It was a packed house at San Jose's Municipal Stadium on Wednesday night as San Francisco Giants star Madison Bumgarner made the first of his two scheduled rehab starts for the San Jose Giants.
The 2014 World Series MVP has missed nearly three months of the MLB season after injuring his pitching shoulder while dirt biking during an off-day in Colorado in April.
On Wednesday night, pitching against Class A hitters from the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, the big lefty was anything but major league sharp. Bumgarner allowed nine earned runs on nine hits in four innings of work. The Quakes launched four home runs on their way to a 9-1 lead before Bumgarner was done. The Giants lost the game 14-1.
Fans were just excited to see the Giants' three-time World Series champ up close. One fan remembered seeing Bumgarner all five times he pitched for San Jose as a prospect in 2009.
"He's a lot bigger, pitches a little harder," fan Robert Webber said. "It's so nice that all of them rehab here. It's San Jose, it's local, and to see him this close is very nice."
Bumgarner too recalled those games he pitched as a 19-year-old.
"A big change for me, mainly just being away from home," he said. "I hadn't been away from home in that point in my life very much. Nothing but good memories for me here."
While Bumgarner wasn't exactly happy with his final line Wednesday night, he was fine with his progress.
"I feel pretty good about it," he said. "Obviously, that was kind of a lopsided outing, but for what I'm looking for, I feel good."
Bumgarner is scheduled to make another rehab start Monday against Modesto. First pitch is 7 p.m. After that, he hopes to return to the big club by July 15.