Giants starter Madison Bumgarner is used to homering off opposing pitchers. He has 14 career home runs on his ledger. He is not, however, used to opposing pitchers homering off of him. Bumgarner had never allowed the opposing pitcher to homer in his eight-year career entering Monday night’s NLDS Game 3 start against the Cubs.
Cubs starter Jake Arrieta changed that in the top of the second inning. The Cubs’ offense made Bumgarner labor. Ben Zobrist grounded out on the sixth pitch he saw to lead off the frame. Addison Russell was hit with the eighth pitch of his at-bat. Javier Baez saw eight pitches before singling on number nine. Miguel Montero lined out on the first pitch he saw, bringing up Arrieta with Bumgarner having already thrown 24 pitches in the inning. Arrieta took a first-pitch ball, then swung through two fastballs. Bumgarner came in with another fastball and Arrieta launched a three-run homer over the fence in left field, staking the Cubs to a 3-0 lead.
Arrieta is no slouch at the plate. He’s not quite Bumgarnerian, but he has homered twice in each of the last two seasons.
The Cubs lead the NLDS 2-0 over the Giants. They’re looking to sweep in San Francisco tonight.