We have a very good pitching staff here with the Giants. People got to see it last year during the season and again during the playoffs.
I think we opened up a lot of eyes. We were a young team on the whole, but we were particularly young on our staff and in our rotation, specifically. I think a lot of people didn't think we would do well in the playoffs because of our youth, and some didn't think we had the mentality to pitch in the playoffs. But we showed everyone that we could do it. Now, it is on everybody's mind that our team is good to go.
Most of the staff is back. With the starters, we are led by Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain. Then you have Barry Zito and Madison Bumgarner, and we are backed up by a real good bullpen, the best bullpen in the league last year.
We have so many guys who can throw 200 innings, and that means so much to the team. At the top of our rotation, Lincecum really helps set the tone for us. He puts it all out there; he gives 100 percent. As a whole, that is how we look to do it. I think we have the best staff in baseball right now.
This is my fourth full year, and each day I learn something new. I do a lot of that learning by watching other pitchers. I watch each guy closely. Since I have gotten to the big leagues, I have just been learning and learning and learning. That has helped me to improve as a pitcher, and now I am a better pitcher.
This year, I am pitching behind Lincecum and ahead of Cain. The manager makes that decision, and that shows that he has confidence in me. It makes them think that I can win 15 games or more and give this club a good season. I'm proud that the team thinks of me like that. Hopefully, I go out there and deliver those 200-plus innings.
It also will be important for our starters to bring the same mentality from a year ago. That mentality comes with the goal of going out there and winning games. I think we should take it out by out and inning by inning. That can help lead us to the playoffs again.
I have a lot of confidence in our staff. What we did in the World Series last year proved a lot. People talk about the lineup and the pitching that Philadelphia has this year, but when you get out there on the field, you don't know who is going to win.
Left-hander Jonathan Sanchez won 13 games and struck out 205 batters last year, the eighth most in the National League. The Giants also won all three postseason games Sanchez started, and they won their first World Series title since moving out west.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.