The Giants invested heavily in the 22-year-old Madison Bumgarner despite the fact that he owns just 54 major league starts in his young career.
Bumgarner seeks to pay the organization back with a victory tonight as he tries to even San Francisco's three-game series with the Philadelphia Phillies.
Bumgarner inked a five-year contract extension with the Giants on Monday, a deal that runs through 2017 and also includes options for two seasons after that. Should Bumgarner play out the entire length of the deal, he won't be eligible for free agency until he is 30 years old.
It marks the second extension that San Francisco has handed out to a starter this month. The franchise signed Matt Cain to a five-year, $112.5 million deal in early April.
"Preserving our core pitching for the long term remains a top priority for the Giants and today's extension certainly helps further that goal," Giants senior vice president and general manager Brian Sabean said. "Madison has already proven that he is one of the best left-handed pitchers in the game today and we are confident that he will continue to succeed for many years to come."
Bumgarner certainly looked like a rising ace his last time out. After struggling in a season-opening loss at Arizona on April 7, the 10th overall pick of the 2007 draft took a no-hitter into the sixth inning at Colorado on Thursday and got a win after giving up just one run over 7 1/3 frames. He walked two and struck out a pair.
Bumgarner now makes his home debut after going 8-6 in 17 starts at AT&T Park last season with a 3.12 earned run average. One of those was a tough-luck loss in his only previous start versus the Phillies, a 3-0 loss on Aug. 4 in which he allowed two runs over eight innings with nine strikeouts.
The Giants dropped the opener of this series 5-2 as ace Tim Lincecum's early- season struggles continued. He was touched for five runs on eight hits and one walk in six innings, striking out six while also driving in a run at the plate.
"Right now we've got a small sample size of three starts and I've got about 30 or so left," said Lincecum, who fell to 0-2 with a 10.54 ERA on the season. "Pretty much what I can take from this outing is that the last five or six innings were good, and I'm going to try to feed off of that."
Roy Halladay improved to 3-0 for the Phillies after allowing two runs over eight innings. He escaped a bases-loaded jam in the first with just one run allowed after Philadelphia plated four runs in the top of the frame.
"Any time you get a lead like that where a couple pitches aren't going to cost you, it makes a big difference," said Halladay, who also had an RBI single.
Lance Nix hit a two-run double as part of the four-run first, while both Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence also drove in runs as the Phils opened a 10-game road trip out west with a second straight victory.
Philadelphia will try to win three straight for the first time this season tonight behind Joe Blanton, who makes his second start of 2012.
The right-hander took a loss in relief on April 7, but pitched very well at home on Thursday versus the Marlins. Blanton allowed a run on three hits and one walk over seven innings of the start, earning his first victory since May 9.
Manager Charlie Manuel was happy with the start and said it bodes well for the team's talent-rich rotation.
"It means that our five-hole's better," said Manuel.
The 31-year-old Blanton has made seven career starts versus the Giants and is 2-3 with a 4.73 ERA.
Philadelphia took three of four in San Francisco last season.