The San Francisco Giants won Thursday to clinch at least a tie for the National League West division crown. And they are smoking hot this month, improving to 18-8 in September. They have a run differential of plus-47, and both of those marks would be the best in the majors if not for the red-hot Philadelphia Phillies.
LOWEST ERA IN CALENDAR MONTH
LIVE BALL ERA (SINCE 1920)
San Francisco's pitchers have been great, and after their 4-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks Thursday, their pitching staff had one of the best Septembers in history. Their team ERA of 1.78 is the lowest in a calendar month since 1968 and the fifth lowest in the Live Ball Era.
FROM ELIAS: The Giants' 1.78 September ERA is the lowest in the Divisional Era (1969). They surpassed the Los Angeles Dodgers, who had a 1.93 ERA back in 1976.
ALSO FROM ELIAS: Giants pitchers allowed a .182 opponents' batting average, the second lowest in the Live Ball Era. Only the Cleveland Indians in 1968 had a lower opponents' batting average in a calendar month, when their opponents hit just .174 in May 1968.
ALSO FROM ELIAS: Madison Bumgarner, who went five innings and allowed just one earned run with seven strikeouts Thursday, lowered his September ERA to 1.13 in five starts. That's the lowest ERA in a month by a Giants rookie pitcher since Juan Marichal had a 0.96 ERA in July 1960 (min. one IP per team game).