Giants

Madison Bumgarner waiting for results to match improved stuff on mound

Madison Bumgarner waiting for results to match improved stuff on mound

PHOENIX -- More than anything else -- the injuries, the rebuilding, the trade rumors -- Madison Bumgarner is frustrated by the losing.

So he was happy on Saturday night after getting backed by eight runs in the Giants' win over the Diamondbacks, but he was also perplexed. 

"It's a weird game," he said.

Bumgarner was referring to his own results. His stuff has taken a noticeable tick up in the last four starts, but he was charged with four runs in 6 1/3 innings on Saturday and has given up 11 earned in those four appearances. That's certainly not bad by any means, but it's not quite what he expects given how the ball is coming out of his hand. 

"I feel like I'm throwing the ball as good as I ever have," Bumgarner said. "The results not being there is frustrating."

Bumgarner's fastball and cutter again had a little extra zip on Saturday, and he hit 93 mph with eight pitches. He had done it 14 total times in his first nine starts. His fastball averaged a season-high 92.4 mph and his cutter was coming in at 88, but the pesky Diamondbacks kept making him work and eventually knocked him out in the seventh, when Bumgarner hit 93.2 mph with his last fastball of the game. That was his 10th-hardest pitch of the season. 

"Today I felt the best I've felt all year," he said of his command. "And somehow you look at the line and you walk three and give up four runs. It just doesn't match up. That's the frustrating part of the game."

Bumgarner shrugged it off, noting a couple of times how weird baseball can be.

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The results will come eventually, but by then he may be pitching in another uniform. There were plenty of scouts at Chase Field on Saturday to get a close eye at Bumgarner, and if the velocity bump sticks around and the command is still there, he could be the biggest name moved before the trade deadline. 

Shaun Anderson's first-inning problems are a head-scratcher for Giants

Shaun Anderson's first-inning problems are a head-scratcher for Giants

LOS ANGELES -- Giants rookie right-hander Shaun Anderson has a problem, but it isn't what you would expect. 

Anderson is a young starter who was a closer in college, so it wouldn't be a surprise or at all concerning if he had issues getting deep into games. The head-scratcher thus far, though, has been that Anderson is struggling mightily with the first inning. After that, he tends to cruise. 

Joc Pederson hit a leadoff homer on Tuesday night and the Dodgers followed with two more hits and another run, kicking off what would become a 9-0 win behind Clayton Kershaw. 

The homer was the second leadoff blast Anderson has allowed in seven starts and the fourth he has allowed in the first inning. Opponents are hitting .438 off him in the first with four homers, four doubles and seven runs. In all of his other innings, Anderson has allowed just one homer and posted a 2.56 ERA. 

"I do need to bear down a little in those first innings," Anderson said. "This isn't the first time it has happened. I'll look into it."

Anderson said it was simply a lack of execution to start, and manager Bruce Bochy wasn't all that concerned. There's a trend, and he said the Giants will discuss potential changes to Anderson's pre-start routine, but they won't make too big a deal of it. 

"You know what, the kid is throwing well," Bochy said. "So it's not like we want to do a lot."

Anderson is not alone in this issue. The Giants as a team have had serious first-inning woes all season long, but Anderson has shown an ability to get past any early wobbles. He pitched into the sixth Tuesday, allowing just one more run. 

The problem was that the Giants had no margin for error. Kershaw did what he always does to them, and while Anderson kept it close for a while, this one turned into a blowout in the seventh. Enrique Hernandez's grand slam off Trevor Gott capped a six-run inning. 

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With the blowout, the Giants have now been outscored by 90 runs this season, the third-worst differential in the Majors and worst in the National League. Anderson might be having an issue with the first inning, but for the team, the problems go much deeper. 

Giants vs. Dodgers lineups: Shaun Anderson opposes Clayton Kershaw

Giants vs. Dodgers lineups: Shaun Anderson opposes Clayton Kershaw

On Monday, Tyler Beede got a win in his first-ever start against the Dodgers. On Tuesday, Giants rookie right-hander Shaun Anderson will attempt to do the same.

Anderson (2-1, 3.97 ERA) enters Tuesday's start at Dodger Stadium on a roll. He's coming off three consecutive outings in which he went at least six innings and gave up no more than three runs, and he's picked up two victories over that span.

Anderson will face a significant challenge in his first-ever start at Chavez Ravine, not just in the formidable Dodgers' lineup, but in Giants' nemesis Clayton Kershaw. While Kershaw (6-1, 3.13 ERA) took his first loss of the season on June 7 against the Giants, he has dominated San Francisco throughout his career, and enters Tuesday's start with a 22-11 record against the Giants with a 1.72 ERA over 330 1/3 innings.

[RELATED: Beede relieved to get first big league win against Dodgers]

First pitch for Dodgers vs. Giants is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. PT with pregame coverage beginning at 6 p.m. You can follow all the action on NBC Sports Bay Area and streaming online and on the MyTeams app.

San Francisco Giants (31-39)
Donovan Solano, 2B
Brandon Belt, LF
Tyler Austin, 1B
Buster Posey, C
Evan Longoria, 3B
Kevin Pillar, RF
Brandon Crawford, SS
Steven Duggar, CF
Shaun Anderson, RHP (2-1, 3.97 ERA)

Los Angeles Dodgers (48-25)
Joc Pederson. LF
Alex Verdugo, CF
Justin Turner, 3B
Cody Bellinger, RF
Max Muncy, 2B
Matt Beaty, 1B
Chris Taylor, SS
Austin Barnes, C
Clayton Kershaw, LHP (6-1, 3.13 ERA)