SAN FRANCISCO -- Madison Bumgarner is lined up to start Friday in San Diego, so he'll go three of six games for the Giants over a two-week stretch before and after the All-Star break. Manager Bruce Bochy hinted earlier this week that he might shift the rotation a bit, but he said Sunday that he's still leaning toward keeping Bumgarner and Johnny Cueto in line. He doesn't feel the need to move Cueto to the three-spot to spread out two guys who are giving the bullpen a break.
"I'd just as soon have them one-two, that's kind of nice," he said. "Now you're getting two days where (relievers) get a break, and sometimes that's better."
Bochy said the only way that changes is if Cueto needs an extra day after pitching in the All-Star Game. At this point, it's hard to picture him not starting and throwing a couple innings. Clayton Kershaw was the early lock but he got hurt. Noah Syndergaard was probably the favorite up until yesterday because his manager makes the call, but he got hurt.
"I've got to think (Cueto) is the frontrunner," Bochy said. "That's not being biased, that's looking at the numbers. I don't know what Terry (Collins) is going to do, but if you look at the numbers they speak for themselves."
Collins knows all about Cueto. He watched from the other side in the World Series last year.
--- Matt Cain gave up one hit in his rehab start for Sacramento last night and he's scheduled to pitch for San Jose on Friday. If that goes well, Cain could return to the Giants when they're in Boston on the next trip. Asked if others -- Hunter Pence, Matt Duffy, Kelby Tomlinson, Joe Panik -- will return on the trip, Bochy said it'll be "close."
The guess here is that at least a couple of those four are purposely held back until the Giants return home July 25. Panik might be the closest to returning, because once his concussion symptoms clear he'll be back in the lineup pretty quickly. He has made progress over the last two days and took grounders again today.
Duffy, on the other hand, is a little sore after running on an anti-gravity treadmill that limits the weight put on his Achilles. He said he feels fine when fielding and swinging a bat, but running has been an issue. He's not having setbacks, he's just not fully comfortable.
The Giants are going to be very, very careful with Duffy. An Achilles rupture is a devastating injury, so they'll hold Duffy back until all the inflammation is gone.
Tomlinson has options and the Giants are getting decent work from their fill-in infielders, so there's no need to rush him back.
--- If you missed it last night, the Giants got heated. Then they got revenge.
--- And from the off day, a recap of June. There was no swoon.