Bumgarner delivered a sharp retort after Puig crushed an inside fastball to left field for a solo home run in the sixth inning of the Giants’ 6-5 comeback win over the Reds on Sunday.
“He’s a quick study,” Bumgarner said. “It only took him seven years to learn how to hit that pitch.”
Bumgarner and Puig have clashed several times over the years and often fanned the flames of the epic Giants-Dodgers rivalry. The hostilities began during the 2014 season, when Bumgarner took exception to Puig’s bat flip and leisurely trot around the bases following a home run. Later in the year, Bumgarner hit Puig with a pitch, causing the benches to empty at Dodger Stadium.
They had another confrontation in 2016 after Puig attempted to beat out a grounder that was fielded by Bumgarner. After the out was recorded, Bumgarner and Puig exchanged stares, with Bumgarner appearing to say, “Don’t look at me.” Another melee ensued, and the Dodgers later poked fun at the incident by printing T-shirts with the slogan on it.
Puig has faced Bumgarner more than any other pitcher in his career, batting .224 over 49 at-bats. Puig soaked in his triumph over Bumgarner on Sunday, punctuating his home run with a bat flip and pointing to the Reds’ dugout as he prepared to round the bases. He consistently drew boos from the crowd at Oracle Park over the weekend, but he said he didn't mind the icy reception.
"I love to play all the teams in MLB, but when I come here to the Giants and San Francisco, people booing me, I think it’s a God-given blessing, an opportunity to do the best I can more than [at] any other stadiums because people are booing me,” Puig said. “That’s the reason I’ve had a little success when I play the Giants here in San Francisco."
In 45 career games on the road against the Giants, Puig is hitting .299/.361/.477 with five home runs.