SF Giants fall to Cubs in wild Cactus League thriller

Mar 24, 2016; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Home plate umpire umpire Sean Barber (29) restrains Chicago Cubs right fielder Jason Heyward (22) during an argument with San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner (not pictured) during the fourth inning at Scottsdale Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 24, 2016; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Home plate umpire umpire Sean Barber (29) restrains Chicago Cubs right fielder Jason Heyward (22) during an argument with San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner (not pictured) during the fourth inning at Scottsdale Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /
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The SF Giants fell to the Cubs 16-14, in what may have been the closest thing ever to a Spring Training thriller.

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The game started off as a matchup between a pair of aces in Madison Bumgarner and Jake Arrieta, two pitchers who shared the honor of shutting out the Pittsburgh Pirates in a National League Wild Card game. However, either pitcher fared well today. After Madison Bumgarner gave up a run in the top of the first inning, the Giants knocked Arrieta out of the game after just 34 pitches in the bottom of the first, as Arrieta turned out to have a blister on his right thumb. The Cubs say the injury is minor.

Bumgarner costed through the second inning, but after the Giants tacked on a pair of runs in the bottom of the second to extend their lead to 7-1, the Cubs cut the lead in half in the third Bumgarner was eventually knocked out of the game in the fourth, when after he got Jason Heyward to strike out looking, Heyward looked to Dexter Fowler, the runner on second base, for Buster Posey‘s signs, which caused Bumgarner to charge towards Heyward. Bruce Bochy came out, as well did a few players on both teams, but the benches did not empty.

The Giants got their lead back to six runs in the bottom of the forth, but the Cubs scored eight runs in the fifth to come all the way back and take a 13-11 lead. Each team scored three more runs, and after four hours and seven minutes, the closest game to a Spring Training thriller was at last over.

Next: New To The Rivalry Part 1

The Giants will play a split squad tomorrow. Tomorrow afternoon, the Giants will take on the Kansas City Royals in a 2014 World Series rematch at 1:05 in Scottsdale, and then the Giants will travel to Glendale in the evening for a 7:05 match against their arch rivals, the Los Angeles Dodgers. Tomorrow’s game in Glendale will be highlighted by Joey Amalfitano coaching third base.