Bumgarner’s stellar outing ends with Varsho’s walk-off homer in D-backs win
Aug 13, 2021, 11:10 PM | Updated: Aug 15, 2021, 5:49 pm
PHOENIX — The force was with the Arizona Diamondbacks on Star Wars weekend as Daulton Varsho walked off the San Diego Padres to give the D-backs a 3-2 win on Friday night.
The #VarShow has a happy ending! pic.twitter.com/31fJ8w6HgL
— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) August 14, 2021
“I don’t know if there’s another thing you can compare it to in life,” Varsho said of his first MLB walk-off. “You just see the people at home plate, your teammates who have grinded with you the whole year and it’s literally adrenaline through the roof.
“You don’t really get many of those throughout your whole career as a team, you never see that very much. It was pretty cool to be a part of it, so it was a lot of fun. It was cool to see all the faces and how exciting it was.”
Starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner was dealing most of the night in front of 12,866 fans at Chase Field.
That was until the top of the seventh inning.
The D-backs lefty had thrown an absolute gem through his first six scoreless innings having only allowed five hits while striking out four Padres and not walking a single batter.
But with a 2-0 Diamondbacks lead, an Eric Hosmer leadoff single was followed by a Wil Meyers two-run home run — Bumgarner’s only mistake on the night — to tie the game at 2-2.
Friday the 13th. #WilPower pic.twitter.com/BJbLm06mmm
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) August 14, 2021
“Everything was pretty good, I was pretty happy with it,” Bumgarner said. “I gave up a lot of hits but not a lot of them were hard contact and that’s what we’re after: soft contact early in the at-bat. Sometimes those are just going to find holes.”
And despite striking out the next two batters, the lefty was taken out by manager Torey Lovullo after allowing back-to-back singles with Padres’ Manny Machado coming to the plate.
Taylor Clarke came in relief for Arizona and got the San Diego third baseman to strike out swinging to get out of the jam.
“That’s part of what you get with me,” Bumgarner said of not wanting to come out. “Maybe it’s not always right and I understand that but I just like to compete and I want to win.
“That’s definitely not the first time, it’s probably the 100th time that something like that has happened. I’m just happy Clarke came in and did a good job and we got the win. That’s all I care about: that we win the ballgame, that’s it.”
Bumgarner finished the night allowing only two earned runs on nine hits and struck out six over 6.2 innings pitched en route to a 101-pitch no-decision, an astounding 78 of which were for strikes (77%).
“It was another unbelievable outing, great finish to his stuff,” Lovullo said. “I extended him a little bit into that 100-pitch range because I felt like he was very capable of that.
“We’re trying to save certain guys for certain matchups and him kind of working back around the way he did allowed us to get some bullpen matches that we wanted. … Pitching into the seventh inning and he was one batter short. That was four hits in that inning and I just felt like it was time to maneuver but he was fantastic today.”
In what was a pitching duel with Padres starter Blake Snell, the San Diego lefty only managed to go five innings due to his pitch count reaching 101 (61 strikes).
However, Snell only allowed two runs on six hits (a solo homer to Ketel Marte) while striking out six and walking two.
Absolutely crushed. And @ketel_marte4 knew it. pic.twitter.com/0LaURSgfZx
— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) August 14, 2021
Timely hitting plagued both teams, as the Padres compiled a total of 10 hits compared to the D-backs’ eight, but the two sides each left eight runners on apiece.
San Diego went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position compared to Arizona’s 1-for-6, including missing out on an opportunity to break the game open by leaving the bases loaded with only one out in the bottom of the sixth after back-to-back outs from Bumgarner and Nick Ahmed.
Clarke allowed one baserunner in his 1.1 innings pitched — only requiring 18 pitches — before handing the ball over to Tyler Clippard in the top of the ninth.
The D-backs closer had a perfect frame on just nine pitches en route to picking up the win thanks to Varsho’s walk-off homer in the bottom half of the inning.
“As much as we’re talking about Bum, we have to give them a little bit of love too,” Lovullo said. “… Two dependable guys that have done it for us this season and obviously we count on them and they came through. It was a great moment for them too.”
The Diamondbacks host the Padres in Game 3 of the four-game set on Saturday, with a pitching matchup of Tyler Gilbert vs. Joe Musgrove.
First pitch is scheduled for 5:10 p.m. Catch all the action on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.