Bumgarner with the San Francisco Giants
|San Francisco Giants – No. 40|
August 1, 1989 |
Hickory, North Carolina
|Bats: Right||Throws: Left|
|September 8, 2009 for the San Francisco Giants|
(through August 15, 2014)
|Earned run average||3.12|
|Career highlights and awards|
Madison Kyle Bumgarner (born August 1, 1989), nicknamed "MadBum" or "Big Country" is an American professional baseball starting pitcher with the San Francisco Giants of Major League Baseball. Bumgarner is listed as 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) and 235 pounds (107 kilograms). He features a four-seam fastball that sits in the 90 to 94 miles per hour (145 to 151 km/h) range, a cutter or slider that hovers around 86 to 90 miles per hour (138 to 145 km/h), a curveball that ranges from 75 to 80 miles per hour (121 to 129 km/h), and a change-up that sits at 82 to 84 miles per hour (132 to 135 km/h).
Bumgarner was born in Hickory, North Carolina, and attended South Caldwell High School in Hudson, where he helped his baseball team win the 2007 4A State Championship. He was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the first round (tenth overall) in the 2007 Major League Baseball Draft out of high school. In his first year playing professionally, 2008, he won the South Atlantic League pitching triple crown. He made his major league debut in 2009 with the Giants. In 2010, he began the season in the minor leagues but was called up midway through the season and wound up becoming the youngest left-handed pitcher to throw eight scoreless innings in a World Series as the Giants won the 2010 World Series, their first since 1954. He got off to an 0–5 start in 2011 but managed to finish with a 13–13 record. In 2012, Bumgarner set a career high with 16 wins and won his second World Series. He had the best ERA of his career in 2013, at 2.77, and started on Opening Day for Giants in 2014.
Bumgarner was born August 1, 1989, in Hickory, North Carolina, in an area nicknamed "Bumtown" because of the abundance of people with the last name Bumgarner who have lived there over the years. He grew up in a log house that his father, Kevin, built, sleeping in a loft at nights. Bumgarner's first word was "ball," and by the age of four, he was already playing in a youth baseball league. His father had to sign a waiver because the league was for five-to-eight-year olds. His parents, Kevin and Debbie, divorced while Bumgarner was in high school. He attended South Caldwell High School in Hudson, North Carolina, where he was a member of the baseball team. In his junior season, he had a 12–2 record, an 0.99 earned run average (ERA), and 120 strikeouts in 84 innings pitched as he led his team to a runner-up in the 2006 4A State Championship. Next season, he went 11–2 with a 1.05 ERA and 143 strikeouts in 86 innings while this time helping his team win the 2007 4A State Championship. He had success as a hitter too, batting .424 with 11 home runs and 38 runs batted in. He was named Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the playoffs as well as the Gatorade North Carolina Player of the Year. In 2013, the North Carolina High School Athletic Association included him on their "100 To Remember" male athletes list, which included Michael Jordan, Carl Eller, and Jim Beatty. Bumgarner garnered so much attention from scouts and agents in high school that his father built a wall around the bullpen at his high school field to keep them from distracting him as he warmed up for games. He had committed to play for the University of North Carolina, where he was offered a baseball scholarship, but he decided to enter the 2007 Major League Baseball Draft. Bumgarner was selected in the first round (10th overall) by the Giants. Going into the draft, Baseball America had ranked him as the 14th best prospect overall. He was the first high school pitcher to be selected by the Giants with their first pick since Matt Cain in 2002, and the first left-handed pitcher selected in the first round by the organization since Noah Lowry in 2001.
Bumgarner pitched for the Augusta Greenjackets, the Giants' Low-A South Atlantic League affiliate, in 2008. The Giants sought for him to alter the angle of his head during his delivery, but after Bumgarner struggled over his first three starts in Augusta, he reverted to the way he had thrown in high school. With Augusta, he worked on the changeup, the slider, and "the ability to pitch inside." When asked if it was tough to work on off-speed pitches in a league in which most of the hitters can be fooled with the fastball, Bumgarner replied, "The minors are all about player development. I needed to work on other pitches and have the confidence to throw them." He won the South Atlantic League pitchers' Triple Crown, tying for the league lead in wins (15, tied with Levi Maxwell), leading the league in earned run average (1.46), and leading the league in strikeouts (164). He began the 2009 season with the Giants' High-A affiliate, the San Jose Giants of the California League. After five starts, in which he went 3–1 with a 1.48 ERA and 23 strikeouts, he was called up to the Giants AA affiliate, the Connecticut Defenders of the Eastern League. On July 22, he hit a grand slam against Eric Niesen and picked up the victory in a 9–3 triumph over the Binghamton Mets. In 20 games (19 starts) with them, he went 9–1 with a 1.93 ERA and 69 strikeouts.
