Dodgers first baseman Max Muncy launched a 2-1 fastball that caught too much plate out of the park and into the Bay. He was the second batter of Sunday’s matinee and the only black mark on the four-hit, seven-inning gem tossed by Madison Bumgarner (L, 3-6, 3.83 ERA).
But offense from the Giants (26-38) is a rare sighting these days, and yet again it was a no-show in Walker Buehler‘s (W, 7-1, 3.35 ERA) 1-0 shutout before a crowd of 34,098 fans of Northern and Southern California persuasions, respectively.
Bumgarner took exception as Muncy stood in the batters box admiring the towering shot that landed in McCovey Cove and hollered briefly at the Dodgers (45-21) No. 2 hitter. It would be the only moment of drama in the rubber match.
Bumgarner has taken criticism for his aggressive reactions to bat flips and home run poses over his career and of the interaction with Muncy he said:
“He just struck a pose and walked further than I like, that’s fine. If you’re gonna do that—do it. But I’m gonna do what I wanna do.”
The Giants Horse cited Major League Baseball’s recently adopted motto,”Let the Kids Play,” arguing that the sentiment should go both ways. He said:
“I mean, they want to let everybody be themselves, [so] let me be myself. That’s me, you know, I’d just as soon fight than walk or whatever. So you just do your thing, I’ll do mine.”
Muncy was responsible for the most recent ball that got wet at Oracle Park before Sunday, too, when he launched a pitch from former-Giant Chris Stratton into the cove in 2018’s season finale, September 30. The last San Francisco batter to make a splash was Brandon Belt May 15 of last year.
According to Joe Davis of Fox News, Muncy had a retort of his own.
Through seven innings and 86 pitches Bumgarner was efficient and maintained a velocity that many naysayers have argued was waning. He threw 12 or fewer pitches in four of his seven frames, and his fastball hovered around 92 to 93-mph even up until the final batter he faced, Cory Seager, who he induced to fly out.
Manager Bruce Bochy said he thinks Bumgarner has gotten better with each start this season and he said it was a shame they couldn’t get him a win Sunday:
“[Bumgarner] even said it seems like when he gets to May he starts getting in a good rhythm [and] his arm gets stronger. And it’s showing, he’s been throwing the ball very well, but I thought today it was one of his best games. That’s the Madison that we’ve seen for a long time.”
Asked if he agreed that his performance stood out compared with his prior 13 of 2019, Bumgarner said:
“I’ve said all year that I feel good. Everything’s back to full strength. I feel like same guy that I’ve always been.”
Meanwhile San Francisco hitters failed to put a rally together stranding seven runners. Buehler punched out nine Giants and the LA bullpen racked another three K’s.
Bochy said the team continues to wait for someone to step up with that big hit after three-straight starters put together admirable performances but were supported by just four runs total over the weekend. Bochy also noted that the Giants had several chances to cash in, but they were 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position Sunday:
“We just needed to get a hit with runners in scoring position, that’s been missing the last couple days.”
The team is 2-for-27 with runners in scoring position since getaway day at Citi Field Thursday.
Kenley Jansen (S, 19, 2-1, 3.04 ERA) saved the shutout with ease and the Giants were put to bed and handed a series loss.
With the total failure of offense, Sunday afternoon was ultimately more of an exhibition for potential buyers looking to pad their rotation for a post-season run with the pedigree of a man born to pitch in October.
Many have wondered if, after back-to-back injury-truncated seasons, the guy with 102-1/3 innings of post-season experience with an ERA of 2.11 and WHIP of 0.899 in October, who led his team to three Championships, still has it.
The series finale at Oracle Park in which he maintained velocity and control and limited the best team in baseball to one run, seemed a good advertisement to suggest that guy is still in there. Certainly Bumgarner’s fire and passion for the game remain ablaze:
“I can’t speak for everybody else, but that’s how I want to play [and] that’s how I’m going to.”
The Giants will take Monday off before opening a two-game set against the San Diego Padres (33-32) at Oracle Park. Tuesday’s probables for the 6:45 p.m. night game are rookie right-handers Tyler Beede (0-2, 8.15 ERA) and Chris Paddack (4-4, 2.97 ERA).
San Francisco arms have allowed 25 homers in first innings this season, more than any other innin. The next highest tally is the 14 they’ve allowed in their season’s 64 fifth innings thus far. …Brandon Belt was scratched from Sunday’s lineup with gastrointestinal illness.