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Homer spoils Bumgarner's final start of season

September 28, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO -- If Madison Bumgarner's outing Friday night proves to be his final one as a Giant, it'll remain barely memorable, unlike his eventful career with San Francisco overall.The 2014 World Series hero and four-time All-Star encountered little trouble but also generated little drama Friday night as the Giants

SAN FRANCISCO -- If Madison Bumgarner's outing Friday night proves to be his final one as a Giant, it'll remain barely memorable, unlike his eventful career with San Francisco overall.
The 2014 World Series hero and four-time All-Star encountered little trouble but also generated little drama Friday night as the Giants fell to the Dodgers, 3-1. Los Angeles remained one game behind first-place Colorado in the National League West.
Bumgarner has become the subject of trade speculation, primarily because he's entering the final year of his contract and remains an asset to any starting rotation. Thus, he's valuable to the GIants regardless of what the future holds.
"I don't think there's anything to address as of yet," Bumgarner replied when asked about his future. "We'll see what happens or what don't happen."
Giants manager Bruce Bochy believes he'll have Bumgarner for the entire 2019 season.
"He's signed through next year, and that's how I look at it," said Bochy, whose contract also expires after 2019. "He's going to be here next year and hopefully longer."

If Bumgarner sticks around, he might feel compelled to adjust his approach toward the Dodgers, particularly Enrique Hernandez and Justin Turner. Hernandez went 3-for-3 off him, increasing his career batting average against the left-hander to .487 (19-for-39).
One of Hernandez's hits preceded Turner's fifth-inning homer, which broke a 1-1 tie. It also was Turner's fourth career homer off Bumgarner, matching Hernandez for the most homers off Bumgarner except for Colorado's Carlos Gonzalez, who has five.

Dangling a high, inside fastball for Turner was Bumgarner's mistake.
"It wasn't terrible," said Bumgarner. "I didn't get it in as much as I would like. I still beat him with that pitch quite a few times. He's a smart hitter. He made an adjustment and got to it."
By allowing three runs and seven hits in six innings, Bumgarner met the standards for a quality start. But he was outdone by Dodgers lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu, who permitted one run and four hits in six innings.
The Giants grounded into a season-high five double plays, three forced by Ryu.

The injury bug continued to gnaw at the Giants, even with just a weekend series remaining in the season. Playing left field, Austin Slater strained his right (throwing) arm as he threw home in an unsuccessful third-inning attempt to throw out Hernandez, who scored on Manny Machado's single. Slater is expected to undergo an MRI on Saturday to determine the injury's severity.

"It's something that's been bothering me off and on," said Slater, who added that he feels a "tingling" sensation that subsides after about 30 or 40 seconds. This time, the tingling lingered, forcing Bochy to pinch-hit for Slater in the fourth inning.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Grounding into five double plays vexed the Giants, to say the least. The most frustrating of these squandered chances occurred in the fourth inning, when Kelby Tomlinson batted for the sore-armed Slater and hit into a twin killing.
"We just couldn't get a hit," Bochy said.

SOUND SMART
The Giants have scored two runs or fewer in 10 of their past 12 home games. They've scored 20 runs in that batch of games, averaging 1.7 runs per outing.

UP NEXT
Dereck Rodriguez (6-4) will strive to punctuate his impressive rookie season with an exclamation point Saturday when he confronts the Dodgers in a 1:05 p.m. PT matchup at AT&T Park. The Giants are 9-9 overall when he starts, including 5-6 at home. They've also lost each of his last six starts and eight of his last 10. Rodriguez, whose 2.50 ERA makes him a legitimate Rookie of the Year candidate, will oppose Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw (9-5).

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.