Madison Bumgarner faced his old team again on Tuesday night. Or maybe it is better to say he faced his old uniform. Buster Posey was out of the San Francisco Giants lineup. So were Brandon Crawford and Brandon Belt, who is on the injured list.

There were a few old teammates, but no members of the Giants’ old championship core. For Bumgarner, that did not make the night feel a whole lot more normal, but it also did not seem to hurt when it came to his results.

Bumgarner was terrific, firing seven innings of one-run ball in a 3-1 victory at Chase Field. He has made four starts since returning last month from a shoulder issue. He has allowed one earned run in three of them and two runs in the other, posting a 1.80 ERA in 25 innings.

Though Bumgarner pitched against the Giants once last season, he said it was still weird to face them again, even with the familiar faces out of the lineup.

“It’s a strange feeling,” said Bumgarner, who spent 11 seasons in San Francisco. “Regardless of if they’re in the lineup or not. Just the uniform, the team, the organization, whatever. It’s just — it’s a strange feeling.”

Bumgarner had a few things go his way on the evening, but he also did not get himself into much trouble. He walked only one and did not hit a batter. He threw strikes with 68 of his 99 pitches. He retired the leadoff batter in each of his seven innings.

He saved himself a run in the first when he redirected a line drive back through the box that second baseman Josh VanMeter was able to turn into an out. He had a line drive off Thairo Estrada’s bat in the fourth turn into a double play rather than a run-scoring single.

And he benefited from one of the better plays of the year by a Diamondbacks defender, when right fielder Kole Calhoun made an incredible diving catch to snare a Kris Bryant foul ball to end the fifth inning.

“We were moving the ball around good, throwing all four pitches,” Bumgarner said. “Everything was pretty good tonight. Command was good. That’s the main thing.”

Said Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo: “I know he’s battled some injuries and has worked hard to get through those. It’s nice to see him in a good space right now. I know there’s been a certain degree of frustration with not being able to stay healthy. I’ll take tonight and keep moving forward with him. He’s been throwing the ball well since he’s been back with us.”

Making his first start since the trade deadline, Bumgarner was asked about the club’s direction, which has shifted drastically since he received a five-year, $85 million deal in December 2019. He did not seem to have a problem with it.

“Well, I wouldn’t have a choice with that in the first place,” he said, when asked if he would have any objections to going through a rebuild. “Whatever I can do to help, that’s what I want to do. I’m not trying to — whatever I can do. That’s it. It’s as simple as that, really.”

Left-hander Tyler Gilbert made his major league debut in impressive fashion, working the eighth inning of a 3-1 game and retiring the side in order, getting three noted lefty killers in Austin Slater, Bryant and Darin Ruf.

The Diamondbacks managed just one hit in 11 chances with a runner in scoring position, but they made their three-run second inning against the Giants’ Johnny Cueto stand. They improved to 3-46 in games in which they score three or fewer runs.

Follow Nick Piecoro’s coverage all season. Get unlimited digital access today for only $1 a week. Special introductory offer for new subscribers only.

Reach Piecoro at (602) 444-8680 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @nickpiecoro.



Source link