Bumgarner dazzles with near-perfect game
Giants ace allows single with two outs in eighth for only runner in shutout
SAN FRANCISCO -- For 7 2/3 innings of the Giants' 8-0 win over the Padres on Saturday night, Madison Bumgarner was flawless. But with one swing, Melvin Upton Jr. turned a potentially historic performance into just another dominant outing from one of the game's best pitchers.
Upton, who entered his at-bat in the eighth inning 0-for-10 with six strikeouts against Bumgarner, laced a fastball back up the box to break up the left-hander's perfect game.
"I'm sure he's disappointed, but he didn't show it," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "After that hit, he threw the ball great."
Bumgarner retired the last four batters he faced to finish off his 10th career complete game (fourth this season) and fifth career shutout. He picked up his 18th win of the season, matching his career high from 2014.
"The goal is to go out there and win games and that's it," Bumgarner said. "But at the same time, you like to be the guy who starts the game and also finishes it."
The Giants' ace worked the corners of the strike zone with absolute precision until the 99th pitch he threw caught the heart of the plate, allowing Upton to drive the ball through the middle of the infield and become the Padres' first man to reach base.
After Kelby Tomlinson leaped to snag a Derek Norris line drive in the seventh inning and Ehire Adrianza ranged to his right to rob Justin Upton of a hit for the first out of the eighth, perfection seemed imminent.
"The night seemed pretty special from early on," said Brandon Belt, who clubbed his career-high 18th home run.
However, Upton Jr. entered as a pinch-hitter for reliever Frank Garces and ensured Bumgarner would not add another page to his personal record book.
"Seeing how locked in he was early, probably after four or five innings, it felt like there was a chance," Buster Posey said. "Unfortunately, it just didn't work out."
The reigning World Series MVP finished the night with nine strikeouts and didn't throw more than 18 pitches in any inning.
Bumgarner earned his seventh straight victory at AT&T Park and is 7-0 with a 1.34 ERA in his last eight home starts.
"What an incredible performance," Bochy said. "We're all a little disappointed, but yet, you witnessed just a beautiful game he threw tonight."