SAN DIEGO -- The full Madison Bumgarner experience was on display Tuesday night at Petco Park, as the fiery left-hander led the Giants to a 5-1 victory over the Padres.
Bumgarner was brilliant in tossing his 11th career regular-season complete game, allowing just one run on five hits while striking out 11. He also sparked a relatively tame benches-clearing kerfuffle after the third inning, when he stared down Wil Myers following a strikeout.
Bumgarner is 4-0 with a 1.53 ERA in his last five starts. In 35 1/3 innings during that span, he has struck out 42 and walked 10.
"He's got to be where he wants to be right now, the way he has thrown the ball the last [five] starts," Giants manager Bruce Bochy. Well, not really.
"I feel like there's about 10 different things that's different than the way I want it. Obviously, it's working well the way it is," said Bumgarner, who has complained virtually all season about his pitching mechanics. "... I'm about to give it up and stick with what I'm doing now. It seems to be working better anyway. I mean, the body feels good and my command's good, so ultimately that's all that matters. You can't be mad at the results, that's for sure, although they may not be what you're looking for."
Brandon Crawford provided all the Giants' offense, launching a three-run dinger in the second off Padres starter Colin Rea, before adding a sac fly in the sixth and an RBI double in the eighth.
Rea struggled early, allowing a pair of hard hits before the Crawford homer. But he would retire 11 of the last 12 batters he faced, finishing with three earned runs over five innings. Meanwhile, Matt Kemp got the Padres on the board in the bottom of the ninth, launching his 10th homer of the season into the third level of the Western Metal Supply Co. building. But Bumgarner would retire the next three Padres in order to secure the victory.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Crush it, Crawford: In one night, Crawford quintupled his RBI total from the previous week. He was batting .192 (5-for-26) with one RBI in seven games entering Tuesday. It has been an uneven season for Crawford. He has eight hits in his last 18 at-bats with runners in scoring position and is 9-for-34 (.265) in those situations overall.
This season, Crawford often has batted seventh, immediately ahead of the pitcher, who Bochy typically elevates to the eighth spot so the Giants can have back-to-back leadoff hitters with Angel Pagan batting ninth. All of this movement has influenced Crawford, who has taken it upon himself to try to capitalize on every run-producing opportunity he receives.
"I know I'm batting in front of a good-hitting pitcher," Crawford said, referring to Bumgarner. "But he's still a pitcher." More >
Mad Bumgarner: The Bumgarner/Myers altercation occurred following Myers' inning-ending strikeout in the third. Bumgarner stared down Myers after the whiff, prompting Myers to bark back. Both benches and bullpens cleared, though ultimately the incident remained relatively tame, and no ejections were issued.
"We got caught up in the heat of the game, emotions were running high, people were competing out there," Myers said. "It wasn't a big deal. I think it was just a misunderstanding on both ends." More >
Don't forget defense: The Giants set the tone immediately in this phase of the game, as Denard Span caught up with Myers' drive to deep center field for the game-opening out. In the sixth inning, first baseman Brandon Belt made a slick over-the-shoulder grab of Kemp's popup to end the sixth inning and strand runners on second and third -- the Padres' best chance of the night.
Not Rea's day: In each of Rea's poor starts this season, the recurring theme has been inefficiency. He needed 94 pitches to get through Tuesday's five-inning outing, marking the fifth time this season he's needed at least 90 pitches or more to get through five innings or fewer. Not coincidentally, Rea's three quality starts have been his three most efficient efforts.
"That second inning was kind of long, and [I was] just falling behind in the count," Rea said. "After that, I feel like we settled down, and it went pretty smoothly after that. Defense made some great plays. Just wish I would've done a better job of establishing the strike zone early in the game to keep us in the game a little more."
"I think that's a narrative you guys care about more than we care about. Winning baseball games is all we care about. Whether it's 5-0 or 5-1, a loss is a loss to us." -- Padres manager Andy Green, on Kemp's homer preventing a league-leading 10th shutout
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Kemp's ninth-inning moonshot left the bat at 110 mph and had a launch angle of 38.29 degrees, according to Statcast™. It's the second time this season Kemp has gone yard with a launch angle above 37 degrees, making him the only player in baseball to have done so twice.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
The Giants challenged an eighth-inning ruling on Crawford, who was called out at third base after driving in Hunter Pence. After a brief review, the call stood.
WHAT'S NEXT Giants: Having won 12 of their last 15 games against San Diego, the Giants will attempt to continue their luck in Wednesday's 7:10 p.m. PT encounter. Belt, who equaled a personal best on Tuesday by reaching base via a hit, walk or hit by pitch in his 24th consecutive game, will go for his all-time high in this category.
Padres: Left-hander Drew Pomeranz has been the Padres' best pitcher through the first quarter of the season, but his lone shaky start came last month in San Francisco, where he allowed four runs in 4 1/3 innings. Pomeranz gets the ball against the Giants once again on Wednesday with first pitch set for 7:10 p.m. PT.