Lots of young talent in Giants vs. Dodgers
June, 24, 2013
By Will Cohen | ESPN.com
Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY SportsDodgers rookie Yasiel Puig has taken baseball by storm since his debut on June 3.
Bumgarner has been an ace
Bumgarner has fared well against Los Angeles in his career, posting a 6-2 career record with a 2.53 ERA in nine appearances (eight starts).
He last faced the Dodgers in his first start of the season on April 2, holding them to only two hits over eight scoreless innings. In that game he retired 18 consecutive batters from the middle of the second inning to the eighth.
Since Bumgarner joined the league in 2009, his 3.21 career ERA ranks 11th among pitchers with at least 80 starts. That's the third-best ERA among lefties in that time span, behind only Clayton Kershaw (2.54) and Cliff Lee (2.93).
Bumgarner has anchored a Giants staff that is uncharacteristically ranked 13th in the NL this season with a combined 4.50 starter ERA. Giants starters haven’t ranked worse than fifth in ERA since 2008.
The Giants' southpaw relies heavily on his cutter, throwing a very low percentage of regular fastballs. Only 39 percent of his pitches have been fastballs, the sixth-lowest rate among qualified starters this season. Mixing it up has allowed Bumgarner to post the highest strikeout rate by any NL lefty this season (25 percent of batters faced).
Ryu effective at home
Ryu has been one of the best rookie starters this season, and he’s been at his best at Chavez Ravine. Ryu has posted a 1.88 ERA at home, the 10th-lowest home ERA in the NL. The Giants have given Ryu trouble, though -- he’s 0-2 in two starts against them with a 3.65 ERA.
The South Korean lefty’s changeup has allowed him to hold right-handed batters to a .220/.272/.310 slash line. He’s gotten them to miss on one-third of swings against his changeup. But lefties are batting .298 against Ryu, and the damage has come against his fastball to the tune of a .444 average in at-bats ending with the pitch.
Ryu has been excellent at shutting down opponents in the half-inning following a Dodgers score this season. According to Elias, he’s shut down opposing teams in 91.7 percent of opportunities, the highest rate in the NL.
Puig a dual threat
Puig has made quite an impression over his first 19 games with the Dodgers. Although he’s widely recognized for his bat (MLB-best .425 BA and 1.174 OPS since his June 3 debut), he’s added five defensive runs saved in right field, already tied for ninth-best among right fielders this season.
Puig’s performance has launched him to the top of the Dodgers' wins above replacement (WAR) leaders this season among position players for the season. He trails only ace Clayton Kershaw and Ryu for the overall team lead in WAR.
The Dodgers' star rookie has demonstrated significant opposite-field power in his short major league career. Of his six home runs, four have gone out to right field.