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Giants win 6th straight in 16-inning walk off

Bumgarner allows 1 run in 9 innings; SF finds itself in thick of WC race
@mi_guardado
July 19, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO -- Even after completing nine innings for the Giants, Madison Bumgarner was ready to keep going. “He lobbied, trust me,” manager Bruce Bochy said, smiling. “He’s still mad at me for not letting him go out there in the 10th.” “Usually, if I really want to, I can

SAN FRANCISCO -- Even after completing nine innings for the Giants, Madison Bumgarner was ready to keep going.

“He lobbied, trust me,” manager Bruce Bochy said, smiling. “He’s still mad at me for not letting him go out there in the 10th.”

“Usually, if I really want to, I can get my way with him,” Bumgarner said. “But he wasn’t having it today."

Box score

If Bochy had known Thursday night’s series opener against the Mets would morph into a 4 hour, 47 minute marathon, perhaps he would have reconsidered. It still ended up working out for the Giants, who rode a brilliant performance from Bumgarner and Donovan Solano’s walk-off single to a dramatic 3-2 win over the Mets in 16 innings at Oracle Park.

Bumgarner allowed just one run on five hits and struck out six while throwing 94 pitches. It marked Bumgarner’s first nine-inning outing since the 2016 National League Wild Card Game, when he shut out the Mets to carry the Giants into the next round.

Over his last five starts, the 29-year-old left-hander has logged a 1.55 ERA with 34 strikeouts over 29 innings, a timely surge that should put him on the radar of most contending teams looking to bolster their rotations ahead of the Trade Deadline. But the Giants might not be so eager to move him now given their own ascendance.

After winning six in a row and 13 of their last 15 games, the Giants suddenly find themselves in the thick of the National League Wild Card race and only one game below .500 (48-49) for the first time since April 1.

Earlier this month, president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi remained noncommittal in assessing the Giants' status ahead of the July 31 Trade Deadline, saying the club's level of competitiveness would influence his eventual course of action.

"If we continue to play well over these next couple weeks then some of the narratives that are out there about what we might do it at the Trade Deadline are probably going to conflict with that goal to keep pushing on a season where we still hope to accomplish some things," Zaidi said.

No Giant currently embodies that changing paradigm better than Bumgarner. For most of the season, the overriding expectation had been that the Giants would trade Bumgarner, an impending free agent who could be one of their best opportunities to bring impact prospects back to an organization in search of an infusion of talent.

The circumstances are a bit different now, so much so that Bumgarner quickly shut down a question about the trade speculation that has hovered around him in recent weeks.

“I don’t [care],” said Bumgarner, who received a standing ovation from the crowd after completing his outing. “I’m here to win games for this team, and that’s what we’re doing.”

If the Giants opt to keep Bumgarner amid another push for the postseason, they could extend him a qualifying offer at the end of the year. If Bumgarner were to decline it and sign elsewhere as a free agent, the Giants would receive Draft-pick compensation. Either way, Thursday’s performance served as a reminder of Bumgarner’s enduring talent and his ability to impact the game on the mound.

“He was on,” Mets first baseman Pete Alonso said. “He's really good. He's an ace for a reason."

Entering Thursday, FanGraphs pegged the Giants’ playoff odds at 3.3 percent, but Bumgarner said he believes the club has the talent to make a serious run at a postseason berth. He also made it clear he wants to be a part of it.

“I’m trying to win games for the Giants,” Bumgarner said. “We’re trying to get into the postseason and we’re making a push. We’re coming.

“We’ve got a lot of veterans, a lot of guys that have been there before. If we manage to keep this going and sneak in, I don’t think anybody is going to want to match up against us.”

Maria Guardado covers the Giants for MLB.com. She previously covered the Angels from 2017-18. Follow her on Twitter.