|After long trip, Pirates welcome Giants, Bumgarner|
The Pittsburgh Pirates return home from a 5-3 road trip to open a series Friday against San Francisco, and the Giants might want to plan for something more than 27 innings.
Pittsburgh has gone to extra innings six times in its first 16 games -- a first in franchise history -- and is 4-2 in those games, winning each of the last four.
"It's good for us, especially this early in the year, to have these contests," said Trevor Williams, who started Wednesday in what became a 3-2, 10-inning Pirates win at Detroit before a day off Thursday.
"It's stressful watching in the dugout, but we've been really resilient this year. We've been playing a lot of extra-inning ballgames. So come out to PNC Park. You get more than you pay for."
San Francisco left-hander Madison Bumgarner (1-2, 3.12 ERA) is scheduled to face Pittsburgh right-hander Jordan Lyles (1-0, 0.82 ERA) in the series opener Friday.
Bumgarner picked up his first win Saturday, 5-2 over the Colorado Rockies when he struck out seven and walked none in seven innings. But he wasn't satisfied, saying beforehand he wanted to go longer, and maybe even up to 140 pitches, after the Giants endured an 18-inning game the night before.
Instead, he gave up six hits and both runs on 98 pitches.
"That wasn't going to happen, but he was sending a message," Giants manager Bruce Bochy told reporters of his ace showing toughness and wanting to go above and beyond.
"I don't feel like I did enough," Bumgarner said. "In my mind, eight (innings) was the minimum. ... You have to take care of your bullpen."
"Bum did what we were looking for," Bochy countered.
Bumgarner is 3-4 with a 2.84 ERA in seven career starts against Pittsburgh.
San Francisco has lost two straight and three of four following a stretch of winning four of five.
"I think we're going to be a good team in the (National League West) division," Bumgarner said. "I'm excited about it, for sure."
Across the diamond, even on a team with impeccable starting pitching this season, Lyles has been a standout for the Pirates.
The 28-year-old, who signed as a free agent in December, won the fifth starter's role despite beginning the season on the injured list and has been sterling in two starts.
April 10 against the Cubs in Chicago, he gave up one run and three hits in six innings, struck out 10 and walked one in a 5-2 win.
"He had every desire to be a starting pitcher, and our opportunity was real," Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle recently told the media. "I know there were other teams that talked to him, there were other opportunities in the bullpen, there may have been a couple others starting. But we were very aggressive, letting him know that this is an opportunity that we want him to try and put it together for both of us."
Lyles split last season between San Diego and Milwaukee, going a combined 3-4 with a 4.11 ERA and making his last 11 appearances out of the Brewers bullpen. Now he is relying more on a curveball, and it's working.
"When I came up I wanted to be like a 60-, 70-percent fastball-type guy," he said. "That's kind of the old mindset of pitchers when I came up. It didn't work. So I made the adjustments a little bit later in my career, but they're paying dividends."
Against the Giants in his career, Lyles is 3-3 with a 5.85 ERA in 19 appearances, seven of them starts.
--Field Level Media