Giants left-hander Madison Bumgarner delivered a gem last night against the Dodgers, tossing eight innings of one-run ball as part of a 3-1 victory. The lone run scored on a solo home run by Yasiel Puig in the bottom of the sixth inning. And the blast nearly caused a benches-clearing incident.
As you’ll see in the video here, Bumgarner was apparently offended by Puig’s bat flip and let him know about it as he came down the third base line. Puig slowed down his trot to bark back at Bumgarner, but the umpires prevented things from escalating any further.
Via Chris Haft of MLB.com, Bumgarner played coy about the situation after the game:
“I was congratulating him. It was a really good hit. It was impressive. Again, I don’t know why everybody got so mad. It escalated quickly for no reason. I think he said, ‘Thank you.’ I’m not sure if he did. I don’t speak Spanish very well.”
Via Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly felt that Bumgarner overreacted:
“He hit it, flipped it and ran. I’m not sure what he’s upset about. You see guys do stuff every day. The double standard is always annoying. Obviously, Yasiel is a little bit of a lightning rod. He plays hard. I didn’t think he did anything wrong.”
Meh. On a scale of 1-to-Puig, this bat flip was about a three. Far from his best work. Maybe Bumgarner was mad that he didn’t flip it with more enthusiasm? That’s gotta be it. I was disappointed too.
Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg lasted only two innings in Sunday’s start against the Diamondbacks. The right-hander reportedly had trouble getting loose and it showed: he yielded a hit and three walks to the 10 batters he faced. According to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, Strasburg had “some nerve impingement that has been alleviated.”
Manager Dusty Baker expects Strasburg to make his next scheduled start on Saturday at home against the Rockies, Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post reports. Strasburg was examined by doctors, who deemed him to be in good shape — enough to not warrant undergoing an MRI.
Through 20 starts, Strasburg owns a 3.25 ERA with a 141/37 K/BB ratio across 121 2/3 innings. Though the injury scare isn’t what the Nationals hoped for, he’s done well in the first year of his seven-year, $175 million contract extension.
Cubs starter John Lackey didn’t have his best stuff on Tuesday afternoon at Wrigley Field against the White Sox. The right-hander hit four White Sox batters over the course of five innings. He yielded just two runs, though, on five hits and two walks with five strikeouts. He left with a 4-2 lead.
Lackey hit Jose Abreu with one out in the first inning, then hit Abreu again in the fifth. He then hit Matt Davidson and Yoan Moncada shortly thereafter. Chris Beck relieved Carlos Rodon for the White Sox in the bottom of the fifth and promptly hit Ian Happ with a fastball to lead off the frame. Home plate umpire Lance Barksdale issued warnings to both benches and the beanings stopped.
So, how often do pitchers hit four batters in a game? Not that often! The last to do it was the Reds’ Josh Smith on July 4, 2015 against the Brewers. Before that, it was the Nationals’ Livan Hernandez on July 20, 2005 against the Rockies. Lackey is only the ninth pitcher to hit four batters in a game since 2000 and the 26th since 1913. The only other Cubs pitcher to do it besides Lackey was Moe Drabowsky in 1957.