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.
The Mets have begun working outfielder Jay Bruce and second baseman Neil Walker at first base as potential insurance in the event Lucas Duda continues to experience back discomfort, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports. Duda has been sidelined recently due to back spasms and missed all but 47 games last season as a result of a stress fracture in his lower back.
Manager Terry Collins spoke about Bruce’s work at first base on Sunday, saying, “I liked everything I saw today. “It looks like he’s got the athleticism, he’s got the hands, he’s got the arm angle. He made some throws in our drills that you wouldn’t expect an outfielder to be able to make, but yet he does. If that’s where we have to go, I think we’ll be fine.”
Bruce has only three games’ worth of experience at first base at the major league level, but still has high expectations for himself. He said, “I am going to work at it. I want to give myself a chance and the team a chance. I am not going to go over there and be a butcher. It’s just not the way I go about my business on the baseball field and it wouldn’t be fair to the team if I wasn’t capable to do it, so I am going to work at it and we’ll see what happens.”
The Mets made Bruce available via trade over the offseason but didn’t get an offer that whet their appetite. As a result, Michael Conforto appears to be the odd man out in the Mets’ crowded outfield.
Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis has been diagnosed with a strained rotator cuff in his right shoulder, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. Kipnis has received a cortisone shot and will be shut down from throwing for the next four to five days.
There’s a lot of spring left, so it’s perfectly sensible for the Indians to play it safe with their star player. The club already had Kipnis on a shoulder strengthening program.
Kipnis, 29, helped the Indians to the playoffs after batting .275/.343/.469 with 23 home runs, 92 RBI, 91 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases in 688 plate appearances during the regular season last year. He then helped the Indians reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Cubs, where they were eventually stopped, as he provided a .741 OPS including four homers and eight RBI in 15 playoff games.