D-backs’ Madison Bumgarner ‘not really worried’ about 2020 showing
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — It’s been said time and time again: It’s good to have a short-term memory in sports.
You never want to be too high or too low on yourself heading into a new game or season.
That’s exactly where Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner is at more than halfway through spring training.
“I’m not really worried about 2020 or any other year except for right now,” Bumgarner said Tuesday. “Regardless of whether I won the Cy Young last year or had the year that I did, this is a new one and we’ve all moved on. … Me and everybody else is pretty well concerned about this year.”
Those are pretty significant words given the fact that Bumgarner has won three World Series during his 13-year MLB career.
In the ace’s four-inning outing that ended in a D-backs’ 12-3 win over the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday, Bumgarner allowed two earned runs on three hits (two home runs). He also struck out three. He’s now 2-0 this spring, while also throwing a sim game.
“I liked the way he pitched. He was hitting spots, he was making pitches when he had to. I think he made a couple mistakes and those things are going to happen,” skipper Torey Lovullo said postgame. “But just good comments after the inning and after the outing. I think he was in a good spot and I liked what I saw today.”
It’s another strong spring performance for the starter who finished his first season in a D-backs uniform with a 1-4 record to go along with a career-worst 6.48 ERA. He struck out 30 batters.
“Pretty good, today wasn’t bad. Really just two pitches I’d like to do over again,” Bumgarner said. “The rest of them I felt pretty good about. It was nice to go up and down four times, get some at-bats and kinda feel like a regular game.”
Speaking of those at-bats, Bumgarner marked the first D-backs pitcher to step into the batter box this spring.
He got on base in his first plate appearance, registering a walk in the third inning. He would represent one of Arizona’s five runs in the inning thanks to a trio of doubles from David Peralta, Asdrubal Cabrera and Eduardo Escobar.
The same couldn’t be said for the pitcher in the fourth inning, however. Facing off against former San Francisco Giants closer Sergio Romo, Bumgarner was rung up looking.
You better believe “MadBum” let the home plate umpire know he was too pleased with the called strike.
Madison Bumgarner had some words with the ump after getting rung up by his former teammate in Sergio Romo. pic.twitter.com/jWDBTBTl4u
— Tyler Drake (@Tdrake4sports) March 16, 2021
“It’s just normal stuff. We’re competing out there and it was against a good friend of mine, a long-time teammate so it was fun,” Bumgarner said of the at-bat. “I was one pitch behind him, though.
“But it was good to get out there. It didn’t feel like I had missed that much time out of the box, really. I know [it’s been a year], but it didn’t necessarily feel that way.”
The duo of Cabrera and Escobar led the way offensively Tuesday afternoon, combining for five RBIs on three hits, including a Cabrera solo bomb in the fifth inning. They also registered three runs scored.
What Bumgarner is focusing on in his 12th spring training:
“I’ve had a lot of different springs over the years and the main takeaway from it is being able to get up and down six, seven, eight times and get close to 100 pitches. That’s really the ultimate goal at the end of this. There’s some little things that we might like to get going and take care of but that’s the main thing.”
The D-backs take on the Texas Rangers at 6:05 p.m. Wednesday.