LOS ANGELES – Madison Bumgarner didn’t break stride. He handed the ball to Bruce Bochy, kept his head pointed straight as simultaneously vicious and respectful boos rained upon him, and he walked into the visitors’ dugout, each step bringing him closer to a future that likely won’t include the orange and black.
And likely won’t include these hated Dodgers.
In what was, in all probability, Bumgarner’s final outing in this rivalry, the big lefty went out on bottom. He couldn’t finish off the powerful Dodgers hitters, and a lineup without holes knocked Bumgarner out early in a 9-8 Giants loss Thursday in front of 43,742 at Dodger Stadium.
Bumgarner lasted just 3 2/3 innings, LA teeing off for 10 hits, including two homers, and six runs.
At pregame batting practice, Bumgarner nemesis Max Muncy wore a “Go Get It Out of the Ocean” shirt, a belated shot at the Giants legend’s tantrum following a Muncy homer earlier this month.
“That’s poking the bear,” manager Bruce Bochy said before the game. “You poke the bear enough, you can’t be upset if he bites back, either.”
The bear was poked, and the bear fell right over.
Bumgarner could not escape a fourth inning that would not end. The Dodgers stacked four hits together – including Kyle Garlick and Austin Barnes homers – before Bumgarner could get an out. After that out, four of the next few batters reached, and what was a 1-0 game became 6-0. While Muncy was not part of the party in the inning, his RBI single in the first must have stung Bumgarner.
Even in his later years, the 29-year-old has risen to the Dodgers’ level, entering the night with a 2.52 lifetime ERA against them. That number shrank to 2.43 in his past six starts. Like his playoff reputation, Bumgarner pitches up to his competition. On this night, his pitches were just up.
By the time the Giants’ bats awoke, it was (just barely) too late to make up for Bumgarner’s performance. Against a bullpen medley – a not-stretched-out Julio Urias started and threw three scoreless, 43-pitch innings – they couldn’t squeeze a run across until the fifth, when Brandon Crawford’s double made it 6-1. They did more damage with three runs in the seventh, the big blow coming on Mike Yastrzemski’s two-run homer, which brought the Giants within 7-4.
The Dodgers answered in the bottom half of the inning, a pinch-hit, two-run Joc Pederson home run pushing the lead back to five. The Giants would mount a ninth-inning rally, six straight reaching base, but the tying run died on second base.
After Pederson’s dinger, Sam Dyson hit Joc Pederson and brushed back Justin Turner, perhaps the culmination of a frustrating Giants day.
The Giants (31-42) and Dodgers won’t play again before the July 31 trade deadline, and the Giants are entering a rebuild while Bumgarner is a free agent at season’s end. The Giants now head to Arizona and will not want to look back at this series. The Dodgers outscored them 29-13; outhit them 48-20.
The Giants entered having won four of five, with faint hope of resurrecting the season. They leave battered, with each step from their ace looking like it could be his last.