Opening Day is here, and the first National League player to hit a home run in 2017 is ... a pitcher. Madison Bumgarner did the deed on Sunday. Twice.
Bumgarner took Arizona Diamondbacks ace Zack Greinke deep in the fifth inning, and had already walked in the game. That Bumgarner hit a home run isn’t that much of a surprise because he leads all major league pitchers in home runs (14) and RBI (35) since the start of 2014.
But for it to be the first home run of the season for the entire league? It helps that the San Francisco Giants playing in Phoenix is just one of three games on Sunday, and the first National League game.
Hitting a home run on Opening Day for a pitcher is quite rare.
Pitchers to HR on Opening Day in last 25 seasons:— Katie Sharp (@ktsharp) April 2, 2017
Clayton Kershaw (2013)
That wasn’t all for Bumgarner. He retired the first 16 batters of the game before allowing three runs in the sixth inning to tie the game. But batting for himself in the seventh inning, Bumgarner got the lead back for the Giants all by himself with another bomb, this one down the line in left field, against Andrew Chafin.
Bumgarner is the first pitcher in major league history to hit two home runs on opening day.