'I'm same guy,' Bumgarner says ahead of start vs. Cards

Field Level Media

Madison Bumgarner and Paul Goldschmidt continue their long rivalry Saturday night when the San Francisco Giants host the St. Louis Cardinals on the second day of a three-game series.

Goldschmidt took over the lead among active Giants opponents in home runs at Oracle Park (12) with a two-run shot in the first inning Friday night, helping propel the Cardinals to a 9-4 win in the series opener.

Goldschmidt has three career homers against Bumgarner, equaling the fourth most the standout left-hander has allowed to a single opponent. Carlos Gonzalez is the all-time leader with five, followed by Justin Turner and Enrique Hernandez with four apiece.

The slugging first baseman has done more than hit homers in the rivalry that dates back to 2011. He's tormented Bumgarner for a .333 average (22-for-66) with five doubles, a triple and 10 RBIs.

Only Chase Headley (12) has more career RBIs against Bumgarner, while only Hernandez (25) has more hits.

Goldschmidt's homer Friday came off another left-hander, Giants starter Drew Pomeranz. The former Arizona Diamondback has bombed lefties in his career, slugging 66 of his 224 career homers off them while hitting .319.

Bumgarner (5-7, 4.02 ERA) will take the mound riding the momentum of his best set of back-to-back starts this season. In beating Colorado and Arizona, he allowed just three runs and seven hits in 13 innings, striking out 20.

The 29-year-old has never faced Goldschmidt since the slugger joined the Cardinals. Bumgarner is 4-5 with a 4.60 ERA in 10 career starts against St. Louis.

A subject of continual trade rumors this season, Bumgarner has focused on the task at hand, and he insists he's throwing as well as ever.

"I'm the same guy I was in 2014, contrary to popular belief," he said recently, referencing an 18-win, All-Star season. "I know that gets said a lot, 'Oh, he's not the same guy he used to be.' That's just wrong."

Bumgarner will be opposed by Cardinals right-hander Miles Mikolas, who also has demonstrated improved form of late.

An 18-game winner last season, Mikolas (5-8, 4.34 ERA) struggled into June this season, going 0-5 over a six-game stretch before limiting his last three opponents to a total of four runs in 17 innings. He's gone 1-1 in those games.

Mikolas has started just once against the Giants and came away a 9-2 winner last September when he limited San Francisco to one earned run and two hits in seven innings.

He has faced the Giants four other times, all in relief, and takes a 1-0 career record and 1.46 ERA against them into Saturday's game.

Mikolas will pitch without the support of outfielder Marcell Ozuna, who has been on an injury-rehab assignment in the minors as he attempts to make a comeback from broken middle and ring fingers on his right hand.

"Hopefully we'll know more after the All-Star break as for what kind of timetable we're looking at," Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said before Friday's game.

--Field Level Media

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