Madison Bumgarner

Incredible Madison Bumgarner stats compared to 2017 wild-card starters

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USATSI

Incredible Madison Bumgarner stats compared to 2017 wild-card starters

The Giants finished the 2017 season with the second-worst record in Major League Baseball. One year ago, like their two NL West counterparts in the D'backs and Rockies this year, the Giants were fighting in the National League Wild Card Game. 

As part of his postseason legend, Madison Bumgarner was at his best under the brightest light vs. the Mets. Bumgarner didn't need any bullpen help, throwing a complete game on the road in the Giants' 3-0 victory. 

In 2014, Bumgarner did the same thing in the wild card game, tossing a complete game in the Giants' 8-0 win in Pittsburgh. This season, wild-card starters were just a bit less than Bumgarner's level. 

Four starters in the American League and National League Wild Card Game combined for a total of 7 1/3 innings pitched. And that's just the beginning to how much better a one-man-show of Bumgarner was than the four this year. 

In the AL, Luis Severino allowed four hits while Ervin Santana allowed three. For the NL, Zack Greinke surrendered six hits and Jon Gray seven hits. Between the four, that's 20 hits. Opposing batters totaled eight hits -- four each year -- in Bumgarner's two wild-card complete games. 

Runs aren't even worth looking at. Bumgarner tossed shutouts in both starts. But, what about strikeouts? 

The AL pairing did not strike out a single batter. With pitchers hitting, the two in the NL still only caused three whiffs -- two from Gray and one from Greinke. 

Between 2014 (10) and 2016 (6), Bumgarner mowed down 16 batters. 

Looking to flush this 64-98 season, Bumgarner will be a key ingredient to bringing back more even-year magic for the Giants in 2018.

Madison Bumgarner, Gorkys Hernandez make statements in win over Dodgers

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USATSI

Madison Bumgarner, Gorkys Hernandez make statements in win over Dodgers

LOS ANGELES — A 2-1 victory Saturday night at Dodger Stadium all but assured that the Giants will not lose 100 games. They still could, sure, because any sort of downslide is possible in this 2017 season, but they would really have to finish with some sort of ugly stretch. 

Still, it’s been a long season, so it was no surprise when Madison Bumgarner admitted to some sleepless nights since Opening Day. As for Saturday night …

“It’s going to be much easier to go to sleep tonight, because we won,” Bumgarner said.

The big lefty did the heavy lifting, throwing 7 2/3 dominant innings and offering one more reminder that his shoulder is 100 percent fine after a season-halting dirt bike accident. Bumgarner topped out at 93.5 mph, and even though Bruce Bochy thought Dodger Stadium might have had a hot gun on this night, the swings told the story of a good fastball. Bumgarner said this was as good as he has felt in a while. 

“He did look strong,” Bochy said. “He did have really good stuff tonight. It was really crisp.”

It was the kind of night that reminds you that, for all their issues, the Giants will start 2018 with a leg up on many others. They have Madison Bumgarner and you don’t, and that should lead to plenty of good over the course of 32 or 33 starts. 

“I think it’s good for the club to know, hey, he’s back,” Bochy said. “This is the kind of ball we can play.”

It was the brand Bochy appreciates: A strong start, a good bullpen, strong defense, and just enough offense. That’s how the Giants will win in 2018, if they are to do so, which bodes well for the man at the center of Saturday’s offense. The Giants plan to move Denard Span to left field and acquire a new center fielder, but they still lack depth in the organization, and Gorkys Hernandez has made it clear he would like to stick around. He had three hits — including two doubles — and a walk, scoring both Giants runs. 

After a slow start that almost got him released, Hernandez took off over the summer, providing a high average and sparkling defense at three spots. A left wrist tendon issue has slowed him in September, but he surprised the staff by being available for the final two weeks of games, and he said he’ll play through the end of the year before considering any rehab options 

“He certainly has made a statement,” Bochy said. “He’s one of our better athletes. He can play anywhere in the outfield, and what’s impressive is how he’s come on with the bat. A kid like this that plays defense the way he can, and shows he can do some things with the bat, he’s in the mix.”

