Home » A Madison Bumgarner Raley Field rehab assignment gives Giants fans ray of hope
Madison Bumgarner
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A Madison Bumgarner Raley Field rehab assignment gives Giants fans ray of hope

It’s been a long season for Giants‘ fans, whose team, just three years removed from a World Series title, currently holds last place in the National League West Division.

But Friday night, at a packed and boisterous Raley Field, there was a ray of hope. Left-handed ace Madison Bumgarner was in town facing the Fresno Grizzlies of the Triple A Pacific Coast League. Bumgarner has been a key component of all three of San Francisco’s World Series title runs since 2010, including 2014 when he was out-of-this-world dominant, and he was making his way back to the Giants rotation after an off-day motorcycle accident on April 20 injured his pitching shoulder and left him with bruised ribs. This was Bumgarner’s second rehab appearance, his longest and first at the Triple A level.

While Bumgarner’s fastball was in an acceptable low-90s range, the sellout crowd at Raley Field was in a mood rivaling a playoff game at AT&T Park. Bumgarner wasn’t the sharpest he has ever been, giving up four runs and seven hits to the Fresno Grizzlies while throwing 62 pitches in 3 2/3 innings of work. And while Bumgarner left the game with a 5-4 lead, the game went the way so many this year have gone for the River Cats, who also are in their division’s last place — eventually losing 8-7.

But Giants’ fans were delighted that the second half of a dismal season beckoned with their ace at the ready. MadBum will no doubt be back soon. And that’s really all that mattered.

Bumgarner in the River Cats dugout before his start Friday night at Raley Field
Fans were behind Bumgarner all the way at Raley Field Friday night.
Bumgarner during his fourth and final inning Friday night.
Bumgarner exits after his 62-pitch rehab start Friday night at Sacramento’s Raley Field.

Photos by Steve Martarano

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Steve Martarano

Steve Martarano

A resident of Sacramento since graduating with a journalism degree from the University of Nevada, Reno, Steve spent the 1980s at The Sacramento Union, working as a sports writer, music reviewer and crime reporter, among other assignments. He's spent the last 25+ years working in government public affairs for both state and federal agencies and currently is with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Bay-Delta office in Sacramento. He has shot just about every local sports team for the Sacramento Press, including local colleges, the Sacramento River Cats and Sacramento Republic FC. He resides in Curtis Park with his wife Sharon.

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