Madison Bumgarner became the first pitcher to homer twice in a season opener
Until Madison Bumgarner came along, it had been quite awhile since baseball had such a talented two-way player. Prior to the start of the 2017 campaign, at age 27, he had already belted 14 career homers in 228 games.
In the Giants’ season opener, Bumgarner added to the tally. First, he took D-backs starter Zack Greinke deep to put the Giants in front in the top of the fifth by a score of 2-0. He also did so before allowing a single Arizona baserunner — the D-backs did not get their first man on base until Jeff Mathis tripled with one out in the sixth inning.
Then in his very next at-bat, Bumgarner promptly did it again, crushing another homer, this time off reliever Andrew Chafin. He had allowed a few runs to help the D-backs tie the game at 3, so it was his second go-ahead shot of the day. Bumgarner made baseball history, becoming the first pitcher to homer twice in an MLB opener.
He even deigned to break his game face by cracking a smile in the dugout with his teammates.
Bumgarner was the first pitcher with a multi-homer game since Noah Syndergaard on May 11 of last year. He also ended his 2017 debut giving up three runs, six hits, and no walks across seven innings with 11 strikeouts. The Giants ultimately fell to the D-backs by a 6-5 score.
Statcast found another impressive fact about Bumgarner’s homers as well: his 112-mph exit velocity on both made his shots the hardest-hit homers by a pitcher in the Statcast era. Naturally, the top four pitcher homers on that list are all off the bat of Bumgarner.
This wasn’t even the first time that Bumgarner sent one over the wall against Greinke, a former Cy Young Award winner, as he also homered off Greinke on Sept. 23, 2014, back in the latter’s Dodger days.
It’s Bumgarner’s world, and we’re just living in it.