Madison Bumgarner vs. Yasiel Puig is the gift that keeps on giving.
On Sunday afternoon, the new Cincinnati Reds outfielder Puig came out way ahead with a giant homer and a bat flip to match while (again) looking like the bigger person.
Bumgarner had kept the upper hand for most of the players’ recent rivalry, holding Puig hitless in his last 11 at-bats dating back to 2016. However, the lefty challenged Puig with a first-pitch inside fastball top open the sixth inning, which Puig turned on and launched deep over the left-field fence.
And with that homer — his first in five years off Bumgarner — Puig unleashed perhaps his biggest bat flip of the season.
There's only one day a season you can flip a pink bat. pic.twitter.com/uI1Mn9AiWs— Cut4 (@Cut4) May 12, 2019
Bumgarner was not thrilled with Puig’s homer and bat flip — as he is with most everything Puig does — and was wry with reporters after the game.
Bumgarner on Puig’s homer on a fastball in: “He’s a quick study. It only took him seven years to learn how to hit that pitch.”— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) May 12, 2019
Puig, on the other hand, embraced the rivalry and thanked the Giants fans for giving him extra energy, dating back to his days with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
"I love to play all the teams in MLB, but when I come here to the Giants and San Francisco, people booing me, I think it’s a God-given blessing, an opportunity to do the best I can more than [at] any other stadiums because people are booing me,” Puig said, via MLB.com. “That’s the reason I’ve had a little success when I play the Giants here in San Francisco."
A brief history of the Puig-MadBum feud
Most of the Puig-MadBum rivalry comes down to Bumgarner being among the most strident “unwritten rules” followers in baseball, while Puig remains the league’s most flamboyant and excitable player.
Their feud truly bloomed in 2014, Puig’s first full season in the majors, when Bumgarner was upset after Puig did a bat flip following a home run, and then Bumgarner hit him later in the season.
Fast forward to 2016, and Bumgarner coaxed a slow roller out of Puig and threw him out at first. After getting fired up and walking towards the dugout, the San Francisco Giants starter didn’t like Puig looking back at him and yelled, “Don’t look at me!” That, of course, led to the Dodgers wear t-shirts with the new catch phrase and sending an autographed copy to Bumgarner.
Time moves forward, Yasiel Puig flips bats, and Madison Bumgarner gets mad. Let’s just hope when Madison Bumgarner hits free agency, he lands somewhere in the NL where their feud can continue.
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