GLENDALE, Ariz. — The air in Arizona is supposed to be tough on curveballs. Don’t tell that to Madison Bumgarner.
"During the season, we’re going to have to throw it here and in Colorado," Bumgarner said after Thursday’s exhibition outing. "I feel you can still throw it just as good, you just have to be perfect."
Bumgarner, who will start down here in Phoenix on Opening Day, is still trying to reach that perfect feeling with his curveball, and he feels he’s close. He said his changeup locked in late in his 2 2/3-inning outing Thursday and his fastball and cutter "felt great the whole game." After giving up two runs in the first inning, Bumgarner struck out two White Sox in the second and got two quick outs in the third before a pitch limit ended his afternoon.
HEALTH UPDATES: Manager Bruce Bochy said Tim Lincecum is feeling a little better after coming out of Wednesday’s game with a sore neck. Lincecum received treatment Thursday morning. Sergio Romo (sore shoulder) will throw to hitters on Friday. Javier Lopez (biceps tendinitis) reported no issues after making his spring debut on Tuesday.
ICYMI: In advance of the Ferrell stuff, I asked Giants players about playing all nine positions. Not surprisingly, a couple of guys thought they could do it.
PLAY OF THE DAY: Justin Maxwell sold out to make a diving catch on Tyler Flowers’ liner to right with one out in the fifth. Maxwell also had a pair of singles after a cold start to the spring.
FAMILIAR FACES: Trayce Thompson, Klay’s brother, was a pinch-runner for the White Sox in the sixth inning and stayed in to play left field, hitting a single in the eighth … Left-hander Dan Runzler is on the list to pitch for the Diamondbacks when the two N.L. West squads face off Sunday; Runzler spent last season in Japan.
NOTEWORTHY: Hunter Strickland has been much sharper the last couple times out after giving up homers in his first two appearances. Strickland struck out one in a perfect seventh inning … Hector Sanchez was 2 for 3, raising his spring average to .333 … Brandon Hicks hit a long solo homer … Matt Duffy had two hits and drove in a pair … Finally, stay hot, Travis Ishikawa. He entered with a .500 spring batting average and had a two-run homer, three walks and three runs.
“I’m going to have to lead him off,” Bochy joked.
QUOTABLE: Bumgarner may now be the team’s biggest rock star. He got a huge ovation when he took the mound, a theme all spring.
“It’s been like a home game every time, it seems like,” he said. “It’s been awesome.”