Giants Look To Win Game 2 Behind Bumgarner


May 27, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner (40) pitches the ball against the Oakland Athletics during the first inning at Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Cain gave up seven runs in the third inning during the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader, but fortunately for the San Francisco Giants, he was able to make it through six innings, which could benefit them in Game 2.

After Cain unraveled, the natural reaction would be to pull him. Perhaps if the Giants had options, they would’ve yanked Cain. But they don’t have options. With Chad Gaudin slated to start Sunday’s series finale, the team doesn’t have a true long man in the bullpen. They could’ve used a starter if worst came to worse.

However, Bruce Bochy stuck with Cain–a common Bruce Bochy move. So, if Madison Bumgarner struggles tonight, their ‘pen will be somewhat fresh.

After starting the season with a 1.55 ERA through six starts, Bumgarner is 1-3 with a 5.17 ERA in his last five starts. The quality of his opponents has become tougher as his numbers have taken a dive, which is no coincidence.

Adam Wainwright, who is 7-3 with a 2.48 ERA, will oppose Bumgarner.

May 27, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright (50) delivers a pitch in the first inning of the game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Scouting Adam Wainwright

After a rough 2012 campaign, Wainwright has bounced back in 2013 on the strength two things: sharp command and an always-dominant curveball.

But let’s quickly touch on that command of his. He’s walking only 0.7 batters per nine innings (best mark in the National League), which is a career-best. Wainwright has never been wild by any stretch of the imagination. After all, his BB/9 rate has remained less than three since 2008. But in 2013 he’s taken the word “sharp” to an entirely different level.

Then, there’s his curveball, which is yielding a mere .179 opponents’ batting average and .231 slugging percentage. Really, no surprise here. Last year the pitched yielded a .174 average, and the year before it yielded a .173 average. If anything, his curveball has been slightly less-effective.

Wainwright’s stuff has been a bit more nasty, however. Per FanGraphs, his SwSr% is 10.6 percent. By comparison, his career mark is 8.8 percent. This spike is mainly due to the fact that hitters are chasing more pitches outside of the strike zone against Wainwright, as his oSwing% is 37.4 percent, which is a five-percent increase from 2012 and nearly a 10-percent increase from his career mark of 27.5 percent.