PHOENIX – It comes as no surprise that Matt Cain will make a presumed final start as a Giant this Saturday. It’s a mildly surprising at whose place he will take in the rotation.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy said that Madison Bumgarner’s season is over. The left-hander was lined up to pitch one more time in the final weekend against the San Diego Padres. Instead, he will sit back and watch – and perhaps hope for a pinch hitting appearance.
Moments after Bochy told reporters that Bumgarner would not start again, the left-handed pitcher took his black bat out of the rack and headed out for a round of batting practice.
“Why not? It’s fun,” he said, before pelting a home run into the second deck at Chase Field.
Nothing else this season has been fun for the Giants. It’s even less fun to watch helplessly on the disabled list for three months, knowing your carelessness is one of the major reasons that the team foundered.
At least Bumgarner came back with the same delivery and mostly the same stuff three months after he separated his left shoulder in an April 20 dirt bike accident. He had his best stuff of the season in Friday’s 2-1 victory at Dodger Stadium, hitting 94 mph and showing the kind of arm strength that he carried into the 2014 postseason. It was just the fourth time in his 17 starts that the Giants managed to win.
“Health-wise, I’m glad I can say I feel as good as I ever have, after what happened,” Bumgarner said. “Needless to say, I wish the team was in a different spot. It is what it is. All we can do is finish strong and come back next year ready to compete and be successful.”
Bochy said he wanted rookie Chris Stratton to remain on his regular turn and pitch Friday. Cain will pitch Saturday and Johnny Cueto is scheduled for Sunday’s season finale, although Bochy hedged a bit and said that could change if circumstances warrant.
“Madison is fine. It’s my decision,” Bochy said. “LA. With all that happened this year and the rehab, you know what? That’s enough. This makes a lot of sense to me and why we decided to go this way.”
Said Bumgarner: “It makes as much sense to not throw me as it does to throw me. Either way, it’s fine with me.”
Bumgarner finished 4-9 with a 3.32 ERA in 17 starts. He struck out 101 in 111 innings. The accident cost him his streaks of consecutive 200-inning seasons (six) and consecutive 200-strikeout seasons (three).
He missed a chance to join Tim Lincecum and Juan Marichal as the only Giants all-time to strike out 200 in four consecutive seasons, and also missed a chance to join Marichal as the only pitchers in the Giants’ San Francisco era to throw seven consecutive 200-inning seasons.
Cain said most of his family would attend Saturday’s game. He wasn’t sure how many innings he expected to throw. He also doesn’t know for sure if this is the end of his career, even if it’s a certainty that the Giants will decline his $21 million option.
“I don’t see how it wouldn’t be emotional,” Cain said. “It’s going to be a special moment for me. I’m not exactly sure what’s to come after the season is over. There’s so much that has gone on in the years I’ve been here. To think this could possibly be the end in a Giants uniform is something that is definitely going to be emotional.”
“I wanted him to have his day,” Bochy said. “I’m sure it’ll be an emotional time for him. It’s important for Matt and for us to have a start that last weekend.
“We don’t know what’s going to happen. But this is something we want to happen.”
Lineups for Saturday night in Arizona, and give Bochy credit for finding something fresh that he hasn’t used in the first 157 games:
This News Credit Goes To >> Source link