AP File Photo: San Francisco Giants’ Madison Bumgarner sits with catcher Tim Federowicz before pitching in his first rehab assignment with the Sacramento River Cats in a baseball game against the Fresno Grizzlies on Friday June 30, 2017, in West Sacramento, Calif. (Jose Luis Villegas/The Sacramento Bee via AP)
By Jeremy Harness
SAN FRANCISCO–There are a couple bits of good news to arise from the All-Star break. For one, the dreadful first half that the Giants just went through is now over, and it is time to look forward to the second half of the season in order to salvage some dignity.
Secondly, Madison Bumgarner will soon be back in the starting rotation, which will be a more-than-welcome sight for the Giants and their fans.
Now the bad news: The Giants have the second-worst record in the major leagues and currently sit in last place in the National League West with a 34-56 record, a place the Giants are not accustomed to, to say the very least.
The team that the Giants are directly under at this point, the San Diego Padres, will be waiting for them at San Diego’s Petco Park for a three-game series that starts Friday night.
Right-handed starter Johnny Cueto, who is rumored to be on the trading block – particularly given the fact that he has an opt-out clause in his contract that goes into effect at the end of this season, will take the mound Friday night.
His last start was not a memorable one by any means. Four days ago, he was taken advantage of by the Miami Marlins, as he surrendered six runs on six hits, as he also walked six batters while striking out only two. He currently owns a less-than-stellar 6-7 record with a 4.51 ERA.
He will be up against Padres lefty Clayton Richard (5-8, 4.66 ERA), who is coming off an outing during which he gave up only a single run on five hits over six innings of work.
Bumgarner will make his highly-anticipated return to the bigs the following afternoon, and he will go head up with righty Jhoulys Chacin, who owns an 8-7 mark with a 4.32 ERA. He is also riding a two-start winning streak, during which he gave up only a run and seven hits combined.