Righetti not surprised by lefty aces' feat

Righetti not surprised by lefty aces' feat

SAN DIEGO -- Maybe it was just a coincidence. Or perhaps it reflected an ongoing advance in effective pitching.

Tuesday, Madison Bumgarner and Clayton Kershaw each struck out 11 and walked none against the Padres and Angels, respectively. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it marked the first time since 1893 that pitchers from both the Giants and Dodgers struck out that many hitters without issuing a walk on the same day.

Though the numbers might have been startling, the talent behind them wasn't, at least in the view of Giants pitching coach Dave Righetti.

"You know the game is always trending. There's always something going on," said Righetti, who's in his 17th year on the Giants' coaching staff. "You get guys who are really on top of their game in their mid- to late-20s. I guess you see more of that. ... The past couple of years, teams are sticking with those guys to start instead of putting them in the bullpen, and they're coming to the big leagues with great stuff and a third pitch."

Addressing Bumgarner and Kershaw specifically, Righetti pointed out they're both left-handers who possess the knack of complementing their hard stuff with curveballs. Righetti cited San Diego's Drew Pomeranz, who started against the Giants on Wednesday, and Oakland's Rich Hill as other examples of lefties with similar skills.

Righetti gestured toward the whirring noise of an unseen pitching machine and said, "I guarantee you it's not throwing curveballs. The curveball has gone by the wayside. But if more and more guys have the ability to throw a high fastball and curveballs, they're going to have a lot of strikeouts. Maybe there's a trend [toward] those guys, too."

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.