Bumgarner struggles; ninth-inning rally cut short
Giants furious close play at third with no outs not overturned by replay
LOS ANGELES -- Madison Bumgarner likely made his final start against the Dodgers as a Giant on Thursday night, but the game will probably be remembered more for a controversial replay decision that ultimately stymied a ninth-inning rally and led to a 9-8 loss at Dodger Stadium.
The Giants entered the ninth trailing, 9-4, but they managed to stage an improbable rally, putting six consecutive runners on base against Dodgers relievers Josh Sborz and Kenley Jansen to score four runs and pull within one run.
With runners on first and second and no outs, Tyler Austin laid down a bunt to try and advance Stephen Vogt and Joe Panik. First baseman Cody Bellinger came charging in and quickly fired to third base to nab Vogt for the first out of the inning. The Giants challenged the call after replay appeared to show that Vogt slid into the bag ahead of the throw, but the call on the field stood following a review.
"I went straight into the bag," Vogt said. "I beat the throw. I won't comment further, but I know I beat the throw."
Had the call been overturned, the Giants would have had the bases loaded with no outs. Instead, Buster Posey came up to the plate with runners on first and second and one out. He lined out to center field, and Jansen then retired Brandon Belt on a flyout to end the game, sealing a series loss for the Giants.
"I'd like to know what they're looking at in New York, because I saw it and I don't get it," said manager Bruce Bochy, who was visibly upset after the game. "I wish they could show me what they saw, because from what we saw, and I looked at it right after the game, he was safe at third."
Posey said he believes there should be more transparency from replay officials and suggested adding more cameras at ballparks to ensure that umpires have enough angles to make conclusive calls on all contested plays.
"There's no accountability for those guys," Posey said. "Anything that's close, they can just say that it's inconclusive. That seems to be the trend."
Bumgarner, for his part, held himself accountable for his worst career start against the Dodgers. The 29-year-old left-hander allowed six runs on 10 hits over 3 2/3 innings in his shortest outing of the season.
"It's extremely frustrating, especially the way our guys played tonight," Bumgarner said. "To come back and score that many runs against them and have a chance to win, that's tough."
Max Muncy, who drew Bumgarner's ire by briefly admiring his long home run into McCovey Cove in their last meeting on June 9, returned to once again deliver the first blow against the longtime Giants ace. Batting cleanup, Muncy lined an RBI single to right field to put the Dodgers on the board in the first inning. Aquatic-themed songs accompanied the at-bat, with organist Dieter Ruehle playing "Under the Sea," "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay" and "Smoke on the Water."
Bumgarner came back to post two scoreless innings before unraveling in the fourth. He surrendered four consecutive hits to start the inning, including a pair of two-run home runs by Kyle Garlick and Austin Barnes that sank the Giants into a 5-0 hole. The Dodgers went on to load the bases on three straight singles against Bumgarner, who retired Muncy on a flyout but couldn't escape the inning after yielding a two-out RBI single to Chris Taylor.
The Giants-Dodgers rivalry is likely to lose one of its central protagonists soon. The clubs won't face each other again until September, and Bumgarner may no longer be pitching for the Giants by then. An impending free agent, Bumgarner will be one of the most prominent starters available at the July 31 Trade Deadline, and he's aware of his uncertain future with the club.
"I know it could be [the last start against the Dodgers for the Giants]," Bumgarner said. "Not that it had anything to do with the results. Mentally, I was in the same place that I always am. It's not the first bad game I've had against these guys or anybody else. It never gets any easier to swallow."