Madison Bumgarner will hit for himself in interleague game
Madison Bumgarner is one of the best hitting pitchers in baseball, but that does not mean he is a great hitter. He is, however, good enough that the San Francisco Giants have decided to not use a designated hitter when they visit the Oakland A’s on Thursday.
With the Giants facing a left-handed starter in Dillon Overton, manager Bruce Bochy has decided to let Bumgarner — a right-handed hitter — bat for himself. San Francisco will become the first team in 40 years to intentionally have a starting pitcher hit for himself in an American League ballpark. We say intentionally because Joe Maddon accidentally filled out the wrong lineup card for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2009 and was forced to bat pitcher Andy Sonnanstine.
Bumgarner is hitting just .175 this season after he finished 2015 with a .247 average. He leads all active pitchers with 13 career home runs and has 11 homers in his last 190 at-bats. If he kept up that pace over a full season, he would project to hit somewhere between 35 and 40 homers.
As Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury news notes, the Giants cannot replace Bumgarner with a DH at any point in the game on Thursday since he’s in the lineup as the pitcher.
If you want to know how confident Bumgarner is in his hitting ability, this should give you a pretty good idea. He’ll no doubt be swinging for the fences in Oakland.