Giants starter Madison Bumgarner hit Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun with a 2-0 fastball in the bottom of the sixth inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Milwaukee. The Brewers bench and both teams’ bullpens emptied in a lackluster fashion. Braun was having some words with catcher Nick Hundley, as he was not happy about being hit by a 92 MPH fastball.
The first pitch Bumgarner threw to Braun was a brushback fastball, up and in. Bumgarner then threw a high fastball for ball two. Braun and Bumgarner jawed at each other briefly. On the NBC Sports Bay Area broadcast, a replay showed Braun apparently saying something to the effect of, “Throw the ball, man,” after Bumgarner said his piece. Then Bumgarner clipped Braun with the third pitch of the at-bat. Given the situation, it’s hard to say concretely that Bumgarner wanted to hit Braun, but he at the very least wanted to throw another brushback pitch.
Brewers manager Craig Counsell, pitcher Wade Miley, and catcher Jacob Nottingham were each ejected by home plate umpire Tom Hallion, who issued warnings to both benches after the incident. Counsell was particularly unhappy with Hallion’s decision to issue warnings and got into a rare heated argument following his ejection.
After order was restored, Bumgarner gave up a go-ahead grand slam to Jonathan Schoop. Overall, Bumgarner yielded five runs on four hits and a walk with four strikeouts across six innings against the Brewers.
Earlier today, Craig wrote about a potential shake-up in the Giants’ front office. It didn’t take long for that to come to fruition. Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area reports that the Giants have fired GM Bobby Evans.
Evans had been with the Giants for 25 years, starting in 1994 as a minor league administrative assistant. He was promoted to director of minor league operations in 1998, became the director of player personnel in 2005, then was named vice president of baseball operations in 2009. For the last four years, Evans has been the Giants’ general manager.
In part due to Evans’ influence, the Giants were quite successful, winning the World Series in 2010, 2012, and 2014. However, the last two years have been the Giants’ worst in quite some time. The club went 64-98 (.395) last year and enters Monday’s action 72-84 (.462) despite some splashy additions in the offseason (Andrew McCutchen and Evan Longoria).
There will certainly be conversations as to whether or not it’s fair that Evans is the fall guy for the Giants’ recent lack of success. But that’s part of the deal when you’re a public-facing employee in the front office of a baseball team. Pavlovic says it seems unlikely Evans remains with the organization in a different role.
The Giants have reportedly been considering hiring a “high-profile baseball operations executive” to push the team in a new direction. Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports that Ned Colletti is the favorite to become the new GM. The offseason is still more than a month away, so the Giants have some time to stew on their candidates and not make any rash decisions.