Instant Replay: Royals finally score off Bumgarner, Giants shut out

Instant Replay: Royals finally score off Bumgarner, Giants shut out


KANSAS CITY — Madison Bumgarner’s return to Kansas City was similar to Game 7 in one respect. He didn’t get a whole lot of help.

Bumgarner wasn’t at his best Wednesday, but he made it through six one-run innings in his first appearance against the Royals since the 2014 World Series. The Giants got shut out 2-0 by Jason Vargas and the Rockies. Bumgarner fell to 0-3 on the season. The lineup has scored two total runs in his past three starts. 

There was no reaction as Bumgarner took to the mound at Kauffman Stadium, due to a combination of a small crowd, a 2015 title here, and maybe a little midwestern hospitality. The Royals missed an opportunity to get to Bumgarner right as he entered Game 7 three years ago and they missed again early on Wednesday. 

With two in scoring position and two outs in the second, Eduardo Nuñez snagged a 111-mph liner off Cheslor Cuthbert’s bat. A frustrated Bumgarner yelled at himself the entire way back to the dugout, but he came out and stranded two more in the third. 

In the fifth, the Royals finally snapped an 18-inning scoreless streak against Bumgarner. Paulo Orlando singled with one out and took second on a delayed steal. He reached third on a groundout and scored when Bumgarner was late getting over to first on a sharp liner to Brandon Belt. Bumgarner stranded two more in that inning and one in the sixth before giving way to Steven Okert. 

On the other side, Vargas was outstanding. The Giants got a pair of singles in the fourth, but other than that it was all quiet against the lefty, who lowered his ERA to 0.44.

Starting pitching report: Bumgarner walked away with a fine line — six innings, seven hits, one run, one walk, four strikeouts — given the lack of command he had at times. Through four starts he has a 3.00 ERA.

Bullpen report: Steven Okert threw some cheese in the seventh. He really should be here to stay.

At the plate: For the third time in four games, the Giants did not have a baserunner the first time through the order. That is suboptimal. 

In the field: The Royals tried three delayed steals, and they were successful twice. The only failure was when Orlando over-slid the bag in the seventh. 

Attendance: The Royals announced a crowd of 24,402 human beings and 382 dogs. One of them wore a “Real Men Love Pigs” t-shirt. (One of the humans, not one of the dogs.)

Up next: A day off! In Denver, on April 20. Huh.

Giants prepare for life without Bumgarner: 'We just hope that someone can step up'


Giants prepare for life without Bumgarner: 'We just hope that someone can step up'

SACRAMENTO -- As the Giants took batting practice at Raley Field on Saturday afternoon, the scoreboard in center field offered an unfortunate reminder of their new reality. The River Cats are giving away Madison Bumgarner t-shirts on April 13, and the promotional material remains prominently displayed at their ballpark.

Bumgarner will be back here rehabbing at some point for a second straight summer, but it will be long after his giveaway day. A day after taking a line drive off his pitching hand, Bumgarner had surgery to have three pins inserted to stabilize his fractured fifth metacarpal. While manager Bruce Bochy said he hopes to get his ace back in two months, the Giants are internally preparing for a potential absence of 12 weeks. 

In the meantime, the rotation will be remarkably inexperienced. Ty Blach is slated to start opening day at Dodger Stadium, with Derek Holland -- a non-roster invitee -- and Chris Stratton pitching after Johnny Cueto. Because they have two early off days, the Giants will skip their fifth starter until April 10. 

The hope is that the fifth turn comes up just two or three times before Jeff Samardzija (strained pectoral) is healthy, so for now the Giants are leaning toward internal help. General manager Bobby Evans said no trades or signings were imminent. Prospects Tyler Beede and Andrew Suarez are the top candidates to fill out the rotation until Samardzija returns.

"They're both ready to help," Evans said.

So, too, are the rest of the Giants. The theme in the clubhouse Saturday was that the other 24 must keep the team afloat while Bumgarner heals. But there was no sugar-coating the magnitude of the blow.

"It's tough...Bum is irreplaceable," Brandon Crawford said. "We just hope that someone can step up and fill in for the time being."

Hunter Pence said the news was especially hard to hear because of how much work teammates watched Bumgarner put in this spring. The lefty appeared poised for a career year while dominating the Cactus League.

"It's unfortunate," Pence said. "We've got a lot of good position players and we have a good defense, and we've got to pull our weight until he gets back."

Bochy said Bumgarner was in good spirits despite losing a chunk of his season for a second straight year. The pins will be in his hand for at least four weeks, and then it's back to the rehab trail. 

"The good news that we got this morning is that they really felt good about the surgery," Bochy said. "He's such a tough guy. He handles this stuff well, he does. And I'll say this, for the six weeks out there in spring he looked as good as I've seen, and that's saying a lot. 

"He was throwing the ball beautifully so that's the thing that makes me sick about this too, along with we're losing our number one guy. But he's doing fine. It happens, unfortunately, in this game but what's important is how we all respond to it." 

Bumgarner undergoes surgery on pitching hand


Bumgarner undergoes surgery on pitching hand

A day after a line drive fractured a bone in his pitching hand, Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner underwent surgery to stabilize it.

A specialist in Arizona added three pins to Bumgarner's fifth metacarpal bone in his left hand on Saturday, the Giants announced. 

Bumgarner told reporters on Friday that the pins will remain in his hand for four-to-six weeks. Bruce Bochy told reporters on Saturday that the team does not expect Bumgarner to return until early June. 

The 28-year-old suffered the fracture in his final start of spring training, and was set to start Opening Day against the Los Angeles Dodgers on March 29. In 21.0 innings over six appearances this spring, Bumgarner posted a 3.43 ERA and 1.05 WHIP.