ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

MadBum’s ugly 2nd start for D-backs ‘on par’ with past springs

Mar 4, 2020, 6:20 PM
Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Madison Bumgarner throws prior to the first inning of a spring trainin...

Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Madison Bumgarner throws prior to the first inning of a spring training baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds, Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020, in Scottsdale Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)

(AP Photo/Matt York)

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — After his second Cactus League start, Madison Bumgarner described this spring as typical for him. That’s to say it was not pretty in terms of results.

“Pretty bad, actually,” the Arizona Diamondbacks lefty said of how his spring training performances usually go. “I would always look at it that way. I like to use it for what it’s for. The main goal is body feeling good, healthy, pitch-count getting up, innings getting up.”

Bumgarner threw 47 pitches over 2.2 innings Wednesday in a 6-2 loss to the Cleveland Indians, allowing four hits and five runs (four earned) with a walk and two strikeouts at Salt River Fields.

He shrugged off a first-inning triple to Mike Freeman that led to a score on a sac-fly, as well as a three-run home run to Francisco Lindor in the third inning when he hung a slider.

It’s all part of feeling out his stuff and building the foundation for the regular season.

D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said before the game Wednesday that Bumgarner surprised him with the fastball velocity in his first start last week. In his debut as a Diamondback, the free agent addition and former San Francisco Giant went 2.0 innings and allowed a home run but had four strikeouts while registering highs of 92 mph fastballs.

On Wednesday, the four-seam velocity ranged from 88-91 mph as Bumgarner also tinkered with a curveball that led to Freeman’s triple and his slider that Lindor took out of the park.

“Today I was talking to (catcher Carson Kelly),” Bumgarner said. “I told him, ‘Don’t read too much into it. I might do some things that seem pretty random, depending on how I feel, what I’m thinking.’ I think today we were pretty much spot-on there (working together). There were a couple times I would kind of make something up … I might have to shake once or twice.”

Bumgarner needed 17 pitches to get out of the first inning but cruised through the second on just nine.

The third frame started with a five-pitch walk of Cleveland’s Greg Allen before a Christian Arroyo grounder bounced off D-backs infielder Eduardo Escobar’s glove along the third base line to put a second base runner on.

Then, speaking of atypical things to do, Bumgarner hung two sliders in a row, failing to put them in the dirt. Lindor smacked the three-run shot on the second.

Altogether, Bumgarner laughed off that home run. There’s no cause for concern, he said.

“At this time? No, no no,” Bumgarner said. “I don’t care if I give up 40 (home runs) in spring training.”

BASE HITS

— While Bumgarner is working into form, lefty starter Alex Young continues to make a case for a role on the major league team. He went 3.2 innings before he was pulled at only 42 pitches thrown. He allowed one hit and struck out two without allowing a walk.

“His outing was outstanding. He gets those types of innings going where it’s six or seven pitches, groundball after groundball. He gets that going pretty good. It’s that same ol’ familiar feeling I saw last year,” Lovullo said.

— The bats were lacking in the D-backs’ eighth spring loss in a row. Cleveland’s right-handed starter Aaron Civale cruised for two innings facing most of the Arizona batters projected to be every-day starters. He struck out three with only a walk of Escobar marring his first start of spring.

Civale, 24, played 10 games for the Indians as a rookie last season and produced a 2.34 ERA.

Lovullo said the lack of production from the Arizona offense gave him “minimal” concern.

— Diamondbacks reliever Archie Bradley threw a clean full inning and only needed nine pitches (eight strikes) to do so.

— In the designated hitter slot, 23-year-old Seth Beer went 2-for-3 with a run scored.

— Lovullo, on the times Bumgarner has approached teammates with suggestions: “What I’ve learned over the course of time is his recall and his ability to pay attention to certain things that have happened over the past three years that we’ve been competing against him is very unique. He brought up several situations that happened against the Arizona Diamondbacks while he was with the Giants that I can’t even remember, and he pulls up the details, the really small details.”

— At 10:30 a.m. Thursday, starter Mike Leake will throw a four-inning bullpen session to live batters and with a screen in front of him at Salt River Fields.

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