San Francisco Starts

Why is it that the San Francisco Giants are off to such a strong start this season (17-11 as of this writing)? Mostly it’s about the starting pitchers.

The Giants’ top four starters (Tim Lincecum, Barry Zito, Matt Cain, and Jonathan Sanchez) have now all made six starts. In those 24 outings, they’ve combined for a won-lost record of 13-3 and a 2.20 ERA. In 159 innings, they’ve surrendered only 107 hits and eight homers, while walking 49 and striking out 154.

Just sayin’.


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Lucas A.
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Lucas A.

It really is a superb starting four.  I would say that the Giants and Yankees have gotten the best starting pitching so far this year.

Brandon Isleib
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Brandon Isleib

And Bruce Bochy wins this year’s Bill McKechnie Award.

SharksRog
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SharksRog
The shocker has been Barry Zito.  This is even better than he pitched in his Cy Young season (when he stole the award from a more deserving Pedro Martinez). It would be hard to argue that Barry has been better than Giants ace Tim Lincecum, but an argument could be made that he has been even more effective than Tim. Lincecum’s dad Chris says that Barry is in the best shape of his life and is using his stronger core to push off the mound better, giving Barry more speed on his fastball and more bite on his curve. Meanwhile,… Read more »
anon
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anon

^ I did a BR search restricting it to the modern era (1920-present), and required a minimum 162 innings, and the answer to your question is nope. in fact, matt cain is the only starter on that list with a losing record. (he’s the one with the .469 record, but BR won’t let you see top 5 unless you’re a paid subscriber.)

Nick Steiner
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Nick Steiner
The Cardinals played the Giants earlier this year and they (the Cardinals) were overmatched.  The first game was Lincecum, who the Cards actually worked pretty well and were able to knock him out after the 7th with well over 100 pitches and a decent amount of baserunners.  Unfortunately, they only scored 1 run.  After Lincy, the Giants had a rested Sergio Romo and Jeremy Affedlt ready for the eighth and Wilson for the ninth.  Honestly, 1 run was a job well done for the Cardinals.  Game 2 was a similar story, except Zito pitched even better than Lincy.  The Cardinals… Read more »
Nick Steiner
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Nick Steiner
SharksRog
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SharksRog
I would have to disagree that the Cardinals worked Lincecum well in their recent game.  Their only run against him came on a combined running and fielding mistake. With Matt Halladay on second base with two outs in the seventh inning, the batter hit a single to left.  Matt was just reaching third base as the ball was fielded by Mark DeRosa in shallow left field. Down by four runs, Matt shouldn’t have tried to score and risk one of the Cardinals’ seven remaining outs.  If he holds third, the Cardinals can potentially close the game to within one run… Read more »
obsessivegiantscompulsive
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obsessivegiantscompulsive

Since when is pitching into the 8th inning considered being “knocked out”?

I would note that Sanchez was affected by a cold for two starts, his two bad starts, before he started recovering in his latest start, though probably not fully recovered yet.

Nick Steiner
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Nick Steiner
The Cardinals got 6 hits and 3 walks in 7 innings against Lincecum.  That’s well above the amount of baserunners he would usually give up.  He allowed 4 line drives in 18 balls in play for a 22% clip and needed 120 pitches to get through 7.  The Cardinals had at least 1 runner on in 6 out of the 7 innings including runners in scoring position in each of the last two innings that Lincecum pitched.  I said that Cardinals worked him pretty well and the data supports it.  Lincecum’s amazing so he’s still able to put up 1… Read more »
SharksRog
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SharksRog
You make some very good points, Nick.  I thought about several of them when I made my post. To some degree, we are both talking about the same coin—just looking at different sides of it. Sounds like you’re a Cards fan.  I had the pleasure of watching them a few times at the old Sportsman’s Park and once in the new stadium.  Missed Busch Stadium in between.  Sort of bounced right over that Astro Turf. You have had the pleasure of watching Albert Pujols.  Do you think by the time he retires he will be known as the greatest right-handed… Read more »
Nick Steiner
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Nick Steiner
Yeah, like I said it was insanely frustrating to watch that series.  Even if the Cardinals were taking good at bats the quality of the Giants pitching, both the rotation and the pen, made it so that really didn’t matter.  Yes I am a Cards fan, and I do think Pujols will end up being known as the best RHH of all time.  If you believe in the quality of the league getting harder, which I do, his numbers in context to Aaron’s or Mays are just better.  Of course I never got to see Aaron or Mays so I… Read more »
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