The return of “Mad Bum.”
Giants legend, world series hero, long-time ace, Madison Bumgarner made his return to Oracle Park Saturday night as a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
A strong performance from the Giants bullpen (6-1/3 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BBs, 6 Ks), paired with big hits from Evan Longoria (1-for-4 HR, RBI), Darin Ruf (1-for-1, HR, RBI), and Mauricio Dubon (2-for-4, 3B, RBI) propelled the Giants to a 4-3 victory.
The San Francisco Giants (19-21) sent veteran righty Trevor Cahill (ND, 2-2/3 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BBs, 2 Ks) to the mound to face off against Bumgarner (L, 4 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 Ks) and the D-Backs (15-25) in game two of a four-game series.
Cahill ran into some early trouble in the first inning. Kole Calhoun walked and advanced to second on a wild pitch. A groundout advanced Calhoun to third, before coming around to score on a sac-fly to right. D-Backs take a 1-0 lead.
Bumgarner took to the mound for his first inning of work against his former team. In typical Bumgarner fashion, a 1-2-3 inning.
A quicker inning for Cahill in the top of the second, surrendering just a walk and a stolen base.
The welcome back party ended for Bumgarner in the bottom of the second, when Longoria launched a solo home run off his former teammate. Giants tie it up at 1-1.
After the game, Longoria discussed facing Bumgarner, and reminisced on his work ethic as a pitcher:
“It’s always strange when you face somebody who you played with for multiple years. Obviously I have a ton of respect for Madison [Bumgarner], I loved watching him pitch as a teammate. I loved his competitive spirit, watching his drive to be better every time he went out there. It’s always different when you face a guy on the other side, but I think at the end of the day he’s going out there, trying to beat us, and the same thing from our side.”
Bumgarner has struggled all season, especially with the long ball. Ruf got ahold of one for a solo home run of his own. The Giants went back-to-back off Bumgarner in the second.
Cahill surrendered a leadoff single to Carson Kelly in the top of the third inning. Three batters later, a two-out double from Christian Walker gave the D-Backs runners at second and third. Cahill came out of the game surprisingly quickly Saturday night.
Giants manager Gabe Kapler discussed why Cahill left the game when he did, and what the plan was for him initially:
“We were going to monitor his hip closely during that outing. We knew it was going to be a shorter outing. We didn’t necessarily anticipate it being that short, he wasn’t especially crisp and looked a bit more like the version of Trevor Cahill later in his last start. Just out of precaution, and understanding that we were going to go to our bullpen somewhere around 50 pitches, it felt like the right time to get Caleb [Baragar] in there, and he did a nice job for us.”
Caleb Baragar replaced Cahill and closed the door on the third inning.
Wilmer Flores roped a double down the left-field line with two outs in the bottom of the third. That was all for the Giants in that half inning.
Fast forward to the top of the fifth inning. Sam Coonrod replaced Baragar in relief.
Kapler discussed the Giants aggressive use of their bullpen Saturday night, and how their win-now mindset impacts their upcoming games:
“I think we’ll be looking to win tonight’s game, and figuring out tomorrow, tomorrow. Not that we don’t have to be cognizant of the upcoming games, but we don’t have to be cognizant of how we’ll be performing a week to ten days from now. Certainly, every game is big at this point, we’ll start to treat them with that level of urgency, and you’re seeing us manage the games a little more aggressively right now.”
Bumgarner’s night was finished after just four innings of work.
Bart discussed facing Bumgarner earlier in the game, somebody whom he could have been catching this season if the Giants had re-signed him:
“It was weird, it was a little uncomfortable. That guy has done what he’s done for so long, and he’s obviously really effective. It would have been interesting to face him when he threw crazy hard, it would have been even more uncomfortable. But it was pretty cool. I have a lot of respect for him, and I wish the best for him.”
Triples for everyone in the sixth. Dubon followed Bart’s triple with a triple of his own, scoring Bart from third. Giants take a 4-1 lead heading into the seventh.
Tyler Rogers on for the top of the eighth inning. He surrendered walks to Calhoun and David Peralta. Eduardo Escobar roped a base hit against the Giants shift, scoring Calhoun from second. Giants lead trimmed to 4-3.
Daniel Robertson walked with one out in the bottom of the eighth inning. Bart followed with a single to center. No insurance runs for the Giants heading into the ninth, as their eighth-inning rally came to an end.
Tony Watson took over in the top of the ninth inning, holding onto a one-run lead.
A clean, crisp 1-2-3 inning for Watson sealed a game two victory for the Giants.