Madison Bumgarner hits like a DH while ending 40 years of pitcher exile

  • 13 Jun, 2019

Madison Bumgarner is a National League pitcher startingin an American League park Thursday night, and he’s NL all the way, right down to hitting for himself.The Giants ace is the first major league hurler in 40 years to be in the batting order in a game that used the designated hitter. He’s hitting ninth against the A’s in an interleague contest inOakland .MORE: 10 times pitchers showed they could hit And, yes, he’s raking.MORE: Get MLB scores, stats In hisfirst at-bat, he lined a double off the glove of A’s center fielder Billy Burns leading off the third inning. He later scored on Brandon Belt’s double.MadBum shows off his sliding technique. (Getty Images)He got a second AB in the frame as theGiants battedaround against Oakland starter Dillon Overton. This time, he could only manage a weak popup to second base for the third out.SPECTOR: MadBum stunt cute,but it hurts Giants Tug McGraw Jersey Bumgarner, a career .182 hitter with 13 home runs prior to Thursday, fancies himself a two-way threat, and San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy decided he could safely bat MadBum and preserve hisbench for later in the game.MORE: SN50 ranks baseball’s best players The last starting pitcher to hit for himself when the DH was available was Ken Brett (brother of George)with the White Sox in 1976. Brett did it twice that year, going 0 for 3 while pitching a complete game each time.Bumgarner probably won’t go nine, but he should get at least one more trip to the plate.MORE: Union says no Home Run Derby for BumUPDATE: Bumgarner did get that third trip,in the fifth inning. He struck out looking on a pitchthat appeared to be inside. He had a few words for plate umpire Lance Barksdale as he headed back to the dugout. Typical hitter.UPDATE 2: MadBum Wilmer Flores Jersey got a fourth PA. He came up in the top of the seventh with no outs, runners on first and second andtheGiants Tim Tebow Jersey ahead 8-2. Bunt? Heck, no. He’s a hitter. Facing his third pitcher of the game, Daniel Coulombe, he . . . shattered his bat andgrounded into a 5-4-3 double play.UPDATE 3: Bumgarner left the game in the bottom of the seventh after giving up a two-run homer to Yonder Alonso. His final (hitting) line: 1 for 4 with a double, a run scored and a strikeout. That’s a .250/.250/.500 slash line. The Giants will take that.UPDATE 4: They’ll also take the 12-6 victory, which helped them avoid a four-game, two-city sweep. That put Bumgarner in a jovial mood afterward.It definitely doesn’t happen a lot anymore, so it’s pretty cool to do that, he told reporters, per the San Francisco Chronicle. It definitely had a lot to do with the shape our (injury-riddled) team’s in right now, but at the same time, it’s a really cool experience.

Author @Bruce Brown

Bruce E. Brown has spent over 35 years as a teacher, coach, athletic administrator at the junior high, high school, junior college and collegiate level. He has coached football, basketball, baseball, and volleyball. Bruce and his team assists individuals, teams and organizations intentionally create, change or restore a culture of excellence and reach their full potential in both competence and character.
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