Madison Bumgarner's first batting practice in major league showed that he was taken to the Giants for his offense. His swings are aggressive and, based on his Pujolsian line-drive out in the fourth inning in Tuesday's 4-3 loss to the San Diego Padres. He is plainly not the type to work a count, and this make him an ideal Giant.
But the Bumgarner hitting angle is slightly misleading, like the other one floating around the park Tuesday afternoon - that he was going to be called up even before Tim Lincecum pretzeled himself out of Tuesday's game, which dropped the Giants three games behind Colorado in the National League wild-card race.
"No, as soon as I got the call from Gresh (trainer Dave Groeschner), we had to do it right then," general manager Brian Sabean said. "In fact, we were kind of lucky that he'd only pitched an inning since Sept. 1, because we didn't really have anyone else when Timmy's back got cranky," the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
In the meantime, Lincecum first reported pain in his back when the Giants landed in San Francisco after Sunday night's flight from Milwaukee. Bochy said Lincecum's back improved markedly Monday and the team even maintained hope he could start Tuesday. Bochy did not tell Madison Bumgarner he would make his major-league debut until 3:30 p.m.
Lincecum was examined by team doctors and given anti-inflammatory medicine.
"Basically, they said he just needs a couple of days, 24 to 36 hours, in that area," Bochy said. "Then we'll re-evaluate where we're at with him and put him back in the rotation."
Bochy said Lincecum possibly could start Sunday at home against the Dodgers, which means he would not pitch in next week's series against Colorado unless the team decided to keep Lincecum out of the rotation until then, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
It was also reported, Madison Bumgarner displayed his heralded potential while surrendering two runs in 5 1/3 innings. Bumgarner left with a one-run lead and a chance for a victorious Major League debut. But San Francisco's usually reliable bullpen softened in a 4-3 loss to the San Diego Padres that dented the Giants' postseason hopes.
First-place Los Angeles moved 6 1/2 games in front of the Giants in the National League West standings while Wild Card leader Colorado stretched its edge over San Francisco to three games. The upcoming three-game series at AT&T Park against the Dodgers this weekend and the Rockies immediately following that loom even larger.
"Any time you lose at this stage, it's going to be a tough loss," catcher Bengie Molina said.
Fortunately for the Giants, Lincecum's ailment isn't considered serious, MLB.com reports.