Giants ace Madison Bumgarner started the regular season in style, helping his own cause against the Diamondbacks’ Zack Greinke. Bumgarner swatted his 15th career home run, taking a 92 MPH fastball on a line out to left-center field in Arizona on Sunday afternoon.
Bumgarner has now homered off of Greinke twice in his career. The only other pitcher he’s victimized multiple times? Clayton Kershaw. The homer was hit 416 feet and 112.5 MPH off the bat, the hardest-hit home run by a pitcher in the Statcast era.
Bumgarner also brought a perfect game into the sixth inning, but lost it with one out in the frame when Jeff Mathis tripled — yes, Jeff Mathis tripled — to left field. (Yes, to left field.)
In the seventh, Bumgarner tacked on his second homer of the game and No. 16 of his career, completely destroying a 92 MPH Andrew Chafin fastball.
That one left the bat at 112.1 MPH. He’s the first pitcher in baseball history to homer twice on Opening Day. He’s the first player at any position to homer multiple times on Opening Day since Barry Bonds in 2002 (via ESPN Stats & Info).
Update (12:58 AM ET): Per Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, Samardzija has been diagnosed with a strained pectoral muscle. He’ll be shut down for a week. That’s good news for the Giants, considering the alternatives.
Giants starter Jeff Samardzija will undergo an MRI on his ailing right shoulder, according to NBC Sports Bay Area. The right-hander struggled in a minor league game on Wednesday, surrendering a pair of home runs and hitting a batter. Overall this spring, Samardzija has given up 15 runs (13 earned) on 17 hits (six homers) and seven walks with seven strikeouts in 11 innings.
This may mean Samardzija won’t be ready for the start of the regular season. Derek Holland would likely replace Samardzija in the rotation. Holland had been competing for the No. 5 spot in the Giants’ rotation.
Samardzija led the National League in losses last season with 15, also posting a 4.42 ERA with a 205/32 K/BB ratio in a league-high 207 2/3 innings. Since becoming a starter, Samardzija has been able to avoid injury, making 32 or 33 starts in each of the last five seasons.