If it weren’t for a questionable walk to B.J. Upton and a bloop single by Chris Johnson, Madison Bumgarner just might have been perfect tonight.
Bumgarner took a perfect game into the fifth and a no-hitter into the sixth as he shut down the Atlanta Braves in seven strong innings, resulting in a 6-0 San Francisco Giants victory.
The southpaw followed the lead of Matt Cain’s shutout last night, striking out 10 batters and walking just one. He was nothing short of dominant, and baffled the Braves’ lineup.
Baserunners were few and far between for the Braves, and even when they had men on base, Bumgarner quickly erased them.
After Upton’s two-out walk in the fourth to thwart any thoughts of a perfect game, Bumgarner struck out Dan Uggla looking to end the inning.
After Johnson singled to break up the no-hitter in the sixth, Bumgarner struck out Reed Johnson and induced Andrelton Simmons into an inning-ending double play.
Finally, he pitched around a seventh inning hit by Freddie Freeman, and was replaced in the eighth by Sandy Rosario, who completed the combined shutout for the Giants.
The offense did their thing as well, although only one run would have been necessary on this night.
Gregor Blanco got things rolling early, as he smacked a leadoff homer off of Braves starter Kris Medlen.
They padded that lead with single runs in the second, third, and fifth. Blanco got his second RBI with a single, Hunter Pence drove in Buster Posey on a ball that got past Justin Upton in center field, and Brandon Crawford doubled home Posey. In that order, the Giants had a 4-0 lead.
Posey, overshadowed by Bumgarner’s performance, had himself quite a game with three hits and two runs scored, including an RBI double in the seventh. He has his batting average up to .313 and is as locked in as ever.
But tonight was all about the other Georgia native, Madison Bumgarner. He now leads the Giants with six wins, and his 3.30 ERA ranks first among his fellow starters.