Justin Morneau was the only batter standing between Madison Bumgarner and immortality Tuesday night. Morneau's double leading off the eighth produced the lone baserunner against Bumgarner all night in a 3-0 victory for the San Francisco Giants. He struck out 13 Colorado Rockies in an utterly dominating performance. As Andrew Baggarly of CSN Bay Area wrote, it sure felt like Bumgarner had been perfect:
It’s hard to pitch better than Bumgarner did. He poured first-pitch strikes like a foundry worker, his fastball had sparks coming off it and he started subtly expanding the zone once ahead.
Early on, it appeared this leaping catch by Gregor Blanco would be the signature defensive play that would keep Bumgarner perfect:
After retiring 21 straight batters to start the game, Bumgarner settled for a one-hitter that was no less dominating than the no-hitter Clayton Kershaw spun earlier this season. Via the Associated Press:
Matt Cain is the last Giants pitcher to throw a perfect game, on June 13, 2012.
"That game was probably more impressive than a lot of no-hitters, that's how well he threw tonight," San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. "You look at the strikeouts, his stuff, the command … it was a very, very impressive evening for him."
SHOEMAKER ANGELIC AGAIN: Right-hander Matt Shoemaker continued to keep the Los Angeles Angels pointed in the right direction, allowing two hits over seven scoreless innings in an 8-2 victory against the Miami Marlins.
The Angels moved back into first place in the American League West because the Oakland Athletics lost at Houston. And it's been Shoemaker keeping the Angels steady while their other starting pitchers have dealt with injuries and inconsistency. He's limited the opponent to two runs or less in seven straight starts.
''It's confidence from consistent hard work,'' the heavily bearded Shoemaker said. ''I want to go out there and use every pitch I can, and be aggressive every time.''
Mike Trout contributed an RBI double and Albert Pujols had a two run single in a five-run fourth inning for the Angels, who won for the 10th time in 14 games and own the best record in the league.
CANO GOES DEEP AGAIN: Robinson Cano hit his fifth home run in August, leading the Seattle Mariners to a 5-0 victory against the Texas Rangers. After getting off to a relatively slow start this season with his new team, Cano started contributing offensively in May like he did in his New York Yankees days. Except for one aspect: The long ball. But he's up to 12 home runs after hitting a towering shot in the first inning.
Taking all of his stats into consideration and comparing them to the rest of the league, Neal Kendrick points out that Cano has produced just like he always has:
Robinson Cano is incredibly consistent 2010: 143 wRC+ 2011: 134 wRC+ 2012: 149 wRC+ 2013: 142 wRC+ 2014: 142 wRC+— Neal Kendrick (@neal_kendrick) August 27, 2014
Left-hander James Paxton lowered his ERA to 1.71 by pitching into the seventh inning for Seattle.
BUCS WIN BUT LOSE MCCUTCHEN:
Ike Davis provided a boost with a three-run pinch-hit home run that broke a tie in the eighth and helped send the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 5-2 victory against the St. Louis Cardinals. But. And it's a big "but." Andrew McCutchen left the game in the fifth inning because of discomfort in his left ribs after crashing into the fence to make a nice catch. He recently returned from the disabled list because of torn cartilage in his ribs.
''Today caught up to him in a couple of different ways,'' Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said of the reigning NL MVP. ''Tonight got to be a point where we didn't think we needed to push any farther than he did.'' It's uncertain if McCutchen will be available on Wednesday.
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