Madison Bumgarner (10-6, 2.25) vs. Tanner Roark (11-6, 3.02) – 1:35 p.m, MASN/WUSA9/TBS
When Madison Bumgarner takes the mound for the Giants, runs are usually tough to come by. He had his struggles against the Phillies in his last start on Tuesday. Bumgarner went five innings, gave up eight runs (four earned) on ten hits, struck out four, and walked two in a no-decision.
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While Bumgarner is 0-2 in his last four starts, he has only given up 11 runs in those games. The problem for the Giants is they haven’t scored many runs when he’s on the mound (seven runs in four starts prior to Tuesday). This season, the 27-year-old left-hander is second in innings pitched, third in strikeouts, and third in ERA in the National League.
Bumgarner is 3-4 with a 2.90 ERA in nine starts against the Washington Nationals, but he has a 5.00 ERA in five starts at Nats Park (14 earned runs in his last three). Ben Revere is 7-for-14 against him with two RBI’s and Bryce Harper has a pair of home runs in 15 at-bats.
Roark did give up a couple of solo home runs against the Diamondbacks on Tuesday, but he still had a quality start. He went 6.1 innings, gave up three runs on seven hits, struck out six, and walked two on 103 pitches in a win.
With that win, the 29-year-old right-hander is 3-1 with a 3.08 ERA in four starts since the All-Star break. Over his last eight starts, Roark is 5-1 and has given up three runs or fewer in six of them. If there’s any concern with Roark, it’s that he’s given up four home runs in three games (11 home runs for the season). But, he still continues to put up quality starts on a consistent basis.
Back on July 28, Roark gave up one run over seven innings in a win over the Giants. He is 4-0 with a 3.32 ERA in five games (two starts) in his career against San Francisco. Posey is 4-for-9 with two doubles and a RBI against Roark.
Prediction: While I expect Roark to have another quality start on Sunday, I don’t expect the Giants to get swept in this series despite their second half struggles. Bumgarner will end up pitching a gem and the Giants will find a way to salvage a game in the series in a pitcher’s duel type of game.