The Ace Pitcher Hits a Grand Slam To Start The Weekend
Madison Bumgarner has been stirring things up for the San Francisco Giants during the first stretch of the 2014 season. He saved some of his best work for everyone to see over the weekend as well.
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Bumgarner hit a grand slam and tied a franchise record for RBIs by a pitcher with five -- which led to an eventual 6-5 win by the Giants over the Rockies on Friday night.
"They don't really expect a whole lot out of pitchers so we get to go up there with no pressure," Bumgarner said. "It's easier to hit that way, but at the same time it's the hardest thing to do in sports."
Bumgarner hit a sacrifice fly off De La Rosa in the third inning, then later connected for a home run in the fourth inning. The shot was Bumgarner's third career homer to date and only the second grand slam by a Giants pitcher since the team relocated from New York to San Francisco in 1958.
"I'm always trying to swing hard and try to run into something," said Bumgarner, "I was lucky enough to run into something."
Bumgarner threw 112 pitches and gave up four runs, that ended a streak of 21 consecutive starts in which he allowed three earned runs or fewer. Bumgarner (2-0) allowed four runs on nine hits and two walks in six innings, striking out seven.
"It couldn't have happened at a better time for me," he said of the grand slam, "with me not really having it out there (on the mound)."
The left handed pitcher allowed a two-run home run into McCovey Cove by Rockies left fielder Carlos Gonzalez in the third inning. Pinch-hitters Charlie Culberson and Charlie Blackmon drove in Colorado runs in the sixth and eighth innings to get the Rockies back within 6-5 -- but right-hander Sergio Romo struck out the side in the ninth for his third save to protect the San Francisco lead.
"Any time you're facing Bumgarner you know it's going to be a tough at-bat," Gonzalez said. "He threw me a 3-2 curveball and there's no way I'm sitting on it. I just reacted ... but things changed after that."
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In the clip below Bumgarner shows he knew it was out of the park before he even started running to first base.