The slider kept sliding, and it threatened so much goodwill that remains in this Giants season.
It slid right onto Mike Yastrzemski’s back, left foot and sent the valuable right fielder — three days ahead of the trip to Fenway Park that has so many excited — sprawling to the ground in pain.
How much pain?
“A lot,” Yastrzemski told KNBR after the Giants’ 4-2 loss to the Marlins at Oracle Park on Saturday. “Just one of those situations where you hope it’s not as bad as it feels.”
It wasn’t. The 29-year-old rookie stayed in the game after the Robert Dugger pitch until the seventh inning, when he was pinch-hit for, and he said his foot should be OK.
It had taken several minutes of Yastrzemski trying to test the foot, mostly unsuccessfully at first, before he proved to trainer Dave Groeschner and Bochy that he should remain in the game.
“I haven’t really been ever hit in the back foot like that,” said Yastrzemski, who’s from Massachusetts and whose grandfather, Carl, of course, might as well own Boston.
Asked if he thought he could play Sunday, Yastrzemski offered, “I hope so.”
Madison Bumgarner was not eager to talk about his battles with home-plate umpire CB Bucknor.
— KNBR (@KNBR) September 15, 2019
The two faced off most contentiously in the top and bottom of the third, when Bumgarner yelled at Bucknor after a ball that appeared to have hit the strike zone. Bucknor took off his mask and yelled back, and Bumgarner eventually wheeled and gave him his back.
Asked if he could hear what Bucknor shouted, Bumgarner said, “Not at that point.”
In the bottom of the inning, Bumgarner got closer, taking an at-bat that brought some commotion, too, as Bumgarner flung his arm up after one strike call (which did appear to be a strike).
“We talked a minute,” said Bumgarner, before it was pointed out he has had other spars with Bucknor. “Seem to.”
Shaun Anderson faltered in his first attempt at pitching back-to-back days.
The college closer turned minor/major league starter turned major league reliever, who had been 2-for-2 in save attempts without Will Smith, only recorded one out in the eighth inning, allowing the two deciding runs to score.
He had thrown nine pitches Friday in securing a Giants victory.
“I need to get used to it. But I felt good tonight,” said Anderson, who said he’s sought advice from other relievers about how to pitch back-to-back. “My slider was just backing up on me a little bit.”