American Legion Baseball alumnus Madison Bumgarner threw his first Major League no-hitter on April 25. But not officially.
Bumgarner, in his second season with the Arizona Diamondbacks, no-hit the Atlanta Braves on Sunday in a 7-0, seven-inning victory that was the second game of a doubleheader at Atlanta's Truist Park. Because the game was only seven innings, Bumgarner isn’t officially credited with a no-hitter.
"It feels good," Bumgarner said in a TV interview after the game. "I just want to say two things before I go celebrate with the guys. I want to thank these shadows in Atlanta. They helped me out a good bit. That was awesome. And I want to thank (major league baseball commissioner) Rob Manfred for making these seven-inning games."
Two others have already thrown no-hitters in the major leagues this season; Joe Musgrove pitched the first no-hitter in San Diego Padres history on April 9 and Carlos Rodon of the Chicago White Sox no-hit Cleveland on April 14.
Bumgarner and Rodon both helped their respective North Carolina high schools to Class 4A state titles; Bumgarner led South Caldwell to the 2007 championship and Rodon led Holly Springs to the 2011 title. Bumgarner also played American Legion Baseball for Caldwell County Post 29.
In Sunday's gem, Bumgarner struck out seven and the only Braves player to reach base came on a throwing error in the second inning.
After Atlanta's Marcell Ozuna lined out to end the game with Bumgarner's 17th consecutive out, the pitcher shook hands with catcher Carson Kelly before the rest of the Diamondbacks joined in a celebration around the pitcher's mound.
"I like to keep it pretty low-key," Bumgarner told reporters afterward. "They definitely didn’t, which that’s fine and I appreciate that, too. It’s pretty special for all of us and like I said, I’m just blessed and fortunate to be able to do that and be a part of this."
Bumgarner was asked afterward if he couldn't lasted the two more innings necessary to be recognized. (Manfred mandated the major leagues switch to seven-inning doubleheaders last year during the coronavirus pandemic.)
"I don't know. There's too many variables," Bumgarner said. "If it worked for seven, it's hard to imagine it not working for two more."
Bumgarner's effort came after teammate Zac Gallen tossed a one-hitter for Arizona to win 5-0 in the first game of the doubleheader earlier on Sunday.
Bumgarner and Gallen are officially credited with shutouts and make Arizona the first team to throw back-to-back complete-game shutouts in a doubleheader since Reggie Cleveland and Don Aase did so for the Boston Red Sox on Sept. 5, 1977 at Toronto's Exhibition Stadium.
The 2014 World Series most valuable player for the San Francisco Giants, the 31-year-old Bumgarner was making his 300th career major league start and continues to shake off a slow start to his season; He's 2-0 with a 0.75 ERA in his last two starts after going 0-2 with a 11.19 ERA in his first three starts of the season.
Bumgarner played three seasons of American Legion Baseball, helping Caldwell County to three straight state tournaments from 2004 to 2006. Post 29 finished as state runner-up in 2004 and 2006 and was eighth in 2005. Bumgarner went 11-1 with five saves, a 1.83 ERA and 135 strikeouts in 115 innings for Post 29 in his career. The right-handed hitter also had a .294 average with 23 home runs and 85 RBIs in his ALB career.