Madison Bumgarner likely won’t face Buster Posey in tilt vs. Giants

National Sports

Arizona Diamondbacks left-hander Madison Bumgarner will take the mound against his former teammates on Tuesday night, but former batterymate Buster Posey isn’t slated to be in the San Francisco Giants’ starting lineup.

Tuesday’s contest is the second of a four-game series between the teams in Phoenix.

Posey has never faced Bumgarner, a pitcher with whom he worked in 10 full seasons with the Giants. When Bumgarner made his one start against San Francisco last season, Posey wasn’t even around as he opted out of the 2020 season.

So when Giants manager Gabe Kapler said Monday that the veteran catcher would be rested Tuesday, the appetizing thought of Posey versus Bumgarner evaporated into thin air.

Kapler said backup Curt Casali (1-for-3 against Bumgarner) will start behind the plate. And he immediately acknowledged that there would be disappointment over that news.

“Is it too late to change my mind?” Kapler joked prior to Monday’s 11-8 victory in 10 innings. “I do think there’s always the possibility that we change course but we kind of looked at the last couple of games and looked all the way out through our off day (on Aug. 9) and this is what I perceived the best way to set these guys up to be successful.”

The 32-year-old Bumgarner (5-6, 4.87 ERA) spent 10-plus seasons with the Giants before leaving as a free agent following the 2019 season. A four-time All-Star, he signed a five-year, $85 million deal with Arizona.

Bumgarner was part of three World Series-winning teams with San Francisco and enjoyed a postseason for the ages in 2014. He was the MVP of both the National League Championship Series and World Series — he compiled an 0.43 ERA in 21 innings as the Giants beat the Kansas City Royals in the Fall Classic.

Things haven’t gone as well in Arizona as Bumgarner is just 6-10 with a 5.43 ERA in 24 starts over the past two campaigns. He halted a six-start winless stretch by allowing two runs and four hits over seven innings against the Texas Rangers last Wednesday.

Bumgarner took the loss in his start in San Francisco last September when he gave up two runs on solo homers to Evan Longoria and Darin Ruf. He allowed three hits and two walks while striking out two.

One of Bumgarner’s tasks will be to cool down Giants outfielder Mike Yastremzski, who on Monday hit his fourth homer of the season against Arizona and ninth of his career. Seven of the blasts — in 72 at-bats — have come at Chase Field.

Alex Dickerson hit a grand slam in the fifth inning for the Giants and Posey delivered the tiebreaking double in a three-run 10th on Monday. San Francisco increased its National League West lead to 3 1/2 games over the Los Angeles Dodgers and improved to 10-1 against the Diamondbacks this season.

Arizona (33-74) owns the worst record in the majors.

“We know how challenging this season has been,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. “There’s no better arena for evaluation.”

Right-hander Johnny Cueto (7-5, 3.84) will be on the mound for the Giants, and he will attempt to fare better against Arizona than he did in a 5-3 loss on July 1.

In that contest, Cueto gave up five runs and seven hits in five innings and served up homers to Pavin Smith and Josh Reddick.

The 35-year-old Cueto beat the Dodgers last Thursday to halt a four-start winless stretch. He pitched 5 2/3 shutout innings, giving up four hits and two walks while striking out five.

Cueto is 0-1 with an 8.10 ERA in two 2021 starts versus the Diamondbacks, but is a stellar 11-4 with a 3.45 ERA in 20 career outings against Arizona.

–Field Level Media

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