Madison Bumgarner homers, tosses 14-strikeout shutout against the Nationals

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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.

Rays’ Erik Neander named Executive of the Year

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At the GM meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona on Monday, Rays GM Erik Neander was named the recipient of Major League Baseball’s Executive of the Year Award for the 2019 season. The Yankees’ Brian Cashman was the runner-up while the Athletics’ Billy Beane and the Twins’ Derek Falvey tied for third place.

Neander has worked for the Rays since 2017 but has operated in his current role since November 2016, taking over for Matthew Silverman who was promoted to president of the Rays alongside Brian Auld.

The Rays had, by far, the lowest payroll in baseball at $53.5 million, according to USA TODAY. Neander’s peers voting him Executive of the Year on the same today the league had to curtail its awarding of a prize belt to the team that suppressed salaries the most in arbitration is… certainly interesting timing.

At any rate, Neander’s Rays went 96-66 in 2019, finishing in second place in the AL East behind the 103-59 Yankees. The Rays claimed the second AL Wild Card and defeated the A’s to earn entry into the ALDS where they lost in five games to the Astros. It was the Rays’ first playoff appearance since 2013 and their regular season win total was second-most in franchise history behind the 2008 team (97).