Madison Bumgarner did everything the Giants needed to save their bullpen, and Hunter Pence made sure the starter’s effort wasn’t wasted on Wednesday evening’s 3-1 win over the Philadelphia Phillies.
A 59-minute rain delay didn’t slow down the dominance of San Francisco’s ace, who held the Phillies scoreless over eight innings, allowing just five hits while striking out six and walking none. Bumgarner’s outing was a huge relief to, yes, the relievers, who all made appearances in yesterday evening’s 14-inning win. The lefty powered through rain, lightning, and just about an hour of a delay as he lowered his ERA to 3.19.
The pitching prowess took place on both sides of the field, as Philadelphia’s AJ Burnett also threw eight scoreless innings, allowing four hits while walking four and striking out six. Burnett was replaced by Jonathan Papelbon, who struggled again against San Francisco. Papelbon loaded the bases after hitting Michael Morse, intentionally giving Brandon Crawford first, then walking Hector Sanchez.
With two outs and the bases loaded, Hunter Pence came up to the plate and cleared the bases with a three-run double down the right field line. It was Papelbon’s second blown save in as many games, and has raised his ERA from 1.17 to 1.96 after just those two appearances.
Tomorrow the Giants will finish their series in Philly by looking for their first sweep since June 6-8 against the New York Mets at home. The afternoon matinee will see a strong matchup, as Tim Hudson will take on Cole Hammels, who has been unbeaten in his last three starts. The Phillies’ pitcher is coming off a seven-inning win in Atlanta, where the lefty allowed just one run on four hits while striking out nine. Hudson is coming off a strong return from the All Star Break as well, where he lasted 7.1 innings of one-run ball in Miami.
First pitch at 10:05 PST.