Giants reliever used Madison Bumgarner-inspired bat to hit game-clinching single
Madison Bumgarner’s proficiency at the plate may have just gone from impressive to downright mythic.
The San Francisco Giants faced off against the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday in a game that went down to the wire. Giants reliever Will Smith was called on to get the final out in the eighth inning, and once he did, stuck around for an at-bat in the bottom half so that he could remain in the contest to pitch the ninth as well. Kevin Pillar came up with a triple for the Giants to break a 6-6 tie, and then Smith followed with a two-run single (in his first career plate appearance no less) to make it 9-6. He then got the final three outs in the ninth inning to earn the victory.
Afterwards, Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic revealed that the bat the All-Star reliever used to get the clutch hit was the same model that Bumgarner has, as he had requested that the team’s clubhouse manager order him as much.
Yes, Will Smith used his own bat. Clubhouse manager Brad Grems asked him awhile back what to order. “Just give me what Bum has,” Smith told him. That’s what he got.
— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) August 12, 2019
MadBum is known as the league’s marquee “pitcher who rakes,” leading all active hurlers by a wide margin with 18 career homers. In fact, Bumgarner is so good at the dish for a pitcher that it has led to some wild anecdotes like this and makes it easy to see why Smith drew inspiration from him.