Don’t look now, but the D-backs have another ace on their hands. I’m kidding of course, (or am I?) as it’s really only been a 17 inning sample from the horse rider Mason Saunders but the results have been as good as you’d hoped when you signed Bumgarner to the 5 year, $85 million deal before the 2020 season. The velocity is a tad slower than his days with the Giants, but batters are missing more barrels against Madison than in 2020 (14.9% vs 7.1%) and is getting more swings and misses than ever before. I might not have a PhD, but signs point to weaker contact and fewer runs.
Of course the Marlins had different ideas, as Miguel Rojas launched a 2-1 fastball to left for a leadoff home run. Great, so it’s going to be one of those games. Well, not so fast.
The last 3 starts Madison Bumgarner showed up and mowed down the Marlins. 3 fly balls to escape the 1st.
Striking out the side in the 2nd.
Another 2 strikeouts in the 3rd coupled with a perfect 4th and 5th. He even got the first two batters out in the 6th before he finally faltered, as Rojas singled to center. Jesus Aguilar got hit in the knee to give the Marlins their first runner in scoring position, but Garrett Cooper grounded to 3rd for the final out and just like that, Bumgarner made it through 6 innings, allowing the single run while striking out 7 and walking 1. His fabulous string of starts continues. Unfortunately, the offense's struggles continued, although they certainly started hot enough.
Pavin Smith singled to lead off the game and a HBP by Cabrera moved Smith to 2nd. But a double play from Rojas followed and after a Peralta walk, Carson Kelly struck out to end the threat.
The 2nd started off poorly, with a flyout and strikeout but Varsho reached on an error from M. Rojas and Bumgarner was HBP to push another runner in scoring position. Pavin Smith continued his hot bat, lacing a double over Brinson in center to tie things up at 1.
Pablo Lopez only allowed a 2-out walk to Kelly in the 3rd to match Bumgarner but ran into trouble again the 5th, only for the D-backs to not capitalize.
Rojas doubled down the right field line that ate up Aguilar at 1st, and after an error by Berti at 2nd, Kelly again had a chance to bust open the game. He’d strike out to end the inning.
Bumgarner’s day was done after the 6th, so J.B. Bukauskas entered. And it was not good. After watching a slider for ball 1, Bukauskas threw another and Adam Duvall crushed it to center, giving the Marlins a 2-1 lead. They didn’t stop there, as Brian Anderson singled to left, and moved to 3rd after Corey Dickerson singled to center. Fortunately, he was out trying to advance to 2nd. A sac fly immediately followed, and our final score of 3-1 was established as the offense struggled to get anything going against the Marlins bullpen. So is life.
With the 6 innings of 1-run ball, Madison Bumgarner garnered a +.224 WPA on the day. Pavin Smith’s 3-hit day led the offense at +.136.
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The D-backs head to the Big Apple for a series against the Mets. After the series sweep, the team will need to turn things around. First pitch at 4:10pm.