Giants starter Madison Bumgarner was a little shaky on the mound during Friday night’s start against the Rockies so he decided to take out his frustrations on opposing starter Jorge De La Rosa. With the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the fourth inning, Bumgarner swung at De La Rosa’s first offering, a two-seam fastball and drove it over the fence in left field at AT&T Park for a grand slam, putting the Giants up 6-3. The blast was the third of his career, and Bumgarner knew it from the moment he made contact.
Watch Bumgarner’s go-ahead salami:
Before Bumgarner, the last pitcher to hit a grand slam was Travis Wood of the Cubs last season. He took Jake Peavy deep in the fourth inning of a game against the White Sox on May 30, 2013. Shawn Estes was the last Giants pitcher to hit a grand slam, doing so on May 24, 2000 against Mike Johnson of the Expos.
The Cubs’ defense — or lack thereof this year — has been a topic of conversation as it could help explain why the team hasn’t played at the elite level it played at last year.
Manager Joe Maddon tried to go into detail about that but ended up channeling his inner Rex Ryan. Via CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney.
If, in the future, Joe Ross ever complains about a lack of run support, point to his first four starts of the 2017 season.
Ross started on April 19 in Atlanta against the Braves, on April 25 in Colorado against the Rockies, on April 30 at home against the Mets, and on May 23 at home against the Mariners. In those games, the Nats’ offense scored 14, 15, 23, and 10 runs respectively for a total of 62 runs, or an average of 15.5 per start. Ross was the pitcher of record for seven, eight, 10, and 10 runs for a total of 35 runs (8.75 runs per start), which would still make him the major league leader in run support by that restrictive standard.
Among qualified starters — Ross did not qualify — entering Tuesday’s action, the Rockies’ Antonio Senzatela led the way according to ESPN, averaging 7.11 runs of support in nine starts. The Rockies scored double-digit runs in only three of those starts, oddly enough.
Per the Nationals, the 62 runs of support for Ross is a major league record in a pitcher’s first four starts of a season.