Bumgarner's CG gem can't carry Giants

Bumgarner's CG gem can't carry Giants

WASHINGTON -- Madison Bumgarner was the losing pitcher in the Giants' 1-0 loss Sunday to the Nationals only because the official scorer had to pin that designation to somebody.

Otherwise, everything about Bumgarner's performance screamed "winner."

Bumgarner allowed just two hits while pitching his 14th career complete game and fourth of the season. In fact, Bumgarner briefly outhit the Nationals, having singled in the third inning before allowing his first hit in the fourth. He displayed his typical resilience, almost completely dominating the Nationals after yielding season highs in runs (eight) and hits (10) in his previous outing last Tuesday at Philadelphia.

Said Giants manager Bruce Bochy, "This is who he is. What a terrific job. There was no question I thought he was going to bounce back and throw a beauty, and he did. He did all he could to win that game for us."

Even Bumgarner's one lapse might not have been all that egregious. Wilson Ramos' seventh-inning homer for the game's lone tally traveled to the opposite field -- well-struck, to be sure, but not a drive that everybody believed would clear the right-field barrier.

"It was a very good pitch," Bumgarner said. "I pay attention to the hitter's reactions to kind of see what's going to happen. [Ramos] hit it and he looked to me like he put his head down and was disappointed and didn't think he got it. So I was turned around, waiting for [right fielder Gregor] Blanco to catch it, and it kept going."

The last time the Giants allowed two or fewer hits and lost was Sept. 14, 2010, when Barry Zito allowed one hit but dropped a 1-0 decision to Clayton Kershaw (who else?) and the Dodgers.

Clinging to first place in the National League West, the Giants have lost Bumgarner's last five starts, though he has recorded a respectable 3.18 ERA in that stretch.

"I can only control what I can control and worry about that," Bumgarner said. "The only thing I can do is put us in a good spot and keep us in the game, and hopefully things go our way."

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.