Giants vs. Diamondbacks Preview: Madison Bumgarner Looks To Increase NL West Lead

It looked as though Bruce Bochy was trying really hard to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in game one against the Diamondbacks, but the Giants pulled it off in the end. That's a little unfair, of course, but leaving Matt Cain in to get shelled was a questionable decision among many questionable decisions. Either way, the Giants got themselves a 6-5 win and Pablo Sandoval had a strong game, which was the most important part of the series opener at CHASE Field.

While Sandoval had a good game, he was supported by guys like Nate Schierholtz and Cody Ross, who also had solid outings. Ross had the best of the three, driving in two runs with two doubles, while Schierholtz had an RBI of his own. 

Madison Bumgarner can only hope that he's in for the kind of run support that Cain got when he takes the mound in game two, but he'd probably prefer to avoid Cain's stat-line of eight hits and five runs allowed over 6 2/3 innings. Bumgarner has been impressive this season, but his win/loss record doesn't illustrate that ... in fact, said record will take a long time to even out even if he plays nearly flawless ball for his next few outings.

He has, in fact, lost his last two starts, going 2-8 in thirteen appearances on this mound this year. It's a tough pill to swallow, considering he threw seven innings of one-run ball his last time out there, against the Cincinnati Reds, but the Giants were blanked to the tune of 3-0 and he got the loss. Not the kind of guy to hemorrhage runs, Bumgarner hasn't given up more than three runs in any of his last ten starts.

Arizona will send Joe Saunders to duel with MadBum, coming off a down outing after a three-game winning streak. He gave up ten hits and five runs in six innings against the Florida Marlins, and sports a 3-6 record with a 4.56 earned run average in thirteen starts.

Saunders has only faced the Giants once, a game in which he gave up twelve hits and five runs over 6 2/3 innings earlier this year in April. Bumgarner is 2-0 against the Diamondbacks in five appearances, sporting a solid 2.28 ERA in that time. The Giants hold a one-and-a-half game lead over the Diamondbacks in the National League West and will look to make that gap even bigger tonight. 

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