Everybody is heading for the hills, but the stern tall marshal is going to defend the town. The Madison Bumgarner of last autumn came fully back on Tuesday when his team needed him most--a four game losing streak, a depleted bullpen. Bumgarner took on the mighty Astros, pitched a complete game, striking out 12 and walking none, for a 3-1 victory at home.
The strikeouts included 7 in a row in the early innings, a team record. He also took the record for the number of games with more than 10 strikeouts and no walks.
Did I mention a complete game? Nine innings for the starting pitcher? Pretty close to a miracle these days, and just what the Giants needed.
Brandon Belt hit two home runs, after a road trip during which he hit 5. In a very streaky year in which he didn't seem to be showing a lot of power, he's now equaled his season high of 17 homers.
And the defense was stellar yet again, with two nice line drive grabs by Belt and Crawford to end the game.
Off-field news wasn't so good, at least in the short term: Angel Pagan went on the DL for his knee, Joe Panik will still be rehabbing when he gets off the DL, Andrew Susak is not ready either, and neither is Tim Hudson, Tim Lincecum or especially Mike Leake. But Leake at least is showing good progress, and Aoki passed his concussion tests. This is critical time for the Giants, with all these injuries, and before rosters get expanded.
Now what the team needs is a rebound performance by Chris Heston tomorrow.
Meanwhile, the Pirates fell to the Cards in St. Louis, in one of those one run games that the home team usually wins. The Dodgers lost one, won one.