Giant Bummer: Delivery problem stings ace

Left-hander gives up five runs on 10 hits in three innings vs. Padres

Giant Bummer: Delivery problem stings ace

SAN DIEGO -- It's hard to imagine Madison Bumgarner feeling anything less than sturdy and steady, considering he has the stature of a giant sequoia. But it was an unsteady Bumgarner, and thus an unrecognizable one, who faced the San Diego Padres on Saturday night.

Enduring a flaw in his pitching mechanics that severely affected his deliveries, Bumgarner surrendered five runs and 10 hits in three innings as the Giants fell to San Diego, 10-2. The decision dropped San Francisco to 3-3 on its season-opening, two-city trip that ends here Sunday.

After being removed from his shortest outing since June 21, 2011, when he allowed eight runs and nine hits and lasted only one out against Minnesota, Bumgarner examined video that confirmed the source of his problems against the Padres.

"I got a little side-to-side with my delivery," Bumgarner said. "I was just battling to put pitches where I wanted. I just wasn't very effective."

Essentially, Bumgarner's delivery issue robbed his pitches of the lively movement any pitcher needs to subdue hitters.

San Diego right fielder Matt Kemp observed that momentum was on the Padres' side against Bumgarner.

"He's one of the best pitchers in the league," said Kemp, who doubled and scored in the first inning off Bumgarner. "Tonight, he made a couple mistakes, and we hopped on those mistakes and made some things happen. And then it just kept going on the whole night."

The total of 10 hits Bumgarner yielded fell one short of his career worst and exceeded by one the number of hits he allowed last October in his pair of National League Championship Series starts or in his three World Series outings. Bumgarner said eliminating his glitch "shouldn't be a real difficult fix" when he throws in the bullpen before his next start.

Monitoring his own remarks, Bumgarner didn't want to convey the sense that he was making excuses or disparaging the skill of the Padres, who went 10-for-18 off him and matched their single-game Petco Park record by amassing 20 hits. So the 2014 Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year spoke about the Padres in a manner that was -- well, sportsmanlike.

"I'm not trying to to say anything bad about their guys. You still have to hit the ball," said Bumgarner, stamping San Diego's performance as legitimate.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy wasn't at all worried about Bumgarner.

"As good as he is," Bochy said, "he's going to have an off night."

Chris Haft is a reporter for Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.