Madison Bumgarner gets rocked in what could have been rivalry finale


Madison Bumgarner gets rocked in what could have been rivalry finale

LOS ANGELES -- The night was always going to end in deafening boos. 

That was clear when Max Muncy took batting practice in a shirt mocking Madison Bumgarner's anger over a home run celebration. It was clear when the Dodgers' in-house organist played "Under the Sea" for Muncy's first at-bat and followed that up with a series of water-themed songs. Or when the scoreboard noted that Muncy's last home run against Bumgarner was currently 25 feet under water and showed a video graphic of Lou Seal surrounded by sharks. 

They don't like Bumgarner around here, never have, and it was ramped up with the noise and drama surrounding every matchup with Muncy, Bumgarner's latest target in blue.

The night did end in boos, but this was never what Bumgarner imagined. He walked off in the fourth, the bases loaded and the Dodgers leading 6-0. Bumgarner briefly looked up at the hatred before ducking his head and disappearing inside the dugout. 

On a night when the Giants twice rallied late, Bumgarner dug too deep a hole. The Giants lost 9-8 in what likely was their ace's final appearance in the rivalry.

"I know it could be," Bumgarner said. "Not that that had anything to do with the result. Mentally I was in the same place I always am. It's not my first bad game I've had against these guys or anyone else. It never gets any easier to swallow."

This was Bumgarner's 35th start against the Dodgers and certainly qualified as his worst. He had never before given up six runs against the rival, but the Dodgers got one in the first on Muncy's single -- after Kiké Hernandez had stolen second and third -- and then poured it on with five runs in a loud fourth inning that ended up being Bumgarner's last.

Kyle Garlick and Austin Barnes, little-known right-handed batters, hit two-run blasts. Bumgarner then gave up three straight singles to the top of the order to load the bases for Muncy. There was no drama -- just a fly ball to left -- but Chris Taylor followed with a hit that made it 6-0 and chased Bumgarner. 

"I just thought balls were up and over the plate," catcher Buster Posey said. "That was the main thing."

The boos cascaded from all directions at Dodger Stadium as the Giants made a change, but that was the least of Bumgarner's concerns. He allowed eight hits in an inning for the first time since June 21, 2011, a start against the Twins that remains the worst of his career. 

This was just the third time that Bumgarner pitched fewer than four innings, gave up double-digit hits and allowed six runs. He had never before allowed double-digit hits to the Dodgers. Asked what happened, Bumgarner paused.

"I don't know," he said. "I wish I had an answer, but I don't. It's frustrating, extremely frustrating, especially with the way our guys played tonight."

The lineup did not break out until Bumgarner had departed, adding a bit more drama to a night full of it. The Dodgers, at every turn, tweaked the left-hander with gimmicks usually reserved for Double-A. They seemed one inning away from introducing a beer batter, and the Giants noticed. If they greet the Dodgers in September with a video montage of Clayton Kershaw postseason games, you will know why. But Bumgarner said he didn't notice the extracurriculars. 

"Come on. Come on," he said. "No."

[RELATED: Giants rip umps after Dodgers loss, call for more accountability]

He was not concerned about scoreboard videos or an organist. In what likely was his final time here in orange and black, the Giants scored eight runs. Bumgarner still took the loss.

"We should have won that game," he said. "As bad as it was, we should've won the game."

Giants affiliate Sacramento River Cats win Triple-A National Championship

Giants affiliate Sacramento River Cats win Triple-A National Championship

While the Giants were busy breaking a record and beating the Red Sox 7-6 in 15 innings on Tuesday night, their Triple-A affiliate was winning another title. 

The Sacramento River Cats already took home the crown of Pacific Coast League champions this season. Now, they can add an even bigger trophy to their mantle. 

Instead of a series, one game decides who is the king of Triple-A baseball. That title now belongs to the River Cats after they beat the Columbus Clippers, 4-0, in the Triple-A National Championship. 

Sacramento became the first franchise to have three Triple-A National Championship titles. It's the first time the River Cats have done so as an affiliate of the Giants. 

“It feels great,” Brundage said to the Sacramento Bee's Joe Davidson after the win. “They played their hearts out.”

Brundage deserves all the credit in the world for the title. This season was a marathon, to the say the least, for him and his entire staff. The River Cats played 146 games and dealt with 319 player transactions. 

That's right, 319. 

In a world where Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi is willing to make any move and use a player's minor league options, the River Cats will have to deal with plenty of changes to their roster as long he's in charge. Caleb Baragar, the game's winning pitcher, is a prime example. 

When the Richmond Flying Squirrels -- the Giants' Double-A affiliate -- saw their season end without a trip to the playoffs, Baragar thought he could finally take break. Wrong. Baragar was added to the River Cats' roster for the playoffs and ended up being a hero. 

The 25-year-old right-hander pitched five shutout innings Tuesday night while allowing just two hits and striking out five batters. He was named MVP of the game for his valiant effort.

[RELATED: Bochy will be in a league of his own with 2,000 career wins]

"I saw a young man who wasn’t scared,” Brundage said to Baseball America. "Sometimes you’re not sure. Is the moment too big? The moment wasn’t too big against Vegas. He was even better tonight.”

In a year of constant shuffle for San Francisco and Sacramento alike, the River Cats came out on top with a ring. The Giants hope they too can soon do the same.

Why Giants manager Bruce Bochy winning 2,000 games shows his greatness

Why Giants manager Bruce Bochy winning 2,000 games shows his greatness

The Giants' magic number is down to one. 

In this case, the countdown isn't for the playoffs but something just as significant. The Giants' 7-5 15-inning win over the Red Sox on Tuesday night gave manager Bruce Bochy his 1,999th career victory. 

Bochy now is one win away from becoming the 11th manager in MLB history to have at least 2,000 career wins. Every manager in that prestigious club already is in the National Baseball Hall of Fame, and Bochy punched his ticket years ago. 

But when Bochy does get that historic win, it will come with a catch.

He already has 2,022 career losses. With only 11 games left in the regular season and the Giants out of playoff contention, Bochy is guaranteed to end his career as an MLB manager with more losses than wins. Only two other managers who have won at least 2,000 games can say the same -- Connie Mack and Bucky Harris. 

Mack, who owns the record for most career wins with 3,731, coached from 1894 to 1950. Harris managed from 1924 to 1956. Each did so when job security was a breeze. They even served as player/manager for a stint during their coaching careers. 

Bochy, 64, is part of a whole different era.

While teams are constantly making changes and firing their managers, Bochy has been the steady face of the Giants through good times and bad. He's been the ultimate players' coach in a time where data and technology are taking over. He's been a boss and a father figure. 

Bochy became the Giants' manager in 2007. Between then and now, the NL West has gone through managers like they're giving them away at a bake sale. In the last 13 years, the Dodgers have gone through four managers, as have the Padres and Rockies. The Diamondbacks have used six.

[RELATED: Giants, Red Sox tie MLB record that might last for years]

As Bochy has worn his black and orange Giants hat while hovering over the dugout the last 13 years, four other teams in the NL West have used 18 managers.

Bochy will end his career with three World Series rings and an unwavering amount of respect. In a time of change and constant turnover, the Giants' skipper always has been there as the face of consistency and someone anyone could turn to.