Bruce Bochy called Chad Gaudin “a question mark” before Sunday’s loss to Miami. Gaudin is slated to start game two of a three-game set at Chavez Ravine against the Dodgers beginning tomorrow. Bochy also hinted Fresno Grizzlies lefty Mike Kickham could be heading to Los Angeles to make a spot-start if need be.
If that’s the case, Kickham would not only be on perfect rest when Tuesday’s void needs filled, but is conveniently coming off a strong outing in Reno against the Aces on Thursday night.
Kickham had his best showing since returning to Fresno after a rough major league debut in Oakland on May 29. He held the Aces to just one run in seven-plus innings of work.
7.2 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K
He was spotting his fastball well with decent movement away from righties and had great downward action on his changeup. The fastball velocity was similar to what Giants fans saw on the television screens last month against the Athletics, running anywhere from 90 to 93 mph on the gun.
I asked him on Tuesday what he has specifically been working on to improve.
“Fastball command and just a couple mechanical things like keeping my front side closed,” Kickham said. “That’s the biggest thing for me. When my front side starts flying open I start missing arm-side, falling behind and leaving the ball up.”
The Missouri native seemed to succeed in working on those things Thursday night, spotting his fastball well and throwing 65 of his 102 pitches for strikes.
“I was grateful for the opportunity,” Kickham said of his debut. “It didn’t go as well as I’d hoped but it was a great experience overall and I hope to get another one before the season is over.
“I’ll get my work here in Fresno and try to get back up there,” he said.
With question marks in play, that chance might be very soon.