ORACLE PARK — Madison Bumgarner needed just one win entering Saturday to eclipse Matt Cain as the Giants’ winningest pitcher at Oracle Park at 61.
The record may not mean much to him in the end, but given that the 2014 World Series MVP could be leaving in free agency this offseason, it means quite a bit to San Francisco.
Unfortunately, with a lineup that seemingly can’t score against the hapless Marlins this weekend, or in general at that, Bumgarner will have to wait for his next — and last — chance to get the record after the Giants’ 4-2 loss to the Marlins Saturday night.
The loss was San Francisco’s 10th in its last 13 at home, and the Giants’ sixth loss in the last nine games against the Marlins. They’ve scored a combined three runs in the first two games of the weekend series.
To his credit, Bumgarner mostly did everything possible to set himself up for the shot at Giants history and, more importantly to him, what could’ve been a win.
He tossed seven fairly strong innings, allowing two runs on just four hits with three strikeouts, with the lone blemish coming in the seventh inning, a two-run homer by Miami’s Jorge Alfaro that opened the scoring and put the Marlins up 2-0.
Bumgarner’s Matt Cain-ian 10th home no-decision of the season ties him for most in a single season in Giants history with Mike Krukow in 1987.
“He did a really good job (hitting the home run),” Bumgarner explained on his lone errant pitch of the night, the homer to Alfaro. “I mean, that’s a really good spot, I thought, to throw it. Obviously now, looking back, I should’ve thought different. But, I liked the pitch, I liked the location right there. That pitch in that spot gets a lot of swings and misses for me, and ground balls too. Just, unfortunately, not in that case.
“I’ve done my best to give us a chance to win, and that’s all you can really do.”
Alfaro’s home run off of Bumgarner marked the seventh straight game that Bumgarner has allowed a home-run, a career-high.
Bumgarner had solid defensive help from Brandon Crawford at short throughout the night and a highlight-reel catch at the wall at straight-away center as Kevin Pillar robbed a potential home run by Martin Prado in the fifth inning.
“(Bumgarner was) really good. Really good, efficient job,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “One pitch there left the ballpark, but overall, seven innings, two runs, that’s pretty nice work.
“We’re just struggling here offensively. A couple of runners left on third with one out, that’s never going to help out matters either.”
The lineup eventually put something together in the bottom of the seventh as Crawford singled and Mauricio Dubon doubled to get into scoring position – the first time the Giants had a major scoring threat all night. Donovan Solano, pinch hitting for Bumgarner, lined a Brian Moran pitch to Triples Alley to tie the game at two and get himself in position at third to give the Giants the lead, and, potentially, to give Bumgarner his place in the Giants’ record book.
However, both Mike Yastrzemski and Brandon Belt couldn’t find the base hit the Giants needed to take the lead in the seventh.
Miami added two more runs in the next inning off reliever Shaun Anderson to take the lead and the eventual win.
As for Bumgarner, he’ll get one more shot at Giants history before entering free agency for the first time in his career this winter. He’s on pace for two more potential starts this season, barring any sudden freak injury – once during next week’s road trip and once more in the team’s final homestand to close the 2019 regular season.