Injuries to 40% of their rotation have forced the Giants to shuffle their starting pitchers, and on Sunday manager Bruce Bochy officially named Ty Blach the opening day starter for San Francisco on Thursday against the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium.
It’s official. Ty Blach will pitch the opener for Giants.— John Shea (@JohnSheaHey) March 25, 2018
Blach's wife and parents are flying out to watch him start Thursday. His reaction: "Obviously the circumstances are tough losing Bum but it's an honor to be able to get that nod and go out there and give everything I've got and go get them."— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) March 25, 2018
Madison Bumgarner broke his pinkie on a comebacker on Friday and will miss several weeks after undergoing surgery. He was the scheduled opening day starter for the Giants, who will also start the season without Jeff Samardzija, who has a strained pectoral muscle.
“To lose a player this late, it’s a big blow,” manager Dave Roberts said. “We lost our starting third baseman and no one is going to feel sorry for us. Our guys are ready, and I’m more focused on our team.”
Blach, 27, has pitched parts of the two seasons in the majors with the Giants. The left-hander has a 2.23 ERA against the Dodgers in 36⅓ innings, including eight shutout innings in a win over Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers in the penultimate game of the 2016 regular season as the Giants were inching toward a wild card berth.
Blach’s ERA against everyone else is 4.99, in 144⅓ innings.
Kershaw has a 1.60 career ERA against the Giants in 41 games, including 40 starts, with 307 strikeouts and 44 walks in 297⅓ innings.
Thursday’s regular season opener is a 4 p.m. PT start and will be televised exclusively by ESPN.