In 2008, Baseball America ranked him the third-best prospect in the Giants organization. Before the start of the 2009 season, they ranked Bumgarner as the ninth-best prospect in baseball. Entering 2010, they dropped him to 14th-best prospect in baseball, as some writers were concerned about a drop in Bumgarner's velocity. Jason Grey of ESPN wrote that the drop was "puzzling."
Bumgarner was called up to the majors on September 8, 2009, to make his first major league start and debut in place of Tim Lincecum, who was scratched with back spasms. At the age of 20, he became the second youngest pitcher ever to start a game for the Giants since the franchise moved west in 1958. He was older only than Mike McCormick, who made his debut for San Francisco as a 19-year-old when the team was still in New York. Bumgarner made four appearances with the Giants in 2009, posting an ERA of 1.80, striking out 10 batters, and pitching 10 innings without recording a decision.
Bumgarner attended the Giants' spring training before the 2010 season, competing for the position of fifth starter. However, out of shape after attending his half-sister's funeral, he struggled and was sent down to the AAA Fresno Grizzlies, partly due to a drop in his velocity. In 14 starts with Fresno, he went 7–1 with a 3.16 ERA and 59 strikeouts. On June 26, 2010, Bumgarner was called up again to join the club, facing the Boston Red Sox the next day. He replaced Joe Martinez, who had made one start in place of an injured Todd Wellemeyer, in the rotation. On July 6, 2010, against the Milwaukee Brewers in Milwaukee, Bumgarner earned his first major league victory, 6–1, going eight innings without yielding a run. Bumgarner pitched well enough that when Wellemeyer returned from the disabled list in August, Giants' manager Bruce Bochy chose to use him in the bullpen and leave Bumgarner in the rotation.
In five September starts during the Giants' successful run to the National League West Division championship, Bumgarner posted an ERA of 1.13. At the end of September, Bumgarner earned his first win at home, making him 7–6 on the season. Despite a ten-day layoff, Bumgarner became the youngest pitcher in Giants franchise history to pitch in and win a postseason game, which he did against the Braves in the NLDS clinching-game on October 11, 2010. In addition to his clinching performance in the NLDS, he pitched two shutout innings in relief in the NLCS clinching game versus the Philadelphia Phillies. On October 31, 2010, Bumgarner pitched eight shutout innings in Game 4 of the 2010 World Series, becoming the fourth-youngest pitcher to start and win a World Series game, as well as the youngest to make a scoreless start of six innings or more. This win gave the Giants a 3–1 lead in the series, en route to the Giants winning their first World Series championship in 56 years. After the season, he was named a starting pitcher on Baseball America's 2010 All-Rookie Team.
After his start May 13, 2011, Bumgarner was 0–5 with a 4.58 ERA in his first seven starts of the season. He struggled in his first two games of the season, but soon after regained his post-season form. However, he was the victim of poor run support and bad luck. Despite pitching at least six innings and giving up more than one earned run only once in his five starts from April 27 through May 19, it wasn't until the 19th that he got his first win, collecting an ERA of 3.71 for the season at that point. By June 9, Bumgarner had a 1.93 ERA over his last nine starts, yet had two wins and five losses to show for it. In seven of his eight losses at that point, the Giants either only scored once or scored no times at all. On September 5, 2011, Bumgarner struck out a career high 13 batters while yielding two earned runs, seven hits and one walk over 8.1 innings while earning the win against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. It was his second consecutive double digit strikeout game, having struck out 11 batters in his previous start against the Chicago Cubs. With his win September 16, Bumgarner had won five consecutive starts; he finished the season 13–13 with a 3.21 ERA, 204 innings pitched, and 191 strikeouts. Worth noting, however, is that Bumgarner was 12–1 for the games in which his teammates scored three or more runs for him.
In April, Bumgarner agreed to a six-year contract worth $35.56 million through the 2017 season, with additional $12 million options for 2018 and 2019.
Bumgarner began the season 2012 by going 5–1 with a 2.31 ERA. With his win over the Brewers on May 5 he became the first Giant since Jason Schmidt to win 14 games in a 20-game span. His ERA then rose to 2.85 after he lost three consecutive games, with his record moving to 5–4.
