Originally written on SF Giants Nirvana  |  Last updated 11/17/14

And that’s the formula. It took the Giants several games to master it, but there it is, finally: a strong outing from the starter, shutdown relief*, and just enough run support. It’s rather surprising, but six games into the season, this was only the Giants’ second quality start. In fact, this was only their second decent start. Four of the previous five starts — the one exception, of course, being that Barry Zito shutout — were simply terrible:

  • Lincecum: 5.1 IP, 5 R
  • Bumgarner: 4 IP, 4 R
  • Cain: 6 IP, 5 R
  • Lincecum: 2.1 IP, 6 R

Of course, “quality start” doesn’t really do this outing justice. Madison Bumgarner had a no-hitter going through 5 innings. In his first go-around against the Rockies lineup, seven of the nine outs he recorded came via the groundout, and one came via the strikeout. Through those first three innings, he faced the minimum. Through the first five innings, he faced the minimum plus one. With one out in the sixth, Tyler Colvin lined a ball to left and in an unsuccessful attempt to preserve the no-hitter, Melky Cabrera dove for it. Colvin ended up with a triple, and eventually scored, but that was the only run that would be surrendered by Bumgarner; and he came right back out in the seventh and retired Cuddyer, Rosario, and Young in order. He only ended up with two strikeouts, which was a bit odd, but the real dominance came in the form of his batted ball distribution: he induced groundout after groundout, with a few infield flies sprinkled in, and the Rockies generally didn’t make much hard contact.

*As for the relief, okay, maybe that wasn’t “shutdown.” That ninth inning was quite an adventure. Three hits, a well-hit liner that — fortunately — was right at Emmanuel Burriss, and a bases-loaded walk. Wilson was clearly injured (apparently it was an ankle tweak), and it seemed foolish to leave him in the game there. The sight of Dave Groeschner nervously pacing back and forth in the dugout is very unsettling. For obvious reasons, it’s incredibly frustrating to watch Wilson struggle through pain and try to stay in the game. Luckily it doesn’t seem all that serious, but it’s something to keep an eye on. Anyway, he eventually got the save.

Meanwhile, the Giants have now scored 33 runs through the first six games; in each of those games, they’ve scored 4+ runs. It might not seem like much, but the Giants’ longest such streak last year was seven games, with their second-longest stretch lasting all of four games.

There are 156 games left in the season. It’s much too early in the year to make any sort of confident assertions, but I’m becoming increasingly sure of one thing: I was wrong about Melky Cabrera. He’s opened the season with a six-game hitting streak, and in four of those six games, he’s collected multiple hits. All the general small sample size caveats notwithstanding, he’s looked excellent at the plate, and we’re not just seeing BABIP luck here. He’s made consistent hard contact, and he’s in great physical shape. So far, it’s looking like his 2011 season was more than just a fluke.

As for Angel Pagan, the outfield acquisition I was enthused about, I’m not all that concerned…at least not yet. He had some pretty good at-bats today (saw 25 pitches in five plate appearances), and one of them resulted in an RBI single on a solid line drive to left. But the best part about his season thus far: 25 plate appearances, two walks, one strikeout. That bodes well for him going forward.

The Giants are 2-4. They’re in last place in the NL West. But the Angels and Red Sox are also in last place in their respective divisions. They’ll begin a three-game series at home against the Pittsburgh Pirates tomorrow, and if there’s

 

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: LeBron James calls plays, David Blatt repeats them

Anthony Davis puts Harden ahead of himself for MVP

LeBron James lists his top three friends in the NBA

Reds to have in-stadium nursery

Izzo: MSU could win football, basketball titles in same year

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Durant ‘would love to’ spend entire career with Thunder

Elementary school sportswriter has hot take on Cam Newton

Romo was willing to take pay cut to keep DeMarco Murray

Marcus Mariota reportedly not planning to attend NFL draft

Alabama RB dismissed from team after marijuana arrest

Golden Tate: Departure of Suh won't pressure Lion's offense

Young sportswriter behind Cam Newton column speaks out

Tom Brady posts Photoshop as April Fools' joke on Facebook

'Zo on MJ: He would average almost 50 in today's NBA

Report: Las Vegas season ticket drive passes goal of 10,000

WATCH: Steph Curry drops Chris Paul with crossover

WATCH: Spoelstra gives nice shoutout to Craig Sager

WATCH: Drew Miller takes skate to the face

WATCH: Gronk describes his perfect wife

Reigning National Champions to boycott Final Four in Indiana

This isn’t Tom Izzo’s greatest March masterpiece

New development clears path for Rams relocation

WATCH: J.J. Watt sings about stadium food on 'New Girl'

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: Curry drops CP3 with crossover

Durant wants to spend career in OKC

This isn’t Tom Izzo’s greatest March masterpiece

Are the Angels being overlooked?

Top 20 players in the Final Four

Top 10 players in baseball

Report: Tiger's plane spotted in Augusta

Moss shares story on meeting Deion

Five coaches already on the hot seat

Can we envision the Hawks in the Finals?

10 winners and losers from the past week in the NFL

Namath parties with 100 yr-old women

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.