SAN FRANCISCO -- For two weeks, even as he shuffled his rotation to line Madison Bumgarner up for his final game, Bruce Bochy insisted that no final decision had been made. The Giants listed their Game 162 starter as "To Be Announced," and on Friday night, Bochy announced that it shockingly wouldn't be Bumgarner.
The two men had several conversations this week about the situation. Ultimately they decided that Bumgarner, 34 starts and 207 innings into his final season before free agency, had done enough.
"We both came to the conclusion that it was what made the most sense for both of us," Bumgarner said. "We've had a great career together. My time here has been special. We've gone through lots of amazing things and tomorrow is not going to change that."
Bumgarner said he is not disappointed that he won't take the ball. He insisted he "feels great" physically, but Bochy and Bumgarner decided that the final game was best spent together in the dugout.
Bumgarner said he's excited about taking in all that the Giants will do for Bochy before and during Sunday's game and insisted that he'll be back here for similar moments, regardless of what he decides in free agency.
For now, it's hard to say where Bumgarner will be next opening day. All that's clear is that Tuesday's start here was his final one of the season, and potentially his final one as a Giant. Sunday's game will now be started by Dereck Rodriguez.
"There are certain sides of it that would have been neat and a cool story," Bumgarner said. "I get that and so did he. We talked for a while on several different occasions."
Bochy said he knows how much this game will mean to fans, but he wasn't willing to divulge what the Giants might be planning. The organization is well aware that fans would like a chance to say goodbye to Bumgarner, just in case.
"He'll have his spikes on, I'll put it that way," Bochy said, smiling.