After May 14, the Giants went 16 home games without a home run until Bumgarner hit the first of his career into left field on June 12, against Houston Astros pitcher Bud Norris. Bumgarner, with his home run and 12 strikeouts, became the most recent Giant to hit a home run and throw 10+ strikeouts since Mike Krukow, who was announcing the game.
On June 28, Bumgarner pitched nine shutout innings against the Cincinnati Reds to earn his first complete game and shutout. With this victory, the Giants franchise established a new San Francisco record for consecutive scoreless innings, a total of 36. In 2012, Bumgarner won a career-high 16 games (with only seven losses) while posting a 3.37 ERA and striking out 191 in 208 1⁄3 innings.
After struggling earlier in the playoffs with an 11.25 ERA, Bumgarner pitched seven scoreless innings and struck out eight in Game 2 of the 2012 World Series on October 25. Bumgarner became the first pitcher to begin his world series career with 15 scoreless innings since Bruce Hurst did so in 1986. Hall of Famer Christy Mathewson in 1905 was the last Giant before Bumgarner to have scoreless outings in his first two career World Series starts.
2013 saw Bumgarner set career bests for ERA (2.77), walks plus hits per inning pitched (WHIP) (1.03) and strikeouts (199) in 31 starts, finishing with a 13–9 record. Bumgarner's WHIP was the lowest for a Giants' left-hander since Carl Hubbell's in 1933. Bumgarner was also selected by Bruce Bochy, the Giants' manager and the manager of the National League team, to pitch in the All Star game for the first time. However, Bumgarner didn't pitch in the game. He took pride in pitching 200+ innings for the third consecutive season (201.1) and improving at holding runners on base, conceding 8 stolen bases in 2013 compared with 27 in 2012. Bumgarner was rested for what would have been his final start of the season, following a great seven-inning, one-run, 10-strikeout win over the New York Mets. Bochy said he wanted to give Bumgarner a break and also allow Barry Zito a final home start.
On July 13, in an 8–4 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks at AT&T Park, Bumgarner and batterymate Buster Posey each hit grand slam home runs, marking the first ever occurrence in MLB history that batterymates each hit grand slams in the same game. Bumgarner also tied the all-time MLB records for grand slams in a career and in a single season by a pitcher with two. Tony Cloninger had been the last pitcher to hit two grand slams in one season, doing so in one game on July 3, 1966.
On August 26, Bumgarner pitched a complete game one-hit shutout in a 3-0 win over the Colorado Rockies. Bumgarner pitched seven perfect innings until Justin Morneau reached out on a 1-2 pitch that went down deep right field for a double. In the process, he set a franchise record 6th career complete game with 10+ strikeouts and 0 BBs. Bumgarner outdueled Jorge De La Rosa at AT&T Park for the second time that season.
Bumgarner's repertoire consists of four pitches. He features a four-seam fastball in the 90 to 93 miles per hour (145 to 150 km/h) range that tops off at 95 mph, a slider around 86 to 90 miles per hour (138 to 145 km/h), a curveball that ranges from 75 to 80 miles per hour (121 to 129 km/h), and a change-up that sits at 82 to 84 miles per hour (132 to 135 km/h). The fastball and slider are his main pitches; through 2013, he has thrown the fastball 43.68% of the time and the cutter 33.84% of the time.
Bumgarner married Ali Saunders on February 14, 2010, in a private ceremony in which he wore jeans. During the offseason, they live on a farm in North Carolina that is about thirty minutes from where he grew up in the old furniture manufacturing area of the state, and during the season in a condo in San Francisco. Bumgarner has been a Baptist since his childhood. Andrew Baggarly, a reporter who covers the Giants, wrote of Bumgarner, "While I wouldn’t describe him as outgoing, he struck me as being smart, well spoken and polite. He is deeply Christian and seems to be very grounded." Bumgarner had a half-sister, Dena, who died in 2010 reportedly from accidentally overdosing on pain medication following hospitalization from cancer. Bumgarner has a stepsister, as well as two older half-brothers. His father, Kevin, built the log house the younger Bumgarner grew up in, and makes $18 an hour working at night at a food distribution company. His mother is an accountant for PepsiCo.
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- Baggarly, Andrew. A Band of Misfits: Tales of the 2010 San Francisco Giants. Chicago: Triumph Books. ISBN 978-1-60078-598-6.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Madison Bumgarner.|
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
- Minorleaguebaseball.com 2007 Draft Report