The fact that San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner was able to outduel Los Angels Dodgers Clayton Kershaw in a 4-0 win Thursday isn’t that surprising. While Kershaw is the reigning NL Cy Young and MVP, Bumgarner helped lead the Giants to their third World Series championship last year, and was named World Series MVP.
What was surprising was the fact that it was Bumgarner who helped deliver one of those Giants runs, a solo shot over the left field wall in the third inning:
After the game, Bumgarner told Rick Eymar of the Associated Press he was just as amazed as everyone else, “He’s the best pitcher in baseball. To be able to do that is pretty special.”
Bumgarner is the first pitcher to ever hit a home run off of Kershaw. According to ESPN Stats and Info, Bumgarner has hit five home runs — in only 97 at-bats — since the start of the 2014 season, tying him with:
- Alex Rios outfielder, Kansas City Royals: 550 at-bats
- Kurt Suzuki catcher, Minnesota Twins: 630 at-bats
- Joe Mauer catcher/first baseman, Minnesota Twins: 688 at-bats