Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Bumgarner goes 8 solid as Giants' bats quieted

Left-hander allows three runs, strikes out five, while offense manages just one run
MLB.com @sfgiantsbeat

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants have some thinking to do after squandering Madison Bumgarner's encouraging performance in Friday night's 3-1 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers.

Bumgarner regained his usual form following a historically subpar performance against the Oakland A's in his last start. In typical Bumgarner fashion, he did so with emphasis. He pitched eight innings after working only four against the A's, which ended an 89-game streak in which he lasted at least five innings. After walking a career-high six at Oakland, he issued only one walk to the Brewers and threw 76 strikes in 108 pitches.

View Full Game Coverage

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants have some thinking to do after squandering Madison Bumgarner's encouraging performance in Friday night's 3-1 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers.

Bumgarner regained his usual form following a historically subpar performance against the Oakland A's in his last start. In typical Bumgarner fashion, he did so with emphasis. He pitched eight innings after working only four against the A's, which ended an 89-game streak in which he lasted at least five innings. After walking a career-high six at Oakland, he issued only one walk to the Brewers and threw 76 strikes in 108 pitches.

View Full Game Coverage

"If I have the same line as I did tonight and we win the game, you sleep like a baby," Bumgarner said. "If you lose, you're staring at the ceiling 'til five in the morning. We're here to win games any way we can. I don't care what the final score is, if I get the win, or somebody else does, I don't care. Our only purpose here is to win. When you don't, it's tough, no matter how good or bad you threw."

Bumgarner yielded runs in the sixth through eighth innings, which shouldn't have doomed the Giants if their offense were functioning capably. But they went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position and frustrated themselves one final time when Buster Posey grounded out against Brewers reliever Jeremy Jeffress to leave the bases loaded in the eighth.

Video: MIL@SF: Jeffress induces groundout, leaves bases full

The Giants' fifth loss in six games left them one game below .500 (52-53) and on the fringes of postseason contention. They trail National League West-leading Los Angeles by 6 1/2 games and stand five games behind Arizona for the second Wild Card spot. The Giants are perennially one of the most active dealers around the non-waiver Trade Deadline, which arrives Tuesday. But their twin deficits should prompt them to reconsider whether they attempt to strengthen the roster for the stretch drive, offer their few desirable assets to more legitimate contenders or do anything at all.

Bumgarner has become the subject of trade speculation, as the lone Giant who could bring top talent in return. He insisted that he's not dwelling on this, however.

"I try to keep it simple and just worry about what I can control, and that's baseball," he said. "That stuff, you got to just push it aside. There's nothing we can do about it except show up and win. That's everybody's goal here."

Video: MIL@SF: Bumgarner fans 5 over 8 solid innings of work

Giants manager Bruce Bochy reminded an interrogator that he's only on the periphery of such discussions.

"I don't think about that," Bochy said. "My job is to find a way to get on track and win some ballgames."

That won't happen until the bats awaken. San Francisco entered Friday tied with Detroit as the fourth-lowest scoring team in the Majors during July.

"It's a lineup that should be putting more runs on the board," Bochy said.

During the Giants' preceding series, Bochy praised the Giants for their tireless effort, even after tough defeats. Friday, however, San Francisco lost for the seventh time in its last eight defeats after being tied or leading through six innings. This left Bochy feeling a tad sour.

"I know guys are battling, but we have to compete a little bit harder," he said.

Bumgarner offered assurance that the Giants indeed feel a sense of urgency and have the ability to act upon it.

"I've been there long enough now. I've seen just about everything this game can throw at you," he said. "You just look through the clubhouse. That gives you all the confidence you need. We just got to go out there and do it. It doesn't matter what group of guys we have here. You've seen all sorts of guys come help and teams get on a roll. I feel like we have as good of a chance as anybody to do that."

Video: MIL@SF: Crawford plates Posey with a double to right

SOUND SMART
Until Friday, Bumgarner owned a four-game winning streak against the Brewers. His career record against them is a still-impressive 7-3 with a 2.25 ERA.

HE SAID IT
"Definitely. For sure. We got 50-something games left. Not that many games separate [the Giants from the division and Wild Card leaders], but there's a lot of teams in there. We got to get going." -- Bumgarner, on the Giants' sense of urgency

UP NEXT
Johnny Cueto has his health but not his stuff. Cueto, who avoided Tommy John surgery but has lost some velocity, will try to regain some of his form Saturday when the Giants oppose Milwaukee in a 6:05 p.m. PT rematch. Having allowed three home runs to the A's in his last start, Cueto might be a trifle wary of the Brewers, who are tied for third among NL clubs in homers. Left-hander Jhoulys Chacin will start for Milwaukee.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

San Francisco Giants, Madison Bumgarner