Tommy Hanson made it look easy against the Giants, giving up only three hits and striking out seven through seven. Any chance of a comeback was quickly crushed by the very tough Jonny Venters and Craig Kimbrel combo, the Atlanta version of Sergio Romo and Brian Wilson. The Braves have an excellent pitching staff and no doubt expect to contend this season despite the slow start. FanGraphs rates the Phillies as #1 in the NL with a 2.90 team FIP, followed by the Giants at 3.09 and the Braves at 3.18. Using xFIP, the three teams are closer, with Atlanta on top at 3.34, followed by Philadelphia at 3.38, and San Francisco at 3.43. If you want to keep it simple, the Padres, Marlins, and Phillies are tied with the fewest runs allowed (66), followed by the Braves (68) and the Giants (74).
Madison Bumgarner had another poor start and has yet to find his groove for 2011. It's hard to see what's wrong, other than the fact that he's giving up hits and runs at an alarming pace. In 17-1/3 IP, he's allowed 25 hits and 16 runs! He's also walked 10 guys. I thought he had found something after pitching into the 7th in his last start, but he followed that with his shortest outing of the season, failing to make it out of the 3rd inning. So far the young lefty is writing his own chapter in The Big Book of Sophomore Slumps. Let's hope he "turns a page" real soon.
Tim Lincecum gets the start today. In 27 IP The Franchise has allowed only 17 hits and 6 runs while striking out 32. He's sporting a 0.889 WHIP and a 242 ERA+.