SAN JOSE -- Madison Bumgarner's career California League ERA took a hit Wednesday night. He does not believe his rehab schedule did.
Bumgarner gave up nine earned runs in his first San Jose Giants appearance in eight years, but he said he still hopes to be done with a lengthy rehab process after one more start in San Jose. All along, Bumgarner has targeted the first series of the second half for his return. He hopes to be back in the big leagues on July 15 in San Diego.
"It would have been nice to get up and down one more time but we got the pitch count up and that's ultimately all we're looking for," he said. "I felt good with the way my body felt. The command felt good. Obviously that's kind of a lopsided outing but my body feels pretty good.
"We've got hopefully just one more."
Bumgarner didn't spend much time here in 2009, posting a 1.48 ERA in five starts. He was making similarly quick work of the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes until the fourth inning Wednesday.
The Giants were so encouraged by Bumgarner's simulated games last month in large part because he was pumping strikes, and the start of this night was no different. Bumgarner needed just 22 pitches to get through two, 19 of which were strikes. The lone hit was a solo homer from prospect Ibandel Isabel on a fly ball to right that kept carrying until it bounced off a wood sign inches above the yellow line.
The next Quakes hit went a bit further. DJ Peters, the Dodgers' fourth-round pick a year ago, hit a no-doubter to left on a grooved cutter in the fourth. The homer was Peters' 17th of the year and he added another later in the eight-run inning. Bumgarner gave up eight hits in the frame, including three homers to left. He did not seem particularly bothered.
"They've got their game plan and I've got mine," he said. "Not to take anything away from those guys."
Bumgarner credited the young Quakes for barreling a lot of balls, but he was here for pitch count and it was at 76 after the fourth. Bumgarner hoped to get up and down five times, but said four was fine.
Per scouts behind the plate, Bumgarner's velocity was 90-91 throughout the night. His cutter lacked some snap, one said, and another scout noted that Bumgarner's off-speed pitches are behind his fastball. Bumgarner recognized that, saying his backdoor cutter needs work. The young Quakes took advantage.
"Next time we'll throw more," Bumgarner said of one of his bread and butter pitches.
The time after that will likely be back on a big league mound.