Clayton Kershaw: Madison Bumgarner was 'asking for it' with Yasiel Puig
Sep 20 2016 by Marjorie Miles
That beleaguered bullpen is a Giant problem for San Francisco.
The Giants (79-71) blew a franchise single-season-record ninth game when leading after eight innings. "That was a tough one". We'll never know, but the fight certainly adds yet another interesting dimension to this one. The 36-year-old has gone 3-1 while striking out 28 against three walks in 24 1/3 innings since begin acquired by the Dodgers from Oakland on August 1.
So... before last night, I kept thinking that the Giants would find a way into the playoffs because they're such a battle-tested team and they have Bochy, Buster Posey and Bumgarner.
But last night they had Bumgarner, who is usually just about good enough to do all of those things.
After Toles' hit, Corey Seager singled past diving second baseman Joe Panik on a two-strike pitch from Javier Lopez (1-3), allowing the speedy Toles to reach third.
In the 10th matchup between Bumgarner and Clayton Kershaw, both pitchers did what they do.
Both benches and bullpens cleared during the seventh-inning scuffle. A Bumgarner throw to first to get Puig out on a close play preceded the altercation, which seemed to escalate when Bumgarner could be seen saying "Don't look at me".
"I didn't hear what was going on", Bumgarner said. "It's just monitoring him", manager Dave Roberts said before the game. "That's what it looked like to me".
Puig glared back and responded, and soon both teams massed near first base before the dustup ended without any punches.
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"I just ran, and he was looking in my direction", Puig said through a translator, "and he asked why I was looking at him, and then I asked him why he was looking at me". "I asked him why he was looking at me".
That was a double by Yasiel Puig in the second inning, a drive that did not improve his relationship with Bumgarner.
Bumgarner barely broke a sweat in the seventh and looked headed for a complete game, but another confrontation with Puig changed all that in a hurry.
We have a lot of questions about this entire mess. "It seems to work out because we win". He struck out 10, walked none and retired his final 10 batters.
Kershaw gave up an unearned run and three hits in his third start since returning from a back injury.
Kershaw also walked Gorkys Hernandez in the fourth, a scoreless frame but one that added 23 pitches to his ledger.
The Giants led the division by 6 1/2 games at the All-Star break but lost the lead to the Dodgers on August 21.
LHP Alex Wood (posterior elbow impingement) is expected to be activated Tuesday. The team wanted an extra day to finalize the corresponding roster move. LHP Julio Urias will pitch out of the bullpen during the Giants series. The previous record of 237 strikeouts was set all the way back in 1911 when the team was located in NY by Hall of Fame LHP Rube Marquad, who reached the mark in 277.2 innings. While his strikeouts have gone up on the road, he's been dominant at home in AT&T Park, going 8-4 with a 2.04 ERA and sub-1.00 WHIP in 16 starts in 2016. The two-time All-Star has gone 3-2 with a 2.43 ERA over his last six starts, and the Giants are 21-9 when he takes the mound this season.