Madison Bumgarner was the star of Sunday’s win against the Nationals, going 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI double and a solo home run while tossing a 14-strikeout, three-hit shutout. It’s a performance reminiscent of Rick Wise’s two-homer day while tossing a no-hitter against the Reds on June 23, 1971.
Bumgarner now has four home runs on the season. He’s the first pitcher with at least four home runs in a season since… Madison Bumgarner in 2014. Yovani Gallardo also accomplished the feat in 2010 when he hit four for the Brewers. Bumgarner still has 10 starts remaining, so he could tack on. The last pitcher to hit more than four homers in a year was Carlos Zambrano in 2006 when he hit six over the fence.
Bumgarner has 10 career home runs. He’s the 57th pitcher since 1901 to hit at least 10 home runs in a career. He has some work left to do if he wants to catch up to Zambrano’s 34, however.
On the mound, Bumgarner is 14-6 with a 2.98 ERA, a 1.03 WHIP, and a 174/27 K/BB ratio in 163 1/3 innings.
With his Astros trailing the Tigers 2-1, catcher Robinson Chirinos began his at-bat in the bottom of the ninth a triple shy of the cycle. He doubled in the second inning, singled in the fourth, and hit a solo homer in the seventh. Yordan Álvarez and Yuli Gurriel both struck out, leaving the Astros’ fate in the hands of Chirinos against Joe Jiménez. After working the count to 2-1, Chirinos slapped an 85 MPH slider to the gap in right-center field. A diving Travis Demeritte could not come up with the ball, but center fielder Harold Castro fired the ball back in to Gordon Beckham, who then made a perfect throw to Dawel Lugo at third base. Chirinos was tagged out for the final out of the game. No triple, no cycle. The Astros lost 2-1.
Chirinos was attempting to become the first Astro to hit for the cycle since Brandon Barnes on July 19, 2013 against the Mariners.
The Astros entered Wednesday’s game as the largest favorite in 15 seasons, according to ESPN’s David Purdum. The Astros were -500 per Caesars Sportsbook. Other sportsbooks had them at -550. So the Tigers’ win was quite the upset.
Justin Verlander went the distance in the loss. The only blemishes on his line were solo homers to Ronny Rodríguez in the fifth and John Hicks in the ninth. They were the only hits he allowed while walking none and striking out 11.