ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

Cardinals’ Contreras on Bumgarner incident: ‘I got in his mind and he blew out in that inning’

Apr 19, 2023, 3:15 PM

Willson Contreras #40 of the St. Louis Cardinals celebrates after hitting an RBI double against the...

Willson Contreras #40 of the St. Louis Cardinals celebrates after hitting an RBI double against the Arizona Diamondbacks as umpire Manny Gonzalez #79 calls timeout in the first inning at Busch Stadium on April 19, 2023 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

(Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

Arizona Diamondbacks LHP Madison Bumgarner and St. Louis Cardinals catcher Willson Contreras shared a heated moment during Wednesday’s matchup.

During the third inning of a 3-3 ballgame, Bumgarner traded obscenities with the St. Louis catcher because of how he reacted to the pitcher’s fastballs.

Contreras earned a walk in the at-bat and chucked his bat in style as if he just crushed a homerun. Bumgarner took this personally and stared him down as he walked to first.

However, the D-backs pitcher did not show that in his play, giving up four runs in the inning and was not sent back out for the fourth frame.

“For me, it’s like mind games out there,” Contreras told reporters after the Cardinals’ 14-5 win.

“Thankfully I got in his mind and he blew out in that inning.”

Bumgarner (0-3) exited the game with his ERA at 10.26 on the season and four of the eight Arizona losses in 2023 have come in his four starts.

The pitcher said his issue with Contreras wasn’t centered around an isolated incident but rather his style of play throughout the season. 

Although the lefty has been known to show extreme confidence in himself, Bumgarner knows it simply comes down to throwing the ball better.

“If you can’t see that, I don’t know how to help you. Not just today. Yesterday, today, probably another day if you picked a random day of watching him play,” Bumgarner told reporters postgame.

“If I pitched better, I might give you something. But I’ve got to pitch better.”

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