Getty Images

Madison Bumgarner cannot keep his cool when it comes to Yasiel Puig

52 Comments

Last night’s barking between Madison Bumgarner and Yasiel Puig sure was fun. Dumb, but fun. As I noted in this morning’s post about the game, this one seemed to be on Bumgarner, as he hooted and yelped at a 1-3 groundout and then repeated “don’t look at me, don’t look at me!” to Puig, which is high comedy.

It’s also nothing exactly new between them. And, like last night’s incidents, they were instigated by Bumgarner. Or, at the very least, escalated by him and his thin skin and, apparently, fragile ego, at least when it comes to Puig.

Take this incident back in May of 2014, when Puig hit a homer off of Bumgarner and then Bumgarner decided to bark at him, Brian-McCann-style:

Sure, Puig flipped his bat, but what is that if not the hitter’s version of the little hollering and glove-smacking Bumgarner did last night? I guess it’s OK if you’re a pitcher, but not a hitter.

Then there was the time Bumgarner threw at Puig’s feet.

Note: it’s the bottom of the first inning, so it’s not like there was something that led to it in that game. Bumgarner just had a case of the angries, probably held over from the previous May. Throwing a 90 m.p.h. at a hitter’s ankles is totally cool, but DON’T YOU DARE look at a guy!

I know I’m in the bag for Puig, so I must admit, in the interests of fairness, that Puig has been a knucklehead on several occasions himself. He doesn’t play angry like Bumgarner, but he has pissed off a lot of guys. But Ken Rosenthal isn’t in the bag for Puig like I am. As such, it’s probably worth noting what he said about all of this morning more than anything I’m saying:

This is 100% the truth.

Max Scherzer, with broken nose, strikes out 10 Phillies over seven shutout innings

Patrick Smith/Getty Images
3 Comments

Nationals starter Max Scherzer bunted a ball into his face during batting practice on Tuesday, breaking his nose in the process. He ended up with a gnarly looking shiner around his right eye, making him appear a bit like Terminator. Scherzer still took the ball to start the second game of Wednesday night’s doubleheader against the Phillies.

Despite the injury, Scherzer was incredibly effective, limiting the Phillies to four hits and two walks across seven shutout innings, striking out 10 batters in the process. He might even have had some extra adrenaline going, as he averaged 96.2 MPH on his fastball, his highest average fastball velocity in a game since September 2012, per MLB.com’s Jamal Collier. The Nationals provided Scherzer with just one run of support, coming on a Brian Dozier solo home run off of Jake Arrieta in the second inning, but it was enough.

Wander Suero worked a scoreless top of the eighth with a pair of strikeouts. Victor Robles added a solo homer off of Pat Neshek in the bottom half. Closer Sean Doolittle took over in the ninth, working a 1-2-3 frame to give the Nats their 2-0 victory.

Over his last six starts, Scherzer now has a 0.88 ERA with a 59/8 K/BB ratio across 41 innings. He has gone six innings, struck out at least nine batters, and held the opposition to two or fewer runs in each of those six starts.