Editor's Note: The above video was recorded on October 4, 2016.
Madison Bumgarner. And that’s your Giants postgame show for today.
Oh, the Giant mythology is strong with so many little elves passing it from generation to the same generation in alternate years, and now Conor Gillaspie has joined the Never Has To Buy A Drink In San Francisco club.
But Madison Bumgarner.
Good. We’ve got that, right?
The Giants gently and even methodically mugged the New York Mets Wednesday night, 3-0, spacing enough Noah Syndergaard strikeouts to make the game a white-knuckler, but in the end, Bumgarner never let the Mets get any offensive . . . well, momentum is too strong a word, really. Four hits, never more than one in any inning, only one inning with more than one baserunner, and three plate appearances the entire game with runners in scoring position.
So yeah. Madison Bumgarner.
It’s hard to squeeze more useful detail from this game. Two teams got one big swing between them, and one team had the pitcher who eats October and picks the remnants out of his teeth with a bear femur. There were no managing gaffes to chew over, no fevered analysis about what might have been for the Mets, none of it. It was just . . .
. . . oh, the hell with it. Madison Bumgarner.
His last nine postseason appearances have produced this pitching line:
Innings: 68 2/3.
Runs (Earned): 7 (6).
Pitches (strikes) 905 (696).
Opposing Team Runs: 10.
Giants Record: 8-1.
What else do you want to know? What else do you need to know? A sell-by date when all this pillow-over-the-face pitching dominance ends?
Okay. 2022. Another even year, if you’re twisted in that particular way.
But that’s it. Bruce Bochy’s managing skills get a bit dusty when Bumgarner pitches only because Bumgarner all but eliminates any strategy other than “Give it time.” And while it is true that Gillaspie is actually the one who allowed Bochy to leave Bumgarner to finish what he’d started, Bochy only had to call the bullpen once to get Sergio Romo up in a just-in-case situation.
The game just gets very simple when Bumgarner pitches in October. In 14 postseason appearances, he has been kicked around only twice, at home against Cincinnati and St. Louis in 2012. In the other 12 games, he has allowed 11 earned runs in 89 2/3 innings – 1.10, in case you’re asking.
So now it’s Chicago, and the best team in baseball. The rotation, which is not yet official, has Bumgarner starting Games 1, 3 and 5, though since that is a lie, it is much more likely the Giants will have him start only Game 3 (and of course, 5). Because he is not actually a mechanoid. Because he is actually made of fungible parts. Because someone’s beaten him. Hell, the Cubs have beaten him.
Of course, assuming he pitches Game 3, that defeat will have occurred 1,501 days before that start. In short, the Giants will have to get around the Cubs with their ATM available for only one start.
But that assumes Bochy won’t channel his inner John McGraw in the 1905 World Series, who alternated Christy Mathewson and Joe McGinnity and used them for all but one inning over five games. Or better still, Pittsburgh manager Fred Clarke, who started Deacon Phillippe in Games 1, 3, 4, 7 and 8 of the 1903 World Series. And Phillippe was born and grew up in a place called Rural Retreat, Virginia.
Starting to sound familiar, kids?