Giants land two spots on All-Star roster
The Giants’ rough June may have cost them a couple of roster spots for the 2014 All-Star Game.
The nod is the third for Pence (2009 and 2011 with Astros) and the second consecutive for Bumgarner.
Pence has put together a solid first half. He’s batting .301 (106-for-352) with 11 homers, but the Giants have enjoyed his .360 OBP in the two-spot for a majority of the season.
Over the last week before voting ended, Pence batted .393 (11-for-28) with six runs scored. He’s been the most consistent hitter on the team to this point. Pence will serve as a reserve in Minneapolis July 15.
Bumgarner (9-6, 3.09 ERA) leads the Giants in strikeouts (120) and is 10th in the league in that category.
After putting Father Time in a headlock for a majority of the first half, Tim Hudson‘s June might have lost him a ticket to Minneapolis.
Hudson (7-5, 2.53 ERA) allowed just 15 earned runs for 70-1/3 innings in the month’s of April and May. He came back to earth in June and surrendered 16 earned runs in 37-1/3 innings.
Jean Machi had a bullpen spot all but sewn up, but then the Cincinnati Reds came into town at the end of June and bumped up his mind-boggling 0.29 ERA (30-1/3 innings) to 1.36. Saturday’s two-run blown save jacked it up to 1.77.
Angel Pagan, who was batting .307 (74-for-241) with 11 stolen bases in the leadoff spot before landing on the 15-day DL with a bulging disk, will be ineligible for the All-Star Game. He hasn’t played since June 14.
Buster Posey has put together a decent season thus far. He’s batting .286 (81-for-283) with 41 RBIs, but the National League catching corps is just too talented this year. The Cardinals’ Yadier Molina will get the start, with Jonathan Lucroy and Devin Mesoraco backing him up.
If Tim Lincecum (8-5, 3.91 ERA) had just faced the Padres in the first half, he’d be an All-Star for sure. He has two wins in two appearances, including a no-hitter June 25 in AT&T Park against San Diego.
Aside from that, he’s been a fairly average pitcher.
Third baseman Pablo Sandoval has been too streaky of a hitter this year. By the end of April, he was batting a tumultuous .177 (17-for-96).
Sandoval was red-hot in May and June and hit .310 (62-for-200) to boost his average up to .267. He’s started July in a 2-for-14 slump and is batting .261 overall with 10 home runs and 36 RBIs.
The National League’s starting third baseman, Aramis Ramirez, is batting .287 (65-for-227) with 11 home runs and 41 RBIs.
NL West foes that will be at Target Field are starters Arizona first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, Colorado shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig. Dodgers Shortstop Dee Gordon and Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon will be reserves.
The Giants’ Bay Area neighbors had seven players selected to the American League All-Star squad.
Jeff Samardzija was elected to represent the Cubs in the National League, but is now ineligible because of his recent trade to the Athletics.
There are a combined 26 first-time all-stars so far this year. There’s just one more spot allotted on each squad. From now till 1 p.m. Thursday, fans can vote from a pool of five players from each league to take the final spot.
No Giants are eligible from the National League group.
The 85th All-Star Game will take place at 7 p.m. on July 15.