Lovullo: End no-no bid? He'd 'body-slam' me

April 28th, 2021

PHOENIX -- What a sight it would have been. Imagine for a moment that Sunday's no-hitter by had been a nine-inning game rather than seven.

Bumgarner finished the seven-inning no-hitter at 98 pitches. In the dugout, D-backs manager Torey Lovullo had consulted with the medical team and pitching coach Matt Herges to come up with a maximum pitch count for the veteran left-hander.

So, could Lovullo have imagined having to go out and remove Bumgarner in, say, the ninth inning after he reached that pitch count with a no-hitter still in play?

"No, he would have body-slammed me off the mound," Lovullo said. "There's no doubt about it. First time in history of baseball -- news at 11, pitcher beats up manager."

It never came to that and Lovullo was kidding -- we think -- about how Bumgarner would have responded, but it is worth noting that Lovullo is the most uncomfortable person in the ballpark when one of his pitchers is throwing a no-hitter.

Lovullo begins questioning the medical staff as soon as he thinks one of his pitchers might have no-hitter stuff. Once he comes up with a pitch limit, that's when the stress really starts.

"I've said it many times before, when there's a no-hitter going on, I'm a baseball fan and loving it and enjoying it," he said. "But I'm probably the most nervous guy in the state and entire stadium. Because I know I might have to make a very unpopular decision, and I will because I'll never put a player in a position at risk or put a player in a poor position to risk an injury."

Make it count

Bumgarner combined with Zac Gallen to allow one total hit over 14 innings in Sunday's doubleheader. With that in mind, the D-backs will offer $14 tickets this Friday and Saturday when Bumgarner and Gallen make their next starts.

There will be a place in the ballpark for fans to take photos with the jerseys each player wore last Sunday.

Injury updates

The D-backs have a host of players working their way back to the active roster.

• Outfielder Ketel Marte had a followup MRI of his strained right hamstring that showed healing and he has been able to hit and play catch, but there are hurdles for him to clear in terms of running before he can take the next steps.

"We've still got some space we need to clear with him," Lovullo said.

• First baseman Christian Walker (strained right oblique) took some swings in the batting cage Monday and then took regular batting practice on the field Tuesday.

• Closer Joakim Soria (strained left calf) was scheduled to throw in a game at the team's alternate training site followed by fielding practice Tuesday.

• Outfielder Tim Locastro (dislocated left pinkie) had his stitches removed and will begin doing grip strengthening exercises.