Oh….and of course, Giants’ All-Star starter Madison Bumgarner.
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After a tough loss against the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday, the San Francisco Giants did some heavy lifting today hitting three two-run home runs and riding the arm of Madison Bumgarner (7-2) to a 6-0 victory. The win also earned the Giants a split in the four-game series.
It can be seen as a slight disappointment to be leaving Atlanta with a split, as the Braves have the least amount of wins in the NL with 16. But taking two out of three from the St Louis Cardinals in the next series will balance out yesterdays loss.
Bumgarner’s arm and bat were again put on display as he connected for a two-run bomb in the fifth, and struck out ten in seven and two-thirds. It was his second of the year, with 5 RBI’s and he brought his ERA down to 1.91.
If there is one thing that this rotation does, it’s compete with each other. Today’s game sets it up for another quality start from Johnny Cueto against the Cardinals (28-26).
Prior to the fifth inning, both starters were rolling. Atlanta’s Aaron Blair had only given up a pair of hits and a pair of walks leading into the fifth. Then he walked Gregor Blanco ahead of Bumgarner who attacked the first pitch he saw and blasted it halfway up the bleachers in the left-center power alley.
After a walk to Denard Span, Joe Panik also jumped on the first pitch he saw, launching a shot to the bleachers in right. Then, after Matt Duffy was hit by a 2-2 pitch, Buster Posey crushed one to deep left field.
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Capitalizing on walks is one major key to putting runs on the board. The loss of Hunter Pence for any period of time will mean that the team needs to produce runs and play clean baseball. And Jarrett Parker along with Mac Williamson should get extended looks that will be vital for their growth.
Angel Pagan is getting closer to his return, and the pitching is doing a great job keeping teams within reach. There is never a good time for a key player or players to go down, but early in the season is much better than later. And guys like Panik (.242), Duffy (.238), and Posey (.264) are all hitting well below their typical averages. Even though their approach is still solid. There is nothing but promise int he future for those three.