Update (11:28 PM EDT): Bumgarner lost his perfect game in the eighth inning, Justin Upton grounded out to shortstop Ehire Adrianza, who made a nice play in the hole to get the first out. Jedd Gyorko then popped out to right field. But pinch-hitter Melvin Upton, Jr. ripped a single back up the middle to end both the perfect game and the no-hitter.
Update (11:07 PM EDT): Bumgarner struck out Wil Myers, got Derek Norris to line out to second base, and induced a 6-3 ground out from Matt Kemp. He’s perfect through seven innings on 84 pitches.
Giants starter Madison Bumgarner is perfect through six innings in Saturday night’s start against the Padres. He’s thrown 76 pitches and struck out seven.
The Giants have provided the lefty with plenty of run support, scoring four times in the fourth inning and three times in the fifth. Bumgarner is 0-for-3 at the plate. He leads all pitchers in home runs with five.
We’ll keep you updated as Bumgarner attempts to remain perfect over the final three frames. He has yet to throw a no-hitter. Felix Hernandez was the last pitcher to throw a perfect game, doing so on August 15, 2012 against the Rays at Safeco Field.
Bumgarner entered Saturday’s start with a 3.05 ERA with a 203/32 K/BB ratio in 188 2/3 innings this season.
Over the past several weeks we’ve heard a lot of news about teams furloughing front office and scouting staff, leveling pay cuts for those who remain and, most recently, ceasing stipends to minor league players and releasing them en masse. The message being sent, intentionally or otherwise, is that baseball teams are feeling the pinch.
The Kansas City Royals, however, are a different story.
Jon Heyman reported this afternoon that the Royals are paying their minor leaguers through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended, and unlike so many other teams, they are not releasing players either. Jeff Passan, meanwhile, reports that the Royals will not lay any team employees off or furlough anyone. “Nearly 150 employees will not take pay cuts,” he says, though “higher-level employees will take tiered cuts.” Passan adds that the organization intends to restore the lost pay due to those higher-level employees in the future when revenue ramps back up, making them whole.
While baseball finances are murky at best and opaque in most instances, most people agree that the Royals are one of the lower-revenue franchises in the game. They are also near the bottom as far as franchise value goes. Finally, they have the newest ownership group in all of baseball, which means that the group almost certainly has a lot of debt and very little if any equity in the franchise. Any way you slice it, cashflow is likely tighter in Kansas City than almost anywhere else.
Yet the Royals are paying minor leaguers and front office employees while a great number of other teams are not. What’s their excuse?