Giants appreciated how Clayton Kershaw handled Madison Bumgarner's moment

Giants appreciated how Clayton Kershaw handled Madison Bumgarner's moment

SAN FRANCISCO -- The moment was so perfect that it appeared it had to have been planned beforehand. 

Bruce Bochy was looking for one last opportunity to get Madison Bumgarner into a Giants game, having decided not to start him Sunday, and when he looked up in the fifth, there was Clayton Kershaw jogging to the mound. Kershaw and Bumgarner will go down as two of the best left-handers of this generation, but their relationship goes beyond that. 

The two have become friends, talking before most Giants-Dodgers games over the last decade. They keep in touch off the field and have always cherished the competition they have on it. Their battles are filled with inside pitches, subtle smiles and good-natured taunting as they sit in opposing dugouts. 

Their matchup Sunday wasn't planned, both managers said, but it wasn't a total surprise. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told reporters before the game that he expected to see Bumgarner as a pinch-hitter, not a reliever. Kershaw said he joked about a possible matchup. 

Bochy knew what he wanted to do, even if he felt bad about a repercussion. He was apologetic to Brandon Crawford after pulling him from the final game for a pinch-hitter, but Crawford understood.  

"I just wanted to do something for Madison," Bochy said. "With all he's done, I just said there can't be a better script right now with Clayton on the mound. They've battled so many times, not just pitching against each other, but how they compete against each other with the bat."

As Crawford headed back to the dugout and Bumgarner walked up the steps to a standing ovation, the shortstop had just one request. 

"I told him, 'You better hit a homer,'" Crawford said later. 

Bumgarner has taken Kershaw deep twice, and he certainly tried for a third one. He took a huge swing at the first pitch, a fastball up in the zone, but fouled it straight back. The next pitch was up and in and Bumgarner laughed as he looked out at the mound. Bumgarner ended up lining out, but what stood out to the Giants wasn't the result, but how Kershaw handled everything. 

He threw seven fastballs, all between 89-91 mph. He wasn't directing meatballs down the heart of the plate, but he certainly gave Bumgarner every opportunity to compete and do something memorable. Kershaw also called rookie catcher Will Smith out before the at-bat to let Bumgarner soak in the cheers. 

Bumgarner said after the game that he appreciated how it all went down, and his teammates applauded Kershaw -- who tipped his cap to Bochy after the third out -- as well. 

"That's what makes baseball fun, little tidbits like that that you get to see throughout the year," catcher Buster Posey said. "I thought it was really cool how Kershaw pitched him. He went right after him and challenged him. Those two have been going at it for a decade now and there's hopefully more to come, we'll see."

Field to Table: How to make Oracle Park's Crazy Crab Sandwich at home

Field to Table: How to make Oracle Park's Crazy Crab Sandwich at home

It was more than just a kooky mascot that roamed Candlestick Park and captured our hearts. It captured our taste buds as well. 

With Giants baseball on indefinite hiatus due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we wanted to bring the ballpark to you by creating the Crazy Crab Sandwich at home.

NBC Sports Bay Area has teamed up with to create the "Field to Table" cooking show, where we'll attempt to cook our favorite ballpark treats from home.

Giants studio host Kelli Johnson, Giants insider Alex Pavlovic and "Shelter on Base/Triples Alley" member Anthony Garcia all attempt to make the Oracle Park delicacy from scratch in the second installment of "Field to Table."

Here's the recipe they used:

- Crabmeat (pasteurized)
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
- Lemon wedges
- Sliced sourdough bread
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Sliced tomato
- Garlic (1 clove, chopped)
- Parsley (chopped)
- Salt and pepper to taste

[RELATED: How to make Oracle Park's famous garlic fries at home]

Check out the video above to see their cooking skills on display.

Receive $25 off a $100-or-more order on by using the promo code "NBCSPORTS"

Giants encouraged by how players are handling early safety protocols

Giants encouraged by how players are handling early safety protocols

The owners and players don't appear to be any closer to a resolution that will allow baseball to return to the field this summer, but behind the scenes, the Giants haven't allowed that to be too discouraging. They know that at any moment they might get word that they have to rush to San Francisco for Spring Training 2.0, and they're trying to stay ready.

While players have mostly been diligently working out at home since camp ended in March, the Giants quietly opened up their Scottsdale facility last month to further ramp things up. Players who live in the area have been allowed to come in to work out, although there is a limit on how many staffers can be in the building at one time and visits are staggered to allow for proper distancing. 

During a recent appearance on KNBR, president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said he was encouraged by the way players are going about their workouts when allowed into the facility, calling it a positive development. 

"One of the realities of our situation is it's going to be a different experience for players and staff coming to the ballpark," Zaidi said. "What it means to even get in the front door, frankly, but then what it's going to look like inside. For us to be able to ramp that facility up and in very limited numbers have people coming through, players coming through, going through individual workouts, it's exposed them to what it's going to be like."

If the game resumes, the ramp-up from this point will be significant. The Giants are talking every day about what a shortened season might look like, sharing ideas on how to allow the players and coaches to properly train. 

While the organization has not fully decided if their three-week training period will take place at Scottsdale Stadium or Oracle Park, the strong lean is to return to San Francisco.

While Scottsdale Stadium provides an extra field, more bullpen mounds, and a new state-of-the-art weight room and training facility, Giants employees believe that San Francisco is safer overall, having made a much stronger commitment to trying to flatten the curve. A few high-ranking team employees who stayed in Arizona originally have returned to the Bay Area.

[GIANTS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Oracle Park is unmatched as a baseball stadium, but there will be complications for a second spring training and shortened season. The Giants have talked about putting up temporary batting cages in the concourses and creating new clubhouse and changing spaces to spread players and coaches out. 

This is all just the tip of the iceberg, and if the Giants get word that baseball is returning, it'll be a wild scramble to get everything in place. It'll be something unlike anything players have been through before, but the early signs are encouraging. 

[RELATED: What shortened season would have looked like for 2019 Giants]

"Our players that have come through (Scottsdale Stadium) have been awesome with complying with all the rules, some which I'm sure seem a little bit onerous under the circumstances, but again it's just the reality of the situation that we're in," Zaidi said. "We're going to have to do this on a much grander scale if we get going here in a couple of weeks. Seeing the players being so bought-in to the safety protocols we put in place, that's been a real encouraging sign, because we're going to need that on a broad scale."