San Francisco pitchers have combined for 4 consecutive shutouts, breaking a team record
By Cam Cain ◊ 6/29/12
When San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner got Drew Stubbs to ground out in the top of the 9th last night, it not only capped off a remarkable pitching performance by Bumgarner, a 1 hit shutout of the Cincinnati Reds; It also added on to a streak of 4 straight shutouts by Giants pitching. (The first three were combined.) The last time a team put together a similar streak was 1995 when the Orioles threw 5 consecutive shutouts. In fact, the last Giant starting pitcher to give up an earned run was Matt Cain on June 24th. And the last starter to get a loss was Ryan Vogelsong on the 20th. This streak, which started with a sweep of their bitter rival Dodgers, has put San Francisco in first place for the first time all year. It’s also the first time since April 10th that a team besides the Dodgers has been in first. (Arizona was 4-0 while LA was 4-1).
The Giants pitching has been strong all year. They have had the third lowest team ERA (3.37). The only disappointment is 2-time Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum, who threw 7 shutout innings on Wednesday. Lincecum’s win improved him to a miserable 3-8 with an uncharacteristic 5.60 ERA, more than double his last season. Also, Lincecum is on pace for his first full season with less than 200 Ks. Lincecum came into this season as the ace of this talented rotation. But as of now, it seems that he is holding back the rest of his team.
As for a real ace, three Giant pitchers share that title. Cain, Vogelsong, and Bumgarner all have ERAs under 3.00. Vogelsong has the lowest ERA but also has the fewest wins of the trio. Bumgarner’s 10 wins are 4th in the majors but he has the highest ERA. (Bumgarner’s 2.85 would be the best on 15 of 30 teams.) Cain pitches against the Reds tonight. As I said, he is the last Giant starting pitcher to give up an Earned Run. He gave up 1 against the Athletics last Sunday and was in line for the win until Santiago Casilla blew a save. Cain also threw a perfect game on June 13th. I don’t want to overplay this but it is in Cain’s hands to continue on this streak.