We’ve been keeping track of Dylan Bundy’s firsts because he’s started so well — he didn’t give up his first hit until his fifth professional start — so why not keep track of the first run too?
It came last night. It was unearned. And it wasn’t exactly a case of him getting knocked around: the runner reached on a wild pitch strike three, and came around on a couple of errors. Overall, Bundy struck out eight batters in three innings. He hit his pitch count, however, and had to come out.
So, through six professional starts, Bundy has now pitched 20 innings, given up that unearned run, has allowed only two hits and has struck out 33. Think he’s ready for the next level Mr. Duquette?
The Giants placed outfielder Hunter Pence on the 10-day disabled list with a right thumb sprain, per an official announcement on Friday. Pence initially sustained the injury during the club’s home opener on April 3, when he dove to intercept a line drive double from Robinson Cano and jammed his thumb. Weeks of playing through the pain hasn’t worked, so he’ll take a breather while the Giants give outfielder Mac Williamson a chance to start in left after getting called up from Triple-A Fresno.
Pence, 35, wouldn’t pin his recent struggles on his injury, but it’s clear that he’s having difficulty finding his footing this year. He slashed a meager .172/.197/.190 through 61 plate appearances in 2018, collecting just one extra-base hit and two walks during the Giants’ dismal 7-11 stretch. While it’s far too early in the season to make any final judgments, it doesn’t look like the veteran outfielder will be replicating the .275+ average, 4.0+ fWAR totals of years past (at least, not anytime soon).
Williamson, meanwhile, has gotten off to a hot start in Triple-A. Prior to his call-up this weekend, the 27-year-old batted an incredible .487/.600/1.026 with six home runs and a 1.626 OPS through his first 50 PA. A hot Triple-A bat doesn’t always survive the transition to the majors, but the Giants will use all the help they can get — especially as they take on the AL West-leading Angels this weekend.