8/31 Hide and seek
It’s tough to hit what you can’t see, and the Giants’ Madison Bumgarner was able to hide the ball well from the Cubs, who mustered two hits in a 4-0 loss on Wednesday. Bumgarner matched a career-high with 11 strikeouts over eight innings and Jeff Keppinger and Pablo Sandoval hit back to back homers to lift the Giants to victory and avoid a sweep. It’s the Cubs’ fewest hits since they totaled two on Sept. 21, 2010, also against the Giants in a 1-0 loss.
The only Chicago hits were a single by Starlin Castro with two outs in the third and a leadoff single by Marlon Byrd in the fifth.
“He hid the ball very good,” Alfonso Soriano said of Bumgarner, “but at the same time, when you see the ball come out of his hands, you don’t know [what it is] because you can’t see the rotation of the ball and it’s hard to hit like that. He’s good, but he got a lot of help because it was bright, too.
“It wasn’t only me but everybody,” Soriano said. “It was weird at home plate.”
Soriano did draw a walk in his first at-bat in the second, grounded out in the fourth, and struck out to end the seventh.
“My first at-bat, I said, ‘Oh my God, thank God he didn’t throw me anything close,'” Soriano said. “I saw the ball and when it came close, it disappeared. My second at-bat, I wanted to swing at the first pitch. I didn’t know if it was a fastball, breaking ball. I couldn’t see.”
— Carrie Muskat