Madison Bumgarner took a page from Clayton Kershaw’s book on Tuesday night. With Kershaw’s performance fresh in the minds of the Giants and Dodgers, Bumgarner nearly replicated his fellow lefty’s performance. He did pitch one less inning, but allowed only two hits and struck out six batters.
Dodger Stadium seems to be a place of comfort for Bumgarner. Entering Tuesday, he had a career 1.38 ERA at Dodger Stadium. That figure will lessen after his performance.
And like Kershaw, Bumgarner contributed with the bat. No, not in the same home run-type fashion, but he put the ball in play with runners on second and third, one out. Justin Sellers fielded a chopping ground ball behind the mound cleanly, but threw wide to catcher A.J. Ellis, which ended doing more harm than it should’ve. Ronald Belisario, who relieved Dodgers’ starter Hyun-Jin Ryu with one out in the seventh, failed to cover home, which allowed the back-runner, Andres Torres, to score behind Joaquin Arias.
Ryu was charged with three runs in 6.1 innings, though only one was earned. The southpaw constantly pitched around trouble in his MLB debut, inducing three double play balls.
The Giants had opportunities, many opportunities in fact. They left five runners on base and went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position. If it wasn’t for Bumgarner’s brilliance, that glaring ratio would’ve been the headline.
Hunter Pence and Arias hit back-to-back singles to start the second inning. But Torres swung at the first pitch of his at-bat to bounce into a double play. He stranded two runners in the fourth inning too. Arias’ RBI single covered him, though.
Reining National League MVP, Buster Posey, also joined the double play fest.
Pagan and Marco Scutaro started a first inning rally with consecutive singles. After Pablo Sandoval flew out, Posey bounced into an inning-ending double play. Posey did collect his first hit of the 2013 in the fourth, but his timing is still a bit shaky.
But it was Bumgarner who stole all the headlines. The 23-year-old lefty pounded the strike zone time and time again, compiling 22-of-26 first-pitch strikes. Only six of those first-pitch strikes were swinging, as he changed up his pitch selection to keep the Dodgers guessing.
Bumgarner used 101 pitches to breeze through eight non-pressure innings. Still, Bruce Bochy called on Sergio Romo to close the door, which he did, picking up his first save of the season.