Nats' bats no match for deceptive, effective Bumgarner

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Nats' bats no match for deceptive, effective Bumgarner

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO Madison Bumgarner went the distance in theGiants 6-1 win Tuesday, and he did so againstsome serious competition.The Washington Nationals lead Major League Baseball with 72 wins, even afterthe loss. That whopping win total is a result of a 108 run differentialheading into the game, which was the best in the big leagues until the Giantsput a dent in it. Davey Johnsons squad is also fearless away from NationalsPark. Prior to Tuesdays loss, Washington was 40-22 on the road. Of course,that mark is the best in baseball as well. Since the All-Star break, Washingtonleads the National League in runs scored with 170, which includes the 14 runsthey scored in Mondays game on an AT&T Park-record 21 hits.But Bumgarner didnt buckle under the pressure of facing such a potent lineup,even with first place in the National League West on the line following aDodger win. He allowed just five hits and a walk and struck out six in the second complete game of his career, which included 108 pitches, 74 for strikes.Jayson Werth, who scored the lone run off Bumgarner after he tripled on a ballthat glanced off the outstretched glove of Hunter Pence in the alley, was veryreserved in his praise of the Giants young starter.Hes a good pitcher, Werth said. I think hes known forbeing a quality pitcher. Not surprising that he could have a game like that. Hemoves the ball around, throws strikes and changes speed real well. Hes adeceptive lefty.In the losing clubhouse, Werth was ready to move on and talk about theNationals chance at a series win in Wednesdays matinee marquee matchupbetween Tim Lincecum and Stephen Strasburg. However, his teammate Tyler Moorestill appeared frustrated by Bumgarners outing well after the last out. Afteroffering the normal praise of his cutter and command, Moore was asked toexplain Bumgarners dominance.I dont know that angle, Moore muttered under his breath after he went0-for-4 with a strikeout.Bumgarners helicopter delivery is certainly unique, especially when contrastedwith that of Jordan Zimmermann, who utilizes a more textbook technique.Zimmermann, who came into Tuesdays game with the best ERA among startersin the N.L. at 2.35 (only thanks to Ryan Vogelsongs ERA-inflating outingMonday), was impressed with his counterpart.He was mixing it up well tonight, Zimmermann said. Throwingthat cutter and then that fastball. You have to tip your cap to him. Hes beenthrowing the ball well and had another great game tonight.Bumgarners masterful pitching at AT&T Park has become the norm, as he ownsa N.L.-leading 1.88 ERA home ERA, but the Nationals have owned him in threeprior outings. On Independence Day 2012 in the nations capital, Bumgarnerallowed seven earned runs, including three long balls, in just five innings.For his career, Bumgarner was 1-2 with a 4.00 ERA against Washington headinginto Tuesdays game.Like Bumgarner, Lincecum has struggled throughout his career against theNationals to the tune of a 1-3 record and a 5.36 ERA. A day before Bumgarnerwas lit up in Washington earlier this season, the Nationals tagged Lincecum foreight runs, seven earned, in 3.1 innings.If Lincecum can follow in Bumgarners Carhartt bootprints on Wednesday, theGiants will earn a series win over baseballs hottest team. With the Dodgers ona roll, having won eight of their last 11 contests, the Giants could useanother dominant outing from a man with a similarly unique and deceptive delivery.

Top pick Heliot Ramos visits AT&T Park, will start Giants career this weekend

Top pick Heliot Ramos visits AT&T Park, will start Giants career this weekend

SAN FRANCISCO — As he was wrapping up the first press conference of his career, Heliot Ramos was asked when he expects to be back at AT&T Park as a player. The 17-year-old smiled and said he hopes to debut in three years. 

“I know it’s hard, but that’s my dream,” Ramos continued. “I know I’ve got to work hard for that.”

A half-dozen Giants officials stood a few feet away, smiling. Three years would be incredibly impressive. It took Christian Arroyo and Ryder Jones four years after being drafted out of high school to reach the big leagues. Buster Posey got a cup of coffee a year after he was drafted, but he was already 22 years old because he had played three years at Florida State. 

Ramos doesn’t turn 18 until September. The Giants hope he is dominating A-ball in three years, and yet, he’s the the kind of prospect that allows them to dream for so much more. 

“If he grew up in Southern California (instead of Puerto Rico) we never would have had a shot at drafting him,” one team official said Tuesday.

Ramos certainly opened eyes in his second trip to AT&T Park, but then again, he put on a display the first time, too. The Giants brought him in for a pre-draft workout and someone pointed out to Ramos that the deepest part of the park was 421 feet. The right-handed hitter, making the transition to a wood bat, wasn’t bothered by the dimensions. He took aim at Triples Alley and tried to blast one out, and he nearly did. Then he started pulling the ball, peppering the left field bleachers with homers and convincing the front office that he was the right pick at No. 19 in this month’s draft. Ramos, described as a potential five-tool center fielder, said he enjoys hitting here.

“It’s a park with a lot of history, and I like that,” he said. 

The clock on his career starts this weekend. Ramos will travel back to Arizona and play in a rookie league game Friday or Saturday. It is always a slow progression for a high school draft pick, but the Giants believe Ramos is physically mature enough to jump right in with both feet. 

Ramos, who said his favorite player is Andrew McCutchen, is listed at 6-foot-2 and 185 pounds and he carries it well. One member of the front office compared his body type to Yasiel Puig as a rookie; another called him a “mini-Cespedes.” Bruce Bochy lit up when asked about the physicality of the organization’s latest top pick. 

“Any time you get a young kid like this, the ceiling is so high,” he said. “That excites you.”

Bochy spent some time with Ramos and his family after batting practice. As they posed for photos, the manager looked out at the field and then turned to a PR representative.

“Can he take BP? Put him in the last group,” Bochy said, smiling. “I’ll put him in the lineup tomorrow.”

Ramos didn’t end up taking swings, but if all goes according to his plan, it won’t be long.

Giants lineup: After nine-run outburst on Monday, Bochy makes no changes

Giants lineup: After nine-run outburst on Monday, Bochy makes no changes

Bud Black and Bruce Bochy issued their lineups for Game 2 of their series at AT&T Park:

Rockies (47-32) 
1. Charlie Blackmon (L) CF
2. DJ LeMahieu (R) 2B
3. Nolan Arenado (R) 3B
4. Mark Reynolds (R) 1B
5. Ian Desmond (R) LF
6. Alexi Amarista (L) RF
7. Trevor Story (R) SS
8. Tony Wolters (L) C
9. Jeff Hoffman (R) P

Giants (28-51)
1. Denard Span (L) CF
2. Joe Panik (L) 2B
3. Hunter Pence (R) RF
4. Buster Posey (R) C
5. Brandon Belt (L) 1B
6. Brandon Crawford (L) SS
7. Ryder Jones (L) 3B
8. Gorkys Hernandez (R) LF
9. Matt Cain (R) P (3-7, 5.54 ERA)