Heston (53) reacts after throwing a no-hitter against the New York Mets at Citi Field. The Giants won 5 – 0. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
Just as I mentioned with the outfielders in Part II of the report cards, the Giants starting pitching struggles and constant injuries could be the reason San Francisco missed out on the playoffs this season.
For a team that very recently prided themselves on their starting pitchers’ consistency and ability to pitch deep into games, overall it was a very poor year for the staff. Lets take a look at the overall grades for each of San Francisco’s starting pitchers this year.
Next: Opening Day Starting Rotation