Madison Bumgarner hit two home runs on opening day.
San Francisco Giants starter Madison Bumgarner showed himself to truly be a giant among home run hitters in Sunday’s season-opening loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Bumgarner became both the first pitcher to hit multiple home runs in an Opening Day game, per Elias Sports Bureau research, and the most prolific homer-hitting pitcher in franchise history in Sunday’s game. The two he hit on Sunday give him 16 for his career, easily the most among active pitchers.
Madison Bumgarner makes Opening Day history. pic.twitter.com/FCYyu5PV8J
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 2, 2017
And your Major League Home Run Leader… Madison Bumgarner? pic.twitter.com/8PIpUM5I8F
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) April 2, 2017
Madison Bumgarner is leading the @MLB in home runs as a batter and strikeouts as a pitcher.
— Cole Kuiper (@cmkuiper) April 2, 2017
His first HR:
Two homers. A total of 838 feet.
— #Statcast (@statcast) April 3, 2017
And the second:
— Baseball America (@BaseballAmerica) April 3, 2017
All while having some fun:
— MLB GIFS (@MLBGIFs) April 2, 2017
From ESPN stats and info:
He became the first pitcher to hit two home runs and strike out at least 10 in a game since Rick Wise of the 1971 Phillies (who also had 11 strikeouts against the Giants). Via Elias research, Bumgarner’s 11 strikeouts were the most by a Giants pitcher on Opening Day since the mound moved to its current distance from home plate in 1893. He also took a perfect-game bid through 5⅓ innings and would have gotten the win but for a rough outing from the Giants’ bullpen. Bumgarner’s hitting was what wowed the most on Sunday. He’s the second pitcher in as many seasons with a multi-homer game, joining Noah Syndergaard. Bumgarner’s seven go-ahead home runs (including Sunday’s seventh-inning blast) match former Cardinals pitcher Bob Forsch for the most by a pitcher since the DH was implemented in 1973.
According to Statcast, it was the hardest home run hit by a pitcher — at 112.5 mph exit velocity — recorded since the technology debuted in 2014. Bumgarner also has the second- and third-hardest homers by a pitcher.
“I just laughed,” Belt said, per NBC. “You expect him to get one every once in a while. You don’t expect him to get two the first day. There’s not much you can say. I just laughed. It’s pretty cool to watch a pitcher do that.”
What do you think? Should the Giants use him regularly as a pinch-hitter?