SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Madison Bumgarner allowed three runs onseven hits in his longest outing of the spring -- four innings -- in a 5-4 Giants loss tothe Chicago Cubs Tuesday at Scottsdale Stadium.
RECAP: Giants lose to Cubs 5-4
Coming off three shutout innings in his last start Thursday in Peoria againstthe Padres, Bumgarner blamed his regression on falling behind many of the Cubshitters.I got behind and had to give in a little bit, Bumgarnersaid. They hit the balls they should hit. They hit some good pitches, too, butmostly just working behind a lot is what got me.Despite struggling with location, Bumgarner had his strikeout pitches workingas he racked up four, bringing his Cactus League total to 13 in 9.2 innings.
Im just trying to get ready for the season, Bumgarnersaid. Today I experimented on a little different slider grip and it was okay.There was some really good ones and some really bad ones, too. When asked if he would stick with the new grip on his slider, Bumgarner wasnon-committal.Im going to keep working with it, he said. I dont know well see how itgoes.Bumgarner wasnt concerned about the rough outing.Thats what spring is about, just practicing and gettingready for the season.Bumgarners regular season preparation extended to the plate, where he had hisfirst at-bat of the spring, a five-pitch strikeout in which the bat never lefthis shoulder.I dont know if it felt good, but it was nice to see somepitches, he said. A little different than the coaches throwing to us.Manager Bruce Bochy and his catcher Buster Posey agreed withBumgarners assessment that he was in the strike zone often Tuesday.He probably threw too many strikes, Bochy said. He was a little wild in thestrike zone. But his stuff wasgood, he just made a few too many mistakes today. Hes been throwing the ballwell, he just left some balls up out over the plate today. Said Posey: I thought he threw the ball pretty well, he just left a fewpitches out over the plate. But all in all I thought he looked pretty good.