San Francisco Giants: Pitchers Who Rake

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Madison Bumgarner (times five)

Aug 21, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner (40) hits a two run home run against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the second inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Everyone should know how good a hitter Madison Bumgarner is. When his pitching is taken into account, he could very well be the best dual threat there is in baseball right now.

Bumgarner waited a little while to crack the home run leaderboard, as his first longball came in his ninth start. Facing Giants’ nemesis Clayton Kershaw, Bumgarner took a first-pitch fastball out to left field, becoming the first opposing pitcher to ever take Kershaw deep. Bumgarner threw 6.1 shutout innings, so his shot would have been enough to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers on that day.

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In his 15th start, Bumgarner did it again, hitting his eighth career home run against the Colorado Rockies’ Christian Bergman, a towering blast that skidded against the foul pole. He threw 7.2 innings that day, and allowed two runs. Thus, “The Bumgarner” was born (shoutout to Alex Pavlovic for that one).

Four starts later, Bumgarner showed the American League how it’s done. With the Oakland Athletics in town, Bumgarner welcomed Chris Bassitt to a different kind of baseball. In his first at-bat, Bumgarner broke a scoreless tie when his third home run of the season, and ninth of his career. He threw seven innings of one-run ball for his second “Bumgarner” of the year.

He waited just three starts for his fourth home run, as he blasted a seventh-inning shot off Washington Nationals’ reliever Casey Janssen. Impressively, he crushed a hanging curveball. Bumgarner’s home run was the icing on the cake in a 5-0 win, and he tied his career-high with four home runs and reached double digits in his career. Even better, Bumgarner threw a complete game shutout for his third “Bumgarner”.

After a couple of pinch-hitting appearances, one of which ended with a base hit, Bumgarner homered in a big game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Not to be outdone by new Giant Marlon Byrd, who took Pirates lefty Jeff Locke deep in his first chance in orange and black, Bumgarner gave Locke the same fate. His fifth home run of the year set a new career-best, and he became the first pitcher to reach that total since Carlos Zambrano (who eventually hit six) in 2006.

Next: Old Dog, New Tricks