NL West

Aces Face Off in San Francisco

San Francisco Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford (35) hits a RBI single to center field during the seventh inning of the game against the New York Mets at AT&T Park in San Francisco, Calif, on Friday, June 6, 2014. The Giants won 4-2. (Godofredo Vasquez/SFBay)

Driving home from the game yesterday, I saw a Giants cap on the Golden Gate Bridge. The hat had been run over to the point where it was nearly flat, it was stained and weather beaten. It seemed to capture the way the Giants have looked since the All Star Break, especially coming off a game as disheartening as yesterday’s 6-5 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

“When it rains it pours, and right now it’s a freakin’ monsoon,” said center fielder Denard Span. “We’ve just got to try to weather the storm and know that after this storm sunshine is going to come.”

San Francisco has a chance to find that sunshine and get back in the win column with their ace on the hill tonight. Madison Bumgarner, the Giants All Star left hander, will take on another All Star in the form of the fireballing Jacob deGrom. The matchup is a good one, given that Bumgarner’s 2.11 ERA is second best in the league, and deGrom’s 2.30 is fifth best. The last time two starters with top-five ERAs faced each other after the break was July 26, 2016, when Zack Grienke and the Dodgers took on deGrom and the Mets. The Mets won the game 3-2 in ten innings.

Bumgarner is coming off his first winning start of the second half and is facing a team he has historically dominated. In five starts against New York, Bum is 4-0 with a 1.03 ERA. That’s the lowest ERA the lefty has posted against any team. He’s also posted 18.0 consecutive scoreless innings against the Mets coming in to tonights game.

The Mets are also going through a rough stretch, having lost six of their last ten games. Three games into a ten game road trip, the club has posted a 1-2 record, having lost their most recent matchup against the Diamondbacks in Arizona.

That said, deGrom is throwing the ball well of late. He’s 4-1 with a 1.49 ERA and 58 strikeouts in his last nine starts. Further, he’s 3-0 with a 0.84 ERA in three career games versus the Giants.

Needless to say, tonight’s game looks a bit like a pitchers duel.

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