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Madison Bumgarner

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Madison Bumgarner
Madison Bumgarner on September 3, 2013.jpg
Bumgarner pitching at Petco Park in 2013
San Francisco Giants – No. 40
Starting pitcher
Born: (1989-08-01) August 1, 1989 (age 28)
Hickory, North Carolina
Bats: Right Throws: Left
MLB debut
September 8, 2009, for the San Francisco Giants
MLB statistics
(through September 23, 2017)
Win–loss record 104–76
Earned run average 3.01
Strikeouts 1,482
WHIP 1.10
Teams
Career highlights and awards

MLB Records

  • 0.25 career World Series ERA (minimum 25 innings)
  • 0.50 career postseason road ERA (minimum 25 innings)
  • Two career grand slams by a pitcher
  • 52 23 innings pitched, single postseason (2014)

Madison Kyle Bumgarner (born August 1, 1989), commonly known by his nickname, "MadBum",[1][2] is an American professional baseball pitcher for the San Francisco Giants of Major League Baseball (MLB). He stands 6 feet 5 inches (1.96 m) tall and weighs 250 pounds (110 kg). Bumgarner has won three World Series championships (2010, 2012, 2014) and two Silver Slugger Awards (2014, 2015). He has also been selected to four National League All-Star teams and is the Giants' strikeout leader by a left-handed pitcher in the San Francisco Era.[3]

Bumgarner played high school baseball at South Caldwell High School in Hudson, North Carolina, where he helped his team win the 2007 4A State Championship. After graduating, he was selected with the tenth overall pick in the 2007 MLB Draft by the San Francisco Giants. In his first year playing professionally, 2008, he won the South Atlantic League pitching triple crown. He and Buster Posey both made their Major League debuts in 2009, and they are considered one of the best batteries in Major League history based on their young age and early success in their careers. By throwing eight scoreless innings in Game 4 of the 2010 World Series, he became the youngest left-handed pitcher to accomplish the feat and helped win the franchise's first World Series in San Francisco and first since 1954.

Following one of the most dominant postseason and World Series pitching performances in modern MLB history, he was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2014 World Series, the 2014 Babe Ruth Award winner, the 2014 Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year, and the 2014 Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year.

Early life[edit]

Bumgarner was born August 1, 1989, in Hickory, North Carolina, and grew up in an area ten miles away nicknamed "Bumtown" because of the abundance of people with the surname Bumgarner who have lived there over the years after their ancestors had arrived from Germany.[4][5]

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.[4]

Much like fellow Major League pitcher Brett Cecil, throwing a ball is the only thing Bumgarner does left-handed[6]

High school[edit]

Bumgarner attended South Caldwell High School in Hudson, North Carolina, where he was known as "Maddie" to his friends and was a member of the Spartans baseball team and a member of Post 29's American Legion Baseball team.[7] 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.[8] He batted .424 with 11 home runs and 38 runs batted in.[7] He was named Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the playoffs and the Gatorade North Carolina Player of the Year, garnering the nickname "The Carolina Peach". In 2013, the North Carolina High School Athletic Association included him on its "100 To Remember" male athletes list, which included Michael Jordan, Carl Eller, and Jim Beatty.[9] Bumgarner attracted 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.[4] He committed to attend the University of North Carolina on a college baseball scholarship.[8]

Professional career[edit]

Draft and minor leagues[edit]

The San Francisco Giants selected Bumgarner tenth overall in the first round of the 2007 MLB draft. 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 on 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.[8]

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."[10] 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).[11] 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.[12] In 20 games (19 starts) with them, he went 9–1 with a 1.93 ERA and 69 strikeouts.[13]

In 2008, Baseball America ranked him the third-best prospect in the Giants organization.[14] Before the start of the 2009 season, the magazine ranked Bumgarner as the ninth-best prospect in baseball.[15] Entering 2010, Bumgarner attended the Giants' spring training before the season, competing for the position of fifth starter. He dropped to the fourteenth-best prospect in baseball on the magazine's list, as some writers were concerned about a drop in Bumgarner's velocity. Jason Grey of ESPN wrote that the drop was "puzzling."[16][17] 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.[16][18] In 14 starts with Fresno, he went 7–1 with a 3.16 ERA and 59 strikeouts.[13]

San Francisco Giants (2009–present)[edit]

2009[edit]

On September 8, 2009 at AT&T Park, Bumgarner was called up to the Majors for his first start, making his Major League debut against the San Diego Padres in place of Tim Lincecum, who was scratched with back spasms. At the age of twenty, he became the second-youngest pitcher ever to start a game for the Giants, and the youngest since the franchise moved west in 1958. He was older only than Mike McCormick, who started two games for the Giants—as a nineteen-year-old—in 1956, when the team was still in New York.[19][20] In the bottom of the third inning with no outs, Bumgarner struckout Kevin Correia for his first career strikeout. Three days later, Buster Posey made his Major League debut. Bumgarner made four appearances with the Giants in 2009, posting an ERA of 1.80, striking out ten batters, and pitching ten innings.[7]

2010[edit]

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.[21]

On July 6, 2010 at Miller Park, in a 6-1 win over the Milwaukee Brewers, Bumgarner earned his first career victory by going eight innings without yielding a run.[22] 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.[23]

In five September starts during the Giants' successful run to the National League West Division championship, Bumgarner posted an ERA of 1.13.[24] At the end of September, Bumgarner earned his first win at home, making him 7–6 on the season. After the season, he was named a starting pitcher on Baseball America's 2010 All-Rookie Team.[25]

On October 11 at Turner Field, in a 3-2 win over the Atlanta Braves in the National League Division Series clinching-Game 4, Bumgarner made his postseason debut and by pitching six innings advanced the Giants to the 2010 NLCS, becoming the youngest pitcher in Giants' franchise history to appear in, start, and win a playoff game.[24][26]

On October 20 at AT&T Park, in a 6-5 win over the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series, Bumgarner became the third-youngest pitcher to start an LCS Game, according to Fox. Only Bret Saberhagen (20 years and 175 days) and Fernando Valenzuela (20 years, 347 days) were younger.

