It was a big night for San Francisco Giants (82-65) starter, Madison Bumgarner (18-9, 2.91 ERA), as he became the first left handed pitcher in Giants’ history to have a season with 208 strikeouts.
He began the night needing just one strikeout to reach the 200 mark, which for Bumgarner would be easy. The surprise came with the number of strikeouts he had against first place NL West division rivals, the Los Angeles Dodgers (83-64). Bumgarner completed seven innings and gave up only three hits with, two walks and nine strikeouts.
Bumgarner also recorded his 18th win of the season, tying him with Dodgers’ starter, Clayton Kershaw (who is slated to begin game three of this series against Yusmeiro Petit) and Cincinnati’s Johnny Cueto. Needless to say, it could possibly be a Cy Young year for Bumgarner.
The Giants were able to secure a 4-0 lead in the first inning against Dodgers’ starter, Hyun-Jin Ryu (14-7, 3.38 ERA). Ryu only completed one inning and gave up five hits, four earned runs, one walk, and one strike out. Ryu left the game in the hands of a struggling Dodgers’ bullpen due to a left shoulder irritation.
“It’s a great start and it’s nice to have a four run spot when you have Bumgarner out there, it’s a big series so I think anytime you can jump ahead, that is huge for the club,” said Giants’ Manager, Bruce Bochy, “It’s going to be an intense series and you know it takes some pressure off when you come out getting four runs. Guys did a great job and it was great game.”
The Giants’ line up was on fire as they scored nine runs throughout the game including a two run homer in the fifth inning from Brandon Crawford and the 67th Splash Hit, three run shot from Travis Ishikawa. Tonight’s home run marked Crawford’s ninth of the season and Ishikawa’s first.
Hunter Pence has now reached base safely via hit or walk in the last 29 games, which is the longest active streak in the majors.
The Giants now sit one game back from the Dodgers in the race for the NL West Division Championship and are in sole possession of the first NL Wild Card slot.
Tonight’s game marked the 10th consecutive home win for the Giants and is their second longest home winning streak at AT&T Park.
They look to veteran Tim Hudson (9-10, 3.12 ERA) to continue the streak. He’ll face Zack Greinke (14-8, 2.73 ERA) in game two of the three game series. First pitch is at 6:05pm.