A suggestion reached Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred that might lead to San Francisco Giants ace Madison Bumgarner competing in the home run derby.
Among the ideas posed to Manfred on ESPN’s “Mike and Mike Show” on Thursday was a relay-team of pitchers “to find a way to get Madison Bumgarner in the derby,” host Mike Golic said.
Manfred laid out the dilemma for pitchers – who he said don’t want a separate, single-round derby – and for clubs concerned about injury risk. Then he gave his two cents on the relay proposal.
“It’s a pretty clever idea,” the commissioner said. “I’m actually going to have to think about that one a little bit.”
Bumgarner made history on July 1, when at Oakland he became the first pitcher since 1976 to hit in an American League park. His third-inning double ignited a six-run rally, propelling the Giants to a 12-6 victory over the A’s in the finale of the four-game Bay Bridge Series.
“He smoked that ball,” Bochy told The Sacramento Bee.
Bumgarner is one of three pitchers this season to hit two home runs this season. He belted a solo shot off Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw on April 9 at AT&T Park.
“I think I got it in there, maybe it was probably over the plate a little too much. He hit it pretty good,” Kershaw said. “Any time you give up a home run to the pitcher, it doesn’t feel good. It’s supposed to be the easiest out you have. He’s a little different, obviously. He’s a pretty solid hitter. You don’t want to give up a hit to a pitcher let alone a home run.”
On June 2, he kicked off a six-run inning with a two-run blast against Atlanta Braves starter Aaron Blair at Turner Field.
In all, eleven pitchers have gone yard in 2016.
For his career, Bumgarner has hit 13 home runs, including five last season. Two have come off Clayton Kershaw, the three-time National League Cy Young Award winner and 2014 N.L. Most Valuable Player.
PITCHERS WHO RAKE
Here’s a list of the pitchers who have hit home runs this season:
San Francisco Giants
New York Mets
New York Mets
Boston Red Sox
St. Louis Cardinals
Los Angeles Dodgers
*Hit home run as a member of the San Diego Padres
East Bay Times, The Sacramento Bee and The Associated Press contributed to this report; Compiled by Stu Rosenberg