Hernandez said he loves playing in San Francisco. He intends to spend his offseason getting healthy at his home in Scottsdale before competing for an outfield job. 

“Every time Bochy puts me in the lineup I’m trying to show everyone that I can be here and that I can be part of this team for a long time,” he said. 

Bumgarner roughed up early, Abreu leads White Sox to series win

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AP

Bumgarner roughed up early, Abreu leads White Sox to series win

BOX SCORE

CHICAGO — Carson Fulmer doesn't know if his future with the Chicago White Sox is as a starting pitcher or a reliever.

Either way, the 23-year-old rookie will be happy to have Jose Abreu on his side.

Abreu connected for two home runs a day after hitting for the cycle and Fulmer earned his first major league win as a starter as the White Sox beat the San Francisco Giants 8-1 on Sunday in an interleague matchup of last-place teams.

Fulmer (2-1) allowed one run on three hits with nine strikeouts and three walks in the second start of his career. A first-round draft pick in 2015, he was tagged for six earned runs in 1 1/3 innings by Minnesota on Aug. 21 in his other start.

"Starting, relieving, as long as we win it's all that matters to me," Fulmer said. "You just have to be able to go into any situation and get your team out of it. I like to start games and go as long as I can, but that's up to (manager) Ricky (Renteria) and our management."

A day after hitting for the cycle in a 13-1 victory over the Giants, Abreu recorded his fourth multihomer game of the season and 10th of his four-year major league career.

Abreu had 18 total bases the last two games; the Giants had 14.

"This is as consistent an approach as I've seen from anybody in the big leagues," Renteria said. "He really, really continues to stay focused and in the zone."

Tim Anderson, who was a double shy of joining Abreu as the only pair of teammates ever to hit for the cycle in the same game on Saturday, got three more hits. The 24-year-old shortstop is batting .520 (13 for 25) in the last six games.

Bumgarner (3-8) gave up six earned runs and 10 hits in five innings — the most runs and hits he's allowed in a game this season.

"I felt pretty good, honestly," Bumgarner said. "That's the frustrating part about it. I felt really good right from the get-go."

Jarrett Parker hit his third home run of the season in the second inning for the Giants. He missed the previous seven games with a strained oblique.

SURPRISE CALL

Chris Volstad made his first White Sox appearance, pitching a scoreless ninth.

The 30-year-old right-hander spent the season with Triple-A Charlotte and was in Florida helping his family prepare for Hurricane Irma when he got the call from the White Sox on Thursday night.

"Surprised is a good word," Volstad said. "I had already been at home just kind of gearing up for an offseason, I guess, and got the call. Obviously very excited and glad to be here and help out any way I can."

Volstad pitched for four teams in seven seasons but had not pitched in the major leagues since appearing in one games for Pittsburgh in 2015.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Giants: Parker (strained left oblique) returned to the lineup at designated hitter following a seven-game absence. Manager Bruce Bochy said Parker is still not quite ready to play the field. "He could be good to go tomorrow," Bochy said.

UP NEXT

Giants: RHP Chris Stratton (2-3, 4.10 ERA) will oppose Dodgers RHP Kenta Maeda (12-6, 4.02 ERA) in the opener of a three-game series in San Francisco. Stratton is 2-2 with a 3.15 ERA in six starts. Maeda has a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 46-7 since Aug. 1.

White Sox: RHP Reynaldo Lopez (0-3, 4.84 ERA) will attempt to make his third straight quality start as the White Sox open a three-game series against Kansas City Royals RHP Jason Hammel (8-10, 4.73 ERA) on Monday. Lopez pitched six innings of one-run ball in a 3-0 loss to the red-hot Cleveland Indians on Wednesday. Hammel pitched at least six innings in each of his last five starts and at least five innings in his last 18.