Madison Bumgarner isn't one to mince words, and recently the Giants starting pitcher said what everyone has been thinking.
The balls are juiced.
"There's no denying it," Bumgarner told the San Francisco Chronicle in a story published Friday. "I don't think anybody at this point is denying the ball is different. It's definitely different, and it's affecting a lot of the all-time stats."
The proof is in the pudding, as they say, and a simple glance at the home-run leaderboard serves to confirm Bumgarner's suspicion. While New York Mets slugger Pete Alonso is the only player thus far to reach the 50-homer plateau, there are another seven players in the forties, and another 47 in the thirties.
The league's previous home run record -- 6,105, set in 2017 -- was surpassed two weeks ago. There's still a week left in the season. Those are the only two seasons in MLB history with at least 6,000 home runs.
The Giants haven't had a single player with 20 home runs in any of the last three seasons. They already have two this year, with Evan Longoria knocking on the door with 19.
So, it's not as if the Giants' hitters haven't similarly benefitted from a juiced ball. Still, Bumgarner isn't a fan.
"I just don't like it when they change the game so much," he said. "This changes it a lot."
Given that the current game has basically been turned into a nightly home-run derby, it's not surprising that a pitcher would complain. Of course, Bumgarner has only hit one himself after five previous multi-homer seasons, so maybe he's just frustrated he hasn't been able to take better advantage.