Bumgarner nearly ready for the season

Bumgarner nearly ready for the season

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Pitching five shutout innings in the cold, rain and hail on Sunday was not enough for Madison Bumgarner, so after leaving the game after having thrown 55 pitches, he went to the bullpen and threw 20 more before calling it a day.

"He wanted to stay out there, but we wanted to get a couple guys out there, so we decided to send him to the 'pen to get some more work," manager Bruce Bochy said. "He held up pretty well. This is the time in spring when pitchers start bearing down and get locked in before the season starts. Our guys have done a great job of that. Each start is important for their location, using all their secondary pitches, and Bum did that today."

On a day when it was hard enough just to grip the ball, Bumgarner's command never left him, as he was efficient and dominant against the Padres, blanking them on four hits, while walking none and striking out two. He lowered his spring ERA to 3.72, and he has walked only one batter while striking out 13 in Cactus League play.

"I try to incorporate everything during Spring Training," Bumgarner said, noting that he's using all of his pitches and is not using outings to focus on any one aspect of his game. "Sometimes in the season it might be different, but here I think everyone wants to incorporate all their pitches and get a good feel for everything."

To have that good a feel and command in a game when no one would have been surprised to see it called for rain in the second inning bodes well for his readiness to start the season.

"We still need to play the rest of the games and get ready," Bumgarner said. "But I feel like I'm close to where I need to be."