SAN FRANCISCO -- Bruce Bochy didn't need to read Madison Bumgarner's fiery quotes to know his ace would like to try and make a run with this Giants team. But the manager didn't hate seeing them.
"He loves it here, and he loves his team," Bochy said Friday. "It does mean a lot. He's not looking for anything else but to help this team get back to where we want to go. That's what makes him special."
Bochy knows, of course, that trade rumors will continue to swirl. That's the nature of the business, and both Bochy and Bumgarner have been prepared for the stretch all season long. But the manager has never had to have a heart-to-heart with Bumgarner. He said his ace has shown his maturity since he was a 20-year-old pitching in the postseason.
"He's just got a good head on him, he's grounded with a great makeup," Bochy said. "He's got a really great awareness of what's going on on the field, but also what's going on off the field. He keeps perspective ... I do have a very deep respect for the man and how he carries himself."
Bumgarner hasn't allowed any of this to bother him. He has a 1.86 ERA in his last five starts, helping the Giants rip off a stunning streak. With 13 wins in their last 15 games, they're back in the Wild Card hunt. Bochy is worried about that, not the potential for trades in the next two weeks.
"This is my club," he said. "I don't look at things I can't control. I don't think about them."