While the bullpen was always expected to be a strength for the Giants this season, the same can’t be said about the starting rotation.
Madison Bumgarner was coming off a disappointing, injury-plagued season, Dereck Rodriguez seemed destined for at least some level of regression, Jeff Samardzija was little more than a drain on the payroll in 2018, and the lefty duo of Derek Holland and Drew Pomeranz cost just $8 million combined in free agency to round out the staff.
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And yet, here the Giants are, ranked seventh in the majors with a 3.38 starters’ ERA, and that group performed well in the Rockies series:
- Thursday—Jeff Samardzija: W, 7.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K
- Friday—Drew Pomeranz: ND, 5.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K
- Saturday—Madison Bumgarner, W, 7.0 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 7 K
- Sunday—Derek Holland, L, 6.0 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 6 K
If the starting staff can stay healthy and continue pitching like this, it would go a long way toward keeping the bullpen fresh throughout the season.
Pitching is going to be paramount if the Giants hope to have any chance of contending for a playoff spot. It will also have a major impact on their summer plans if they fall out of the race, since Madison Bumgarner, Derek Holland and relievers Will Smith and Tony Watson are all prime candidates to be moved.
For now, the pitching staff’s performance has been enough to keep things interesting for the 2019 Giants.