Bumgarner: 'No comment' on Guzman incident
Madison Bumgarner had to be restrained by teammates after Jesus Guzman took offense to a pitch behind him. (AP)
SAN FRANCISCO -- Tempers flared as both benches erupted onto the field during the Giants 4-2 win over the Padres. Fortunately, words were exchanged in lieu of punches and the dustup seemed like an afterthought as the Giants twice rallied from behind to win the game and the series.
[INSTANT REPLAY: Giants take series with another comeback win]
The incident that prompted the on-field disagreement occurred in the second inning, when Giants starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner appeared to be sending a message with a pitch behind Padres first baseman Jesus Guzman, who got a bit carried away with his celebration after an eighth-inning home run on Tuesday night.
Guzman, bat in hand, motioned toward Bumgarner, who responded by walking toward the hitter. The two combatants were separated and kept things civil as the at-bat resumed with a 1-0 count. Guzman flew out, but later tagged Bumgarner for a go-ahead solo home run in the seventh inning. This time, he kept his celebration a bit more respectful.
Guzman may have won the battle with his home run, but Bumgarner won the war as he got his team-leading seventh win.
"What happened, happened," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "(Bumgarner) is trying to go in and he'll tell you he wasn't trying to throw the ball behind him, but these things happen. It's part of baseball and guys settled down and it turned out to be a pretty good ballgame."
Bochy took an especially long time before making it to the press conference room after the game. He was probably delivering a speech similar to that of Brad Pitt's character in the movie Fight Club.
The first rule of Fight Club is: You do not talk about fight club. That's also the second rule. That's also how the Giants handled the aftermath of their bench-clearing incident with the Padres.
"There's no need to go through that," Bumgarner said. "No comment about that. No need to."
Bumgarner lasted seven innings, walked four batters and struck out eight. He gave up just three hits, but two of them were solo home runs. It was the bench, however, that delivered the Giants sixth consecutive series victory over the Padres at AT&T Park.
Down 2-1 in the seventh inning, the Giants rallied after two bench players stepped in and got big hits. Hector Sanchez collected a pinch-hit single after Padres' manager Bud Black put reliever Luke Gregerson in the game. Gregor Blanco followed with a pinch-hit two-run go-ahead triple to make it a 3-2 game. He insisted Guzman's homer didn't lead to any extra motivation.
"The way we play the game, we don't worry about what other guys do," Blanco said. "We just worry about what we do every single inning and every single pitch."
It looks they'll have less worrying to do when it comes to Marco Scutaro. He collected his fourth hit in the past two games when he drove in Blanco to cap the Giants' three-run seventh inning. The second baseman missed six games with an injured left pinkie that is a long ways away from being healed.
"I think it's going to get better, but it's a matter of time," Scutaro said of his swollen digit. "There's not too much you can do but keep battling."
Things are looking up for the Giants health-wise, as Angel Pagan and Pablo Sandoval are set to begin rehab assignments and travel with the team to Los Angeles on Monday. If that isn't enough to ease the minds of Giants fans, they also have a four-game series starting on Thursday with the Miami Marlins, who have the worst record in Major League Baseball.
There's plenty of fight left in these Giants, whether they want to talk about it or not.