Bumgarner all business, begins march toward goal

Seeking another World Series title, Giants ace makes spring debut Friday

March 4th, 2016

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Giants' exhibition game Friday against the Reds in Goodyear, Ariz., will be a stepping stone for Madison Bumgarner and Trevor Brown.

Bumgarner, making his spring debut, will make his first move toward achieving his perennial ultimate goal: a World Series title. The three-time All-Star left-hander has maintained his usual attitude. He's all business.

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"It don't matter to us whether we're considered the favorites or not, underdogs or whatever. We don't care about that," Bumgarner said. "We know what we have to go out and do, and that's what we're focused on doing."

The 12:05 p.m. PT game will be available on giants.com in an exclusive video webcast and an exclusive audio webcast.

Bumgarner, who won 18 games in each of the previous two seasons, already has been named San Francisco's starter for the April 4 season opener at Milwaukee. It will be Bumgarner's third consecutive Opening Day assignment.

Brown, a rookie catcher who has shown considerable promise, will serve as Bumgarner's catcher against the Reds. This will mark the first time they've been paired with each other -- not counting playing catch Thursday morning.

Brown caught Jake Peavy and Matt Cain when the veteran right-handers made injury-rehabilitation appearances at Triple-A Sacramento last year. Working with Bumgarner will enable Brown to complete his collection of eminent Giants batterymates.

Brown's eagerly anticipating his meeting of the minds with Bumgarner, who's usually paired with Buster Posey. But manager Bruce Bochy is easing his regulars into game shape instead of rushing their physical progress for no reason at all, other than to finish with the best record in the Cactus League.

Brown said that he's looking forward to "talking strategy" pregame with the 2014 postseason hero "to kind of get a feel for him."

Though regular-season performance and exhibition-game statistics are completely unrelated, Bumgarner happens to own a 3-3 record with a 4.33 ERA against Cincinnati in seven lifetime starts.