Bumgarner sharp in latest spring start
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) Madison Bumgarner looked sharp again in his latest spring training outing, though it lasted only two innings.
Officially, anyway. After the San Francisco ace blanked the Padres, he went to the bullpen to throw some more Tuesday, taking breaks to simulate game conditions. He threw 85 pitches in during the day.
Bumgarner struck out three and allowed two hits without a run against San Diego. He's going to get five days off before his spring training finale, slated for March 27 against Cincinnati, then five more rest days before taking the mound on opening day in Arizona April 2.
''I'm not ever going to complain about an extra day,'' Bumgarner said.
Bumgarner was in the lineup as the No. 9 hitter, but never got up to bat. He did, however, blow a 3-2 high fastball by the Padres' Allen Cordoba to end the second inning, then changed his route to the dugout to stop and have a chat with plate umpire Ben May, presumably about a pitch called a ball earlier in the at-bat.
The left-hander didn't comment on what was said.
Bumgarner threw six innings in his last outing as continues to ramp up for the season. He has not allowed an earned run in each of his past three spring training starts, as he was built up from one inning on Feb. 25 to six on March 15. He has nine strikeouts in 12 innings from those three starts, and his spring training ERA is 2.50.
''He's ready to go,'' Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. ''We feel like we've got him where we need him. These starters are right where we need to have them.''
First baseman-outfielder Michael Morse said he injured his left hamstring running in the Giants' game against the Chicago White Sox on Monday. He said he is day to day after a scan revealed nothing torn.
Morse, who returned to the Giants on a minor league deal after taking almost all of last season off, was in strong contention to win a reserve spot on the big league roster, but that could now be in jeopardy.
The veteran, who turns 35 on Wednesday and won a World Series with the Giants in 2014, seemed upbeat despite the injury.
''I feel better already,'' he said. ''I either thought I was going to do really bad or really good (in spring) and I thought I played pretty good. ... I don't think this is something that will stop me from playing.''
Bochy said Morse will miss at least two weeks.
''It's too bad for him. He was playing some really good ball, swinging the bat well, doing all the things he needed to do to make this club,'' Bochy said. ''He just said he reached for the bag and felt it, so it's going to take a little while.''
Morse had said he would consider retirement if he didn't make the club out of spring training, but Bochy hopes he chooses to get well and come back.
''He came to camp in tremendous shape, and that should show him that he still has some baseball left, good baseball,'' Bochy said. ''So my hope is he'll sit down and think about it and get back from rehabbing it.''
NOTES: An MRI on reliever Will Smith's injured left elbow revealed a sprain and a strain, Bochy said. The pitcher went to San Francisco on Tuesday for further evaluation. It's potentially a major loss for the Giants, at least for some time, as Smith was expected to be a key late-inning pitcher out of the bullpen. Bochy said he will know more on Wednesday. ... OF Mac Williamson could miss a few weeks with a quadriceps injury, Bochy said.