Giants fans missed out on seeing
Mason Saunders Madison Bumgarner pitch against his former team Tuesday, as the MLB season's suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic delayed what was scheduled to be Bumgarner's first career start against San Francisco.
They didn't miss much, according to Strat-O-Matic's 2020 season simulation.
Bugmarner pitched a gem against his old club, winning for the first time with his new one while the Giants fell to 0-5 in Strat-o-Matic's sim. The lefty struck out 10 in 7 innings, allowing six hits and walking just two.
"When he reached 10 strikeouts, the fans showed him their appreciation with a loud cheer," Strat-O-Matic's write-up said D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said after the game.
Bumgarner pitched for the Giants for parts of 11 seasons, winning three World Series and earning four consecutive All-Star nods from 2013 through 2016. He signed a five-year contract with the Diamondbacks in December.
How have the Giants gotten off to such a poor start sans Bumgarner in the simulation? Strat-O-Matic head of operations and director of research Len Schwartz told Newsday last week that the company is creating its player cards each day for the simulation, utilizing an algorithm including "projections and recent performance."
Losing all five games to start a season literally is, at least in terms of wins and losses, a worst-case scenario, but well within the Giants' expected range of outcomes this season. Baseball Prospectus' PECOTA projections pegged the Giants as about a 94-loss team, while FanGraphs had San Francisco losing 91 games. Either, surely, would have included a few five-game losing streaks.
Whether Bumgarner dominates the Giants when baseball resumes -- and, when baseball resumes -- remains to be seen due to the spread of COVID-19.
MLB and the players association agreed to a wider deal last week that reportedly included the provisions that the season won't resume until it is deemed medically safe to do so and there are no outstanding bans on travel or mass gatherings.