Tim Lincecum has quite an act to follow in his first start Wednesday night. Matt Cain pitched six shutout innings in the season opener in the Giants' loss to Clayton Kershaw. Then the Giants got their first win when Madison Bumgarner nearly out-Kershawed the Dodgers. Two games into the season, Giants starters have not allowed a run. Bumgarner looked as good at Dodger Stadium as he did in dominating Detroit in Game 2 of the World Series, allowing two hits and nothing else over eight innings Tuesday night in the 3-0 Giants victory. "That's the best I've felt in a long time, which is odd," Bumgarner said. "Usually, it doesn't work out too good in my first start of the year, usually my first month. I just want to keep going and not take a step backward." Twenty-six Dodgers batted against Bumgarner and 24 took a step back to the dugout. Bumgarner retired the first five Dodgers, allowed a clean double to right by Andre Ethier, then buzzed through the next 18 before A.J. Ellis' double with two outs in the eighth. Bumgarner then recorded his sixth strikeout (pinch-hitter Nick Punto) to end the inning and watched Sergio Romo save the win with a 1-2-3 ninth, ending with - yes - a looking strikeout (Mark Ellis). The Giants are 1-1, which would not be worth mentioning had they not gotten swept in their opening series last year at Arizona. So many eyes will fix on the Dodgers-Giants rivalry in 2013, any win or loss becomes a big deal. At least Bumgarner sees it that way. "Obviously, there's a lot of season to go," he said, "but I think it's going to be a battle between us all year. As long as both teams stay healthy, it should be pretty interesting."
Bumgarner, Giants shut down Dodgers, 3-0
San Francisco Chronicle | Apr 3