SAN FRANCISCO -- Madison Bumgarner isn't chasing Barry Bonds' all-time home run record, but the Giants left-hander is rising on a couple of distinct slugging charts nonetheless.Bumgarner opened the scoring in the Los Angeles Dodgers' 3-2, 10-inning victory Saturday over the Giants with his first homer of the season and
SAN FRANCISCO -- Madison Bumgarner isn't chasing Barry Bonds' all-time home run record, but the Giants left-hander is rising on a couple of distinct slugging charts nonetheless.
Bumgarner opened the scoring in the Los Angeles Dodgers' 3-2, 10-inning victory Saturday over the Giants with his first homer of the season and second lifetime off Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw. Considerng that he clobbered five homers last year and four in 2014, it's tempting to assume he'll add to his total before this season is done.
Bumgarner's long ball was the 12th of his career, tying him with ex-National Leaguer Yovani Gallardo of Baltimore for the most among active pitchers.
Bumgarner broke a tie for fifth place with Mickey Welch on the Giants' all-time list for home runs by pitchers. Johnny Antonelli is the franchise leader with 15.
Moreover, Bumgarner's second career homer off Kershaw duplicated the one he hit off the three-time NL Cy Young Award winner last May 21. Bumgarner joined a select group of 15 players who have homered off Kershaw at least twice. This list includes Most Valuable Player-level performers (Buster Posey, Troy Tulowitzki, Paul Goldschmidt, Joey Votto) and legitimate sluggers (Adam Dunn, Alfonso Soriano).
Askwd whether homering off a pitcher of Kershaw's excellence gave him a special thrill, Bumgarner said, "It does, but my job is to go out and pitch." Bumgarner upheld that obligation, striking out eight in six innings while yielding one run and six hits.
"Any time you give up a home run to the pitcher, it doesn't feel good," Kershaw said. "It's supposed to be the easiest out you have. He's a little different, obviously. He's a pretty solid hitter. You don't want to give up a hit to a pitcher, let alone a home run."
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.