D-backs force extras after uneven outing for Bumgarner in loss to Mariners

Sep 3, 2021, 10:48 PM
Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner throws against the Seattle Mariners during ...

Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner throws against the Seattle Mariners during the first inning of a baseball game Friday, Sept. 3, 2021, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX — The Arizona Diamondbacks showed a fight on Friday night, one that brought on an extra inning, but not a win.

After Arizona’s four-run seventh inning tied the game with the Seattle Mariners at 5-5, the D-backs lost 6-5 in 10 innings.

The four runs came via an RBI two-bagger for Andrew Young, an RBI single by Josh Rojas to score Young and a two-RBI single for Nick Ahmed.

The D-backs were in a 5-1 hole because of a third straight uneven start for left-hander Madison Bumgarner.

Two outings ago prior to Friday, Bumgarner had posted a 1.93 ERA in his seven starts since returning from the injured list. It was the best stretch for Bumgarner since signing a five-year, $85 million deal in December of 2019, looking the part of a lefty that was one of the best pitchers in baseball for the last decade.

But since then, Bumgarner has given up four earned runs to the Pittsburgh Pirates, five against the Philadelphia Phillies and then another five Seattle got off him on Friday.

Bumgarner after the Pirates start was right in saying he thought he pitched better than his line indicated, but for the Phillies outing, he was blunt in stating it was one of the worst games he had thrown in a long time.

While he certainly was not that bad against Seattle, he had a noticeable lack of control compared to what we had been seeing for that four-week stretch from mid-July to mid-August, and the Mariners were consistently getting great contact too.

The lefty said he was having problems with gripping the baseballs.

“It’s not ever fun to try to blame it on something else, I could have been just as bad without it, but the balls were definitely a huge factor tonight,” Bumgarner said, noting he felt fine physically and mentally going into the outing.

“It was a very uncharacteristic outing by Bum,” manager Torey Lovullo added on the lack of accuracy for Bumgarner.

Bumgarner walked five Mariners and also allowed five hits in his 6.0 innings of work.

During that seven-start spurt where Bumgarner was outstanding, he walked five total batters over 46.2 innings. He has now given free bases to 12 opposing hitters in his last 17.0 innings.

After the first two Mariner hitters of the night got on with singles, Bumgarner retired the next two before plunking Seattle second baseman Abraham Toro with a pitch when ahead 1-2 in the count. With the bases loaded, the next batter was walked for the first run of the game to cross.

As for the night’s other starting pitcher, Seattle’s Tyler Anderson was perfect through three innings before a deep fly ball to center field hit by Ahmed to begin the fourth inning was dropped by Seattle’s Jarred Kelenic. The play was ruled a triple and not an error but was clearly a ball Kelenic had a good chance of catching.

Two batters later, Carson Kelly scored Ahmed on a single for an RBI and a 1-1 tie game.

But Bumgarner’s struggles to command the strike zone continued.

He started the fifth inning with four straight balls to Mariners shortstop J.P. Crawford. The next man up, Mitch Haniger, saw Bumgarner hang a cutter over the plate to him, one he promptly mashed over the left-field wall for a no-doubter two-run homer, his 30th of the season.

The sixth inning was a re-run.

Bumgarner walked the leadoff hitter, this time on five pitches, and then the following hitter Kelenic smashed another Mariners dinger that would score two runs.

Outside of the goof by Kelenic in center that should have been an unearned run for Anderson, he was cool as could be through six innings. He retired each three hitters in the other five.

In the seventh inning, however, Anderson allowed back-to-back doubles, the second of which by Young scored Walker, and then Anderson was pulled. Seattle reliever Sean Doolittle would take on the other two earned runs, with his relief Paul Sewald giving up the single to Ahmed that let Doolittle’s two runners score.

Sewald walked the D-backs’ Ketel Marte and Kelly after that, loading the bases with two outs for Walker, but the first baseman struck out swinging.

With Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager on second to start the 10th inning, Seattle advanced Seager on a groundout, and after a walk, Kelenic’s bloop single down the left-field line found just enough room to provide what would be the game-winning run.


Game two of the series takes place on Saturday in Chase Field, with a 5:10 p.m. first pitch you can hear on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.

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