Madison Bumgarner looked every bit like an ace tonight. He was in command of a complete game Giants' victory to start the home stand after a wretched road trip. The Giants are not close to being out of it - they picked up a half game yesterday on their day off - and they believe that they are a team capable of repeating as world champions. No better way to start off the home stand against a string of tough opponents than with a 3 - 1 ATT park-style win.
Madison gave up hits to the first 2 batters. Then, after Madison struck out the Astros' highly touted Carlos Correa, they were caught trying to double steal 2nd and 3rd. Madison promptly struck out Evan Gattis (who would later score the Astros' only run) for the 3rd out of the inning. That was a 20 pitch inning. The number of pitches in the 1st is worth mentioning only in the context of what Madison Bumgarner accomplished the rest of the game. Those 2 K's were the first of 7 consecutive strikeouts. Madison struck out 12 in the game. That would normally be a sign that a pitcher might be removed with about 116 pitches in the 7th inning. Madison threw 9 complete in 105 pitches. He gave up 5 hits, 1 run and did not walk anyone. He has not issued a walk in 3 games. What that complete game means is that our bullpen, chewed up and spit out on the road, has had 2 days of rest including the off day. So they should be fresh and ready to go when needed.
Brandon Belt was the offensive hero on a night where the team only got 7 hits. He hit 2 home runs, both solo shots off of a tough Scott Kazmir. It is unequivocally good when Brandon Belt hits home runs. The Giants added a run when Justin Maxwell singled, and then scored from first on an Ehire Adriaza hit and throwing error by Kazmir. That was enough on a night when Madison was the kind of ace that we know he can be.