The return of the Giants ace corresponded directly with their best pitching month of the season. Coincidence? I think not.
The team pitched to a collective 2.70 ERA this month, which is certainly the driving factor in the team’s 18-10 month.
Despite coming back from his hand injury, Bumgarner has pitched 32.1 innings, to a 2.51 ERA with just a 1.02 WHIP. This means that despite the strikeout numbers not being quite there yet (6.96 K/9), he has excelled at keeping runners off the bases.
He did seem to struggle slightly with his control and is subsequently tied with Derek Holland for giving up the most walks this month with 9. However, his stuff coming back from injury has been fantastic, and he’s allowed only 24 hits in those 32+ innings.
The movement on his pitches seems to be back though, and he’s mixing in his curveball and changeup for roughly 15% of his pitches – more than he did last year.
Meanwhile, he’s still looking for his first hit of the season, but he continues to do his job on the mound as good as any other pitcher in the major leagues.
As he gets further away from his injury, it’s only reasonable to expect him to get even better, right? This stretch run should be exciting.
Honorable Mentions: LHP Tony Watson (0.00 ERA, 0.41 WHIP, 13 K), LHP Andy Suarez (2.62 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 29 K)
There could be any number of options here, as Will Smith, Derek Holland and even Ty Blach all had great months.
Watson simply didn’t allow a single run this past month and has continued to be a lights-out stalwart for the back of the pen. Meanwhile, Suarez led the staff in innings pitched and continued to improve in his 6 June starts. He also issued the fewest walks of any starter.