Bumgarner hurls 5 strong innings vs. Crew
Rainy weather cut short Tuesday night’s game between the Giants and Brewers, but not before left-hander Madison Bumgarner logged an impressive performance on the mound and at the plate.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz (SF Giants.com). -- Rainy weather cut short Tuesday night’s game between the Giants and Brewers, but not before left-hander Madison Bumgarner logged an impressive performance on the mound and at the plate.
Bumgarner gave up two runs over five innings and delivered an RBI single in a complete game of sorts. Umpires called the game seconds after Bumgarner finished the top of the fifth, giving the Giants a 4-2 win. Bumgarner struck out four, walked none and threw approximately 76 pitches in his fourth Cactus League outing.
“I threw a little extra in between starts this time,” Bumgarner said. “I was kind of wondering if I would notice that, and I didn’t. I felt pretty good the whole time.”
Bumgarner cruised through three perfect innings before yielding three consecutive singles to start the fourth, loading the bases with no outs for the Brewers. Though he showed some frustration after a few borderline calls from home-plate umpire Brian Gorman didn’t go his way, Bumgarner managed to extricate himself from the jam by inducing a pop out in foul territory from Travis Shaw and striking out Mike Moustakas and Eric Thames.
“That kind of changed it,” Bumgarner said. “Instead of just worrying about pitching there, I tried to make it like it was a real situation in the middle of the year. I tried to use that to get ready for the season. You find yourself in those spots more times than you want.”
The lone blemish for Bumgarner came in the fifth, when he surrendered a two-run home run to Tyrone Taylor.
“I thought he threw the ball very well,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “Getting out of that jam there. Tough luck in that inning, and he pitched out of that. We got where we wanted him -- five innings. We had him at 80 pitches today. So it was in that ballpark."
Bumgarner also became the first Giants pitcher to bat in a game this spring. Bumgarner made his hitting debut in the bottom of the third and worked a 3-1 count before lining out to Brewers right-hander Zach Davies. He later came up to bat in the fourth with runners on first and second and drove in a run with a single to center field, helping fuel a four-run inning for the Giants.
“Much harder than BP,” Bumgarner quipped. “Davies moves the ball around pretty good, too.”
Buster Posey caught all five innings on Tuesday and remains largely on schedule as he works his way back from major hip surgery. Bochy did reveal the Giants had planned to have Posey serve as a designated hitter on Sunday, but they decided to back off after the 31-year-old veteran experienced some “general soreness” in his hip area.
“I’ve been happy with the way I’ve bounced back,” Posey said. “There’s some soreness here and there, but overall, I feel like I’ve been responding pretty well.”
Posey has caught only 22 innings in Cactus League play thus far, but Bochy said he feels there’s still enough time to ramp up his workload and prepare him to go a full nine innings on Opening Day. Still, Bochy acknowledged that the Giants will have to monitor Posey early in the season.
“We’re not going to grind him in the early go,” Bochy said. “We’re not going to be able to. And we won’t know how he’s going to respond or bounce back after catching back-to-back nine-inning games yet. That’s yet to be seen. We’re hopeful that we’ll cross that bridge right before the season starts. But you don’t know yet.”
First baseman Brandon Belt collected his second home run of the spring in the fourth inning, launching a long solo shot over the Charro Lodge in right field. Belt is batting .364 (8-for-22) with three RBIs in nine Cactus League games.