Madison Bumbgarner might be really good for a really
long time. The 21-year-old rookie southpaw was dealing in Thursday night’s
pivotal drubbing over the Cubs, permitting seven hits with a walk and nine Ks
over seven shutout innings to even his record at 6-6. After being staked to a
10-0 lead in the second, all Bumgarner needed to do was throw strikes and
cruise to his first win since Aug. 20. The outing marked his fifth straight in
which he yielded two earned runs or fewer — and first in which he actually got
some run support. The young phenom will carry a 3.06 ERA into what will likely
be his last start of the regular season on Sept. 29 vs. the D-backs.
Pujols — Went deep twice in Thursday’s win over the
Pirates for his 40th and 41st homers of the campaign. Pujols has now reached the 40-homer mark an
incredible six times in his storied 10-year career. He needs six more long
balls in order to match the 47 he launched a season ago.
Braden (W, 8 IP, H, 2 BB, 7 K vs. TEX) — Simply a dominant
performance from Braden, who consistently got ahead of hitters and induced 16
swinging strikes on 114 pitches. The outing was markedly different from his
previous four, in which he went 0-4 with a 6.23 ERA. The left-hander is on
track to toe the rubber again on Sept. 28 vs. the Angels in Anaheim.
Drew (3-for-5, 3B, HR, 4 RBIs) — Drew, who has blasted
off in consecutive contests on the heels of a 20-game power outage, has popped
off for six multi-hit efforts in the last 10 tilts. For the season, he’s
batting .280 with 11 triples and 78 runs.
Gallardo (W, 6 2/3 IP, 3 ER, 7 H, 2 BB, 9 K vs. FLA) — Just
another night on the job for Gallardo, who has surrendered a total of 20 hits
and six earned runs over his last four starts, spanning 27 2/3 innings. Owners
can expect the Milwaukee ace to finish the season on a high note when he takes
the rock on Sept. 29 vs. the Mets in New York.
Gonzalez (2-for-5, GS, 6 RBIs) — More of the same from Gonzalez, who
extended his hitting streak to 10 games while nearly singlehandedly bringing
the Rockies back from an 8-2 deficit. The MVP candidate has gone 17-for-39 with
six extra-base hits, 13 RBIs and 11 runs during the latest surge, which has
kicked his average up to a season-high .342.
Kelly Johnson (3-for-5, HR, 2 RBIs, 2
R, SB) — And the beat goes on for Johnson, who’s sent five into orbit in the
last eight games. The swipe was his 12th.
Kuroda (W, 8 IP, ER, 5 H, BB, 4 K vs. SD) – That’s five
straight quality starts for Kuroda, who is wrapping a bow on his finest Major
League season. The third-year import is now 11-13 with a 3.27 ERA, 1.16 WHIP
and 153/47 K/BB ratio over 190 innings.
Morse (2-for-3, 2B, HR, 3 RBIs, 2 R) — Morse has brought
out the heavy lumber three times in the last five games on the heels of a
16-game power outage. The big right fielder has enjoyed a solid second half,
batting .296 with nine jacks, 29 RBIs and 28 runs in 54 tilts.
O’Sullivan (W, 6 IP, 4 H, 4 BB, 3 K vs. CLE) — O’Sullivan
finally ended a very rough stretch in which he had been tagged for at least
five earned runs in four consecutive starts. The victory was his first since
Aug. 22, as the right-hander lowered his ERA by more than half a run to 6.03.
O’Sullivan will try to put together successive quality outings when he toes the
rubber again Sept. 28 vs. the Twins.
Uribe (2-for-4, 2 HR, 6 RBIs) — Uribe enjoyed a second
inning for the ages, as the infielder belted a two-run jack before following it
up with a grand slam as part of a nine-run explosion by the Giants. In doing
so, he broke out of a 2-for-21 rut while equaling his RBI output from the last
23 games. Uribe, who has already established a new career high with 83 RBIs, is
one homer away from tying the 23 jacks he totaled in 2004.
Dempster (L, 1 2/3 IP, 9 ER, 7 H, 2 BB, 2 K vs. SF) — A
forgettable night for Dempster, who faced 15 batters and recorded only five
outs. While he entered the game having hurled a combined 14 shutout innings
over his last two starts — both wins — the writing was on the wall in his two
outings before those. In 7 2/3 innings vs. the Mets and Pirates, Dempster got
tuned up for 16 hits and 14 runs (10 earned). The right-hander is on track to
return to the hill on Sept. 28 in San Diego.