Bumgarner was willing but held back until Game Five

Sat Oct 25, 2014 7:02pm EDT
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By Larry Fine

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Giants ace Madison Bumgarner was willing, but manager Bruce Bochy decided not to rush the left-hander back to the mound on short rest and kept him on course to pitch Game Five of the World Series on Sunday.

A 'will he or won't he' confusion surfaced late Friday when a report surfaced that Bumgarner had told team mates he would be starting Game Four against the Kansas City Royals.

Bochy shot that down with a declaration that Ryan Vogelsong would take his scheduled turn on Saturday with the Giants trailing 2-1 in the best-of-seven.

A 'did he or didn't he' confusion still existed, however, as Bochy said on Saturday he did not ask the lefty to alter his routine in case he was called upon to start on short rest for the first time in his career.

Bumgarner, meanwhile, said his adjustment was "a mutual thing".

"We didn't tell him to change his routine. I think he wanted to keep that option open," Bochy told reporters before Saturday's game. "But we weren't going to change our course."

Bumgarner denied the premature report that he insisted he would be taking the mound on Saturday.

"I never said anything like that," said Bumgarner, who shut the Royals down on one run and three hits over seven innings in San Francisco's 7-1 win in the series opener.   Continued...

Oct 21, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner throws a pitch against the Kansas City Royals in the first inning during game one of the 2014 World Series at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports