After emerging as a bona fide ace last year, Matt Cain had a terrible April, exiting the month with a 6.49 ERA.
Cain has turned it around since then, dropping his ERA to a more respectable 4.54. Now Cain and Madison Bumgarner form a potent one-two punch at the front of the rotation.
Barry Zito has been lights-out at home and lit up on the road. Batters are hitting just .235 when he pitches in San Francisco, but that average jumps nearly 200 points away from the city.
What’s the problem? Bad luck. Hitters have an absurd .511 BABIP when Zito visits their parks, per CSN Bay Area’s Andrew Baggarly. That’s bound to drop off in the second half.
Tim Lincecum’s dwindling velocity is well documented, but he found a way to cope last year by hitting the corners. Everything has been down the pipe this season, according to FanGraphs’ analysis.
Cain is solid and Bumgarner is capable of shutting down playoff-bound teams.
Lincecum needs to make some changes, and Zito’s road troubles will end soon. When the Giants get Ryan Vogelsong and Chad Gaudin back from the DL, the starters should be less of a concern. And if a marquee trade brings in another arm, the rotation will once again be a strength.