Bumgarner feels 'almost there' in prep for opener

Bumgarner feels 'almost there' in prep for opener

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Madison Bumgarner has allowed five hits in 10 shutout innings spanning three exhibition starts against Major League competition, including Friday's five-inning, two-hit performance in the Giants' 4-0 victory over Colorado.

Yet Bumgarner stated that he didn't consider himself fully ready for the regular season and his March 31 Opening Night start at Arizona.

"I feel like I'm almost there," said Bumgarner, who wants to improve his command despite walking just one batter in Cactus League play this year. He allowed one hit, walked two and fanned five in four shutout innings against a squad of Giants prospects last Sunday.

Bumgarner also must increase his endurance, which was why he returned to the bullpen to increase his pitch count by throwing eight to 10 pitches. Bumgarner estimated that his final pitch count reached "75-ish," leaving him about 15 to 20 pitches short of what he'll need to be capable of by the start of the season.

Neither of the hits Bumgarner allowed the Rockies left the infield. With one out in the second inning, Matt McBride hit a grounder that grazed Bumgarner's glove and bounced toward shortstop Ehire Adrianza. Three innings later, Paul Janish bunted up the third-base line for a hit.

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.