SAN FRANCISCO -- The last time Madison Bumgarner took the mound at Oracle Park, there was no guarantee he'd return to make another start for the Giants. The Trade Deadline loomed, and Bumgarner's pedigree and expiring contract.made him a frequent subject of speculation.
A July surge changed the narrative, thrusting the Giants back into contention and compelling the club's decision-makers to hold on to their franchise pitcher. The dust settled, Bumgarner made his first post-Deadline home start Thursday and didn't disappoint, firing seven innings of one-hit ball to help the Giants snap a four-game losing streak with a 5-0 series-opening win over the Phillies.
Bumgarner carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning before yielding a one-out single to pinch-hitter Cesar Hernandez. The only other Phillies hitter to reach base against him was Rhys Hoskins, who drew a one-out walk in the fourth. Bumgarner single-handedly eclipsed Philadelphia’s offensive output over that span, reaching base three times on a single and two walks.
“He did it all tonight,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “It’s hard to have a better game than what he did. We needed it because we were facing a really good pitcher in [Phillies starter Aaron] Nola. It was good to get a win here. It was rough last series [against the Nationals], so it was a good bounce-back tonight.”
Mike Yastrzemski homered and drove in three runs for the Giants, who have now won each of Bumgarner’s last five outings and eight of his last nine. Yastrzemski delivered a two-run double to stake the Giants to a 3-0 lead in the third and added a 403-foot solo shot to right-center field in the seventh to cap the club’s scoring. It was Yastrzemski’s 11th homer of the season, matching his grandfather, Carl, who also hit 11 during his rookie season with the Red Sox in 1961.
“He was a rookie when he was 21,” Yastrzemski said. “I’m 28, so it’s a little different feat. I would more compare my 28-year numbers to his 28-year numbers, but I think his would be a little better.”
Bumgarner’s gem came on the heels of a rough outing at Coors Field on Saturday, when he allowed five runs over five innings against the Rockies. He did not factor into the decision after the Giants rallied to win, but he expressed dissatisfaction with his performance afterward and put in extra work on flat ground in between starts to get back on track.
“Just to have a bad game, result-wise, it wouldn’t have been that big of a deal,” Bumgarner said. “But I just didn’t feel like I could put the ball where I wanted to very good that day, so I ended up just putting a little extra work in each day. I don’t want to do it all the time, but you can get by with it here and there.”
Bumgarner cruised against the Phillies, needing only 85 pitches to get through seven innings. Aware of Bumgarner’s increased workload this week, Bochy decided to pull the 30-year-old left-hander from the game at that point and turn it over to his fresh bullpen. Trevor Gott and Will Smith followed with two innings to secure the Giants’ fifth shutout of the season.
“With Bum, I just felt good about him going tonight because he’s so good at figuring things out when it doesn’t go well,” Bochy said. “He’s pretty hard on himself. That’s why he put a lot of work in in between starts to get back to where he needs to be.
“He’s never complacent. He’s always trying to be the best that he can be. His work ethic, he’s religious with it. He never backs off, and that’s what makes him so good.”
Bochy said he would not have removed Bumgarner after seven innings if Hernandez hadn’t broken up the no-hit bid. The chance for history wasn’t lost on Bumgarner, either.
“I never believe when guys say they don’t know,” Bumgarner said. “I also don’t care about it. I just want to win the game.”