LEADING OFF: Bumgarner starts for Giants, Paddack vs Alonso
A look at what’s happening around the majors today:
STAY OR GO?
Madison Bumgarner has been mentioned a lot in the last month as a top trade target. That was before the Giants went on a big winning streak and put themselves back in playoff contention.
San Francisco general manager Farhan Zaidi acknowledged over the weekend he’s keeping an open mind as the July 31 trade deadline approaches and has yet to decide whether his team will be buyers or sellers.
Bumgarner (5-7, 3.65 ERA) starts at home against Yu Darvish and the Cubs. No telling where the big lefty will be on Aug. 1, his 30th birthday.
But consider this: Far back in the NL West race, the Giants are in the thick of the wild-card chase. Bumgarner has twice started the NL wild-card game and both times pitched four-hit shutouts on the road — against the Pirates in 2014 and the Mets in 2016.
Stephen Strasburg (12-4, 3.52 ERA) tries to win his sixth straight start and become the first 13-game winner in the majors when Washington hosts the fading Colorado Rockies. The teams were rained out Monday night and will play a day-night doubleheader Wednesday. Last time out, Strasburg did his best work at the plate. He had a three-run homer among his three hits — two in one inning — and set a franchise record for a pitcher with five RBIs against Atlanta.
Chris Paddack (6-4, 2.70 ERA) pitches for the Padres against Home Run Derby champ Pete Alonso and the Mets as two of baseball’s best rookies square off again in what could be testy rematch at Citi Field. When the teams played at San Diego in May, the right-hander said he was “coming for” Alonso because the New York slugger had won the National League rookie of the month award for March and April.
While outdueling Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom in a 4-0 victory, a fired-up Paddack pumped his fist and shouted after fanning Alonso in his first two at-bats. Alonso went hitless and acknowledged afterward the comment didn’t sit well with him, saying he assumed Paddack “could have been a little jealous” about the rookie prize. Alonso got some revenge the next night with a mammoth, go-ahead homer in the ninth inning off Adam Warren.
The Freeway Series moves to Dodger Stadium when Kenta Maeda (7-6, 3.71 ERA) starts against Angels righty Felix Pena (7-3, 4.92). Maeda’s last outing was a one-inning relief stint over the weekend after a rain-abbreviated start before that.
The Angels were off Monday and attended a memorial service for late teammate Tyler Skaggs at a Catholic church in his native Santa Monica, California.