PHOENIX – The Giants know the Madison Bumgarner who popped up at Chase Field all too well.
He was efficient and skilled for seven strong innings in a 3-1 win. The performance was reminiscent of the veteran’s days in San Francisco when he became a legend, even if, as he later admitted, it still feels strange facing his former team.
“I don’t know, it just felt weird,” said Bumgarner after the game. “I really don’t know what else to say about it. It is strange.”
What is certain is that the D-Backs, who signed the left-hander on a five-year deal in 2019, will need the veteran to continue pitching well this season and in the future if the club expects to survive in the competitive National League West.
Tuesday was a good start again. The D-Backs want more.
“Tonight was bang night,” said Torey Lovullo, manager of D-Backs. “We won this game because of Madison Bumgarner.”
Bumgarner gave up just one run out of six hits on Tuesday. He turned out four and went no dough. The secret of his success was really no secret. During the post-game interview, the pitcher was asked what worked for him on the hill.
“Mostly everything,” quipped Bumgarner. “We moved the ball well, threw all four fields and everything was pretty good. The order was good, that is the main thing. “
Bumgarner is healthy and on a roll. He allowed only two runs in seven innings against the Rangers in his previous start and has served at least five innings in the four starts since he was dropped from a six-week stint on the injured list because of a left shoulder inflammation.
“He’s struggled with some injuries and he worked hard to get through them and it’s nice to see him in a good position now,” said Lovullo. “And I know there has been some level of frustration with not staying healthy, but I’m going to take it tonight.”
Bumgarner will take it too.
“I just want to do everything I can to help this team win,” he said. “It was definitely more than tough this year, but that’s only part of it. I look forward to doing everything in my power to make this process as quick and smooth as possible, to try to change things here. “
Bumgarner has been around long enough to know he can’t do it alone. He had help on Tuesday.
D-Back’s first baseman Christian Walker led the second inning with a single-off Giants starter Johnny Cueto, scoring 1-0 in when Nick Ahmed followed with a double, his 19th of the season, to the D-Backs Bring leadership. Bumgarner then went to six fields to set the stage for one of the most unusual games in baseball.
After the first pitch for Asdrúbal Cabrera, home plate referee Chris Guccione called Giants catcher Curt Casali about a mistake after the catcher took off his mask and stopped the ball. Ahmed and Bumgarner advanced to the nearest base. Cabrera followed with a double that hit both to put the D-backs 3-0 ahead.
“The home plate referee got it right. I thought he did a good job, “said Lovullo. “The catcher clearly dragged the ball back with his mask on and you can’t use it.”
The inning changed the course of the game, and Bumgarner took the lead stick. He was relieved to start eighth place by Tyler Gilbert, who made his major league debut. The rookie went on to hit two of the three bats he faced in a goalless inning.
Tyler Clippard took a goalless ninth place.
“It couldn’t have been a better night for us on the hill,” said Lovullo. “It worked very well on the offensive. We got those three runs and managed to get up. Our pitchers really made this evening possible. “