Hunter Pence & Madison Bumgarner named NL All-Stars
By Eric Nathanson
Last night Major League Baseball announced the rosters for this year’s edition of the All-Star Game. The San Francisco Giants had 2 players named as reserves to the National League squad. Outfielder Hunter Pence and starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner were voted in by their fellow players.
The All-Star Game is Tuesday July 15th at Target Field in Minneapolis. This is the 85th edition of the “Midsummer Classic” that was first played in 1933 at Chicago’s Comiskey Park. The numbers are a little off because of a 4-year stretch in which two games were played (1959-1962).
This is Madison Bumgarner’s second All-Star selection in his career and second in a row. After a slower start to the season he has gotten on track lately and posted good numbers. In 18 starts the Giants left-hander has a 9-6 record with a 3.09 ERA. He’s 4th in strikeouts per nine innings in the NL averaging 9.5 and 3rd in the NL in strikeouts with 120.
Bumgarner did not pitch in last year’s game and most likely won’t get the chance this season either. He is slated to pitch the Sunday before the break and will be ineligible to play in Tuesday’s All-Star Game.
Hunter Pence will be making his 3rd All-Star appearance, and 1st as a member of the Giants. This is another case of a player starting slow but getting it together and producing. After batting .262 in April, Pence has brought his average back up over .300 to its current .301.
Pence’s 64 runs are tied for 2nd in the National League and his 106 hits are also tied for second on the senior circuit. He has started every game in 2014 for the Giants, and I think if he had it his way he wouldn’t miss an inning. Pence has been a spark plug to the Giants lineup with his hustle.
There’s a possibility that Tim Hudson (7-5, 2.53 ERA) may get an All-Star call as well. With 4 pitchers on the NL squad scheduled to start the Sunday before the game, manager Mike Matheny will have some choices to make.
The Home Run Derby in Monday July 14 and there has already been talk of Hunter Pence joining the fun. He is known to put on power displays in BP, and I can tell you for certain that it’s true. I watched him break part of the scoreboard at the Tropicana Dome last August. I don’t know what sounded louder, the ball off Pence’s bat, or the crunching noise the scoreboard made when the ball came to a stop.
Personally, I think Bumgarner should get an invite to the Derby. Who wouldn’t want to watch this over and over?