D-backs can’t overcome Madison Bumgarner’s 1st frame in loss to Dodgers
Apr 1, 2023, 7:57 PM | Updated: 10:49 pm
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Arizona Diamondbacks veteran left-handed starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner settled down after a rough first inning in a 10-1 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday night.
He was pulled by manager Torey Lovullo after only going 4.0 innings, allowing five runs (all earned) on four hits (one home run), four walks and one hit-by-pitch while striking out two on 85 pitches (49 strikes).
“My mechanics were fine,” Bumgarner told reporters postgame. “It was just one of those days you have during the year and mine just happened to be the first one.
“It wasn’t like I went out there and threw the ball really well, but I was just one pitch away in the first of it being a completely different game. After that, it wasn’t bad.”
Unfortunately for the D-backs, the damage had already been done by the time Bumgarner (0-1) recorded his first three outs of the season.
Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts led off the game with a double that hit a fan in the hands beyond the outfield wall, so it should have been called a home run. And for reasons still unknown, the call was then “overturned” as fan interference but still ruled a double. April Fools?
It could have been a break for the D-backs, but Bumgarner proceeded to give up a single to Freddie Freeman, strike out former Diamondback J.D. Martinez and hit Max Muncy to load up the bases. And after a Chris Taylor RBI sac-fly and Miguel Vargas walk, Trayce Thompson made it 5-0 Dodgers with a first-inning grand slam.
The Diamondbacks lefty did settle down from there, however, putting up three straight goose eggs over the remainder of his outing.
One concern for the 33-year-old, though, was the velocity on his fastball or lack thereof, as he was hovering around 88-89 mph while occasionally breaking 90.
Bumgarner also failed to have a 1-2-3 inning, but did only face three batters in his fourth and final frame after D-backs rookie catcher Gabriel Moreno threw out Freeman trying to steal second following an overturned challenge by Lovullo.
“There was looseness to the breaking ball and things just weren’t consistent,” Lovullo told reporters postgame. “He’s always around the zone but there were some big misses today.
“Red flags go up when we see that … Bum was OK. He actually offered to go back out there for the fifth inning. He knew the ‘pen could probably be overworked a little bit. I told him no, that was enough. We’ll figure it out from here.”
Christian Walker’s solo home run in the top of the second inning was the lone bright spot on the night for Arizona offensively. The Diamondbacks first baseman continues to have Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw’s number, as he is now 9-for-30 (.300) with five homers in his career against him.
Christian Walker: Clayton Kershaw killer.#Dbacks pic.twitter.com/tMVlNvMeek
— Jake Anderson (@jwa1994) April 2, 2023
However, that was Kershaw’s (1-0) only blunder, as he finished the night allowing just the one run on four hits and no walks while striking out a whopping nine D-backs batters over 6.0 innings and 76 pitches (56 strikes).
“I have a lot of respect for Bum,” Kershaw told reporters postgame. “We’ve done it a lot now and we’re still trying to do it.
“I think there is a level of respect on both sides that it’s fun to compete against (each other) and we’ll probably do it again here in a few days (at Arizona).”
The Diamondbacks will look to split the four-game series against the Dodgers on Sunday at 1:10 p.m. on 98.7, the Arizona Sports app and ArizonaSports.com.
Arizona right-hander Zach Davies is scheduled to start against Los Angeles righty Noah Syndergaard.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.