Well, who could have ever seen this coming?
If there were only some way Bruce Bochy and Brian Sabean could have been warned ahead of time.
If only there were symptoms, signals or other kinds of harbingers.
If only there were some way of telling that Todd Wellemeyer was going to get lit up like a Fourth of July fireworks display on Saturday in Pittsburgh, in his first road start since the last time he got lit up on the road in Arizona.
In case you weren’t following, Wellemeyer gave up six runs (all earned) on nine hits and three walk in three-plus innings of work. His road ERA jumped by a run and he entered with a 9.35 road ERA.
He gave up two more home runs, giving him a team-high 12 that he’s surrendered on the year. Nine of those 12 home runs … on the road. Before 12 of the 20 batters he faced Saturday reached base, opposing hitters already had a .400 OBP against him on the road.
And all of this leaves Bochy acting like some bewildered puppy.
“For some reason, he’s struggled on the road,” Bochy told the San Jose Mercury News. “It’s hard to figure out because he’s thrown so well at home.”
Oh, gee willikers! Maybe it’s because when Wellemeyer’s pitches miss their mark, those high fly balls in the outfield get caught at AT&T Park and fly over the wall just about everywhere else.
And now the Giants have to think about Wellemeyer’s next scheduled start, which is slated for Thursday afternoon against the hot-hitting Reds and their band-box ballpark.
Wellemeyer said: “I’m hoping that two good starts and one bad one doesn’t take me out of the rotation.”
ONE bad start!?!?
The Giants need to send Wellemeyer for an MRI on his head. Clearly he’s got some sort of post-traumatic syndrome.
Todd, have you forgotten the start in Arizona (5 ER, 3 HR in 5 IP) or the one in New York (4 ER, 5 BB in 4.1 IP) or the one in LA (7 ER, 3 HR in 4 IP).
Let’s hope Sabean and Bochy haven’t forgotten.
Madison Bumgarner threw another quality start Wednesday, giving up three runs (two earned) in 6.1 innings against the Las Vegas 51s.
Bumgarner actually pitched five scoreless innings before allowing two runs in the sixth on two singles and a double. A third run scored in the sixth on an error. After giving up back-to-back singles in the seventh, he was pulled from the game.
He is now 5-1 with a 2.73 ERA.
It was Bumgarner’s seventh quality start in his last nine starts. He has not given up more than two earned runs in his past nine starts.
Since a pair of disastrous starts to open the year, Bumgarner is 5-0 with a 1.29 ERA.
We throw this information out as the Giants prepare to depart for a seven-game road trip in which Todd Wellemeyer (he of the 9.35 road ERA) is slated to make two starts.
Of course, the Giants could minimize Wellemeyer’s impact on the road trip by skipping his turn, given Thursday’s off day. That would limit him to one start during the road trip, while also adding to the Giants bullpen depth in the opening days of the road trip while they figure out what to do with ailing Jeremy Affeldt.
But, of course, this all makes too much sense for Bruce Bochy and the Giants to consider.
Entering Wednesday’s game in Arizona, the Giants pitching staff had allowed a league-low 24 home runs. Todd Wellemeyer had allowed six of those — or one-fourth.
After Wednesday’s loss to the Diamondbacks, the Giants have allowed 30 home runs, with Wellemeyer giving up nine — or almost one-third.
The other four starters in the rotation have allowed a combined 10 home runs.
Wellemeyer is now 2-4 with a 5.71 ERA. If you only count his seven starts, his ERA is 6.16. Left-handed hitters have on OBP of .413 against him this season.
In a completely unrelated story, Giants pitching prospect Madison Bumgarner struck eight over seven shutout innings for the Fresno Grizzlies against Oklahoma City on Monday. After a dismal start at Triple-A Fresno, Bumgarner is now 3-1 with 3.64 ERA. Over his last six starts, he is 3-0 with a 1.54 ERA.
Now, More Splash Hits will admit we were an advocate for Wellemeyer winning the No. 5 spot in the rotation, both in the offseason and during Wellemeyer’s fine spring outings.
But we are ready to change our tune. Actually, what we were advocating all along is that having Wellemeyer in the rotation at the start of the season would give prospects like Bumgarner more time to season at Triple-A, putting them in position for a midseason callup.
Well, we think we’ve reached that point.
But unlike other internet pundits, More Splash Hits is not calling for the immediate removal of Wellemeyer from the rotation. We believe a more prudent approach is in order.
The Giants have an off-day Monday before opening a homestand on Tuesday. So the Giants should skip Wellemeyer in the rotation and pitch him out of the bullpen. Wellemeyer has thrown three scoreless innings in relief this season.
That would put Wellemeyer on course to make his next start on May 29 against the Diamondbacks at home. But that’s OK, because Wellemeyer has better at home than on the road.
At AT&T Park, he is 2-1 with a 3.04 ERA. On the road, he’s 0-3 with a 9.35 ERA. Seven of his nine home runs allowed have come on the road.
With another day off slated for June 3, the Giants could skip Wellemeyer again. The next time they would need a No. 5 starter would be on June 8 at Cincinnati.
That would be a perfect time to call up Madison Bumgarner.
You listening Sabean and Bochy?