On October 23 at Citizens Bank Park, in a 3-2 win in the NLCS-clinching Game 6 over the Philadelphia Phillies, by pitching two shutout relief innings, Bumgarner helped advance the Giants to the 2010 World Series.[27]

On October 31 at Globe Life Park in Arlington, in a 4-0 win over the American League–champion Texas Rangers in Game 4 of the World Series—his World Series debut—Bumgarner pitched eight shutout innings, while allowing only three hits and one Ranger to reach second base, for his first career World Series win. Bumgarner became the fifth-youngest pitcher to start a World Series game, the fourth-youngest to win one, and the youngest to make a scoreless start of six innings or more.[28] Bumgarner and Posey were the first rookie battery to start a World Series game since Spec Shea and Yogi Berra in 1947. This win gave the Giants a 3–1 lead in the series, en route to the Giants winning the next day for their first World Series championship in fifty-six years—since the 1954 World Series—and their first title in the fifty-two-year history of the San Francisco Era.[29]

2011[edit]

Bumgarner pitching on June 21, 2011

After his start on 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.[30] 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.[31] On September 5, Bumgarner struck out thirteen 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.[32] 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.[31] Worth noting, however, is that Bumgarner was 12–1 for the games in which his teammates scored three or more runs for him.[7] Bumgarner finished in eleventh place for the National League Cy Young Award voting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

2012[edit]

On April 17, 2012, Bumgarner and the Giants agreed to a six-year contract extension worth $35.56 million through the 2017 season, with additional $12 million options for 2018 and 2019.[33]

Bumgarner began the 2012 season by going 5–1 with a 2.31 ERA.[34]

On May 5 at AT&T Park, in a 5-2 win over the Milwaukee Brewers, Bumgarner became the first Giant since Jason Schmidt to win fourteen games in a twenty-game span.[35]

On June 12 at AT&T Park, in a 6-3 win over the Houston Astros, Bumgarner hit his first career home run into left field off of Bud Norris. After May 14, the Giants went sixteen home games without hitting a home run until Bumgarner hit his first. Bumgarner also struck out twelve batters, becoming the most recent Giant to hit a home run and strikeout ten or more batters in the same game since Mike Krukow, who was announcing the game.[36]

On June 28 at AT&T Park, in a 5-0 win over the Cincinnati Reds, Bumgarner pitched both his first career regular season complete game and regular season complete game shutout. With this victory, it marked the first time in franchise history with four straight shutouts and established a new San Francisco record of thirty-six consecutive scoreless innings.[37]

On September 22 at AT&T Park, in an 8-4 win over the San Diego Padres, the Giants clinched the National League West Division title for the second time in three years.

In 2012, Bumgarner won sixteen games (with only seven losses) while posting a 3.37 ERA and striking out one hundred and ninety-one batters in 208 13 innings.[7]

On October 25 at AT&T Park, in a 2-0 win over the American League–champion Detroit Tigers in Game 2 of the World Series, Bumgarner pitched seven scoreless innings, striking out eight batters and yielding only two hits. Bumgarner became the first pitcher to begin his World Series career with fifteen scoreless innings since Bruce Hurst did so in 1986.[38] 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.[38] The Giants swept the Series, for their second title in three seasons.

2013[edit]

The 2013 season 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 Giants manager Bruce Bochy 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.

On August 7, 2013 at AT&T Park, by pitching seven innings and allowing only three runs, it was Bumgarner's ninth straight start in which he pitched seven or more innings and allowed three runs or less. According to CSN Bay Area, this was the longest streak seen in the San Francisco Era since Gaylord Perry had ten in 1969.

He took pride in pitching over two-hundred 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.[39] 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.[40] Bumgarner finished in ninth place for the National League Cy Young Award voting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

2014[edit]

Following his outstanding 2013 season, on February 25, Bumgarner was named the Giants' Opening Day starter for the first time in his career.[41] On April 11, Bumgarner hit his first career grand slam and registered a career-high five RBIs against the Colorado Rockies' Jorge de la Rosa, the third home run of Bumgarner's major league career.[42] Bumgarner was named NL Pitcher of the Month for May after going 5–0 in six starts, with 48 strikeouts and a 2.08 ERA.[43]

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.[44] 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 at AT&T Park, in a 3–0 win over the Colorado Rockies, Bumgarner pitched his second career complete game one-hit shutout, which included pitching seven perfect innings to start the game 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 sixth career game with ten or more strikeouts and no walks. Bumgarner beat Jorge de la Rosa at AT&T Park for the second time that season. Bumgarner was named the NL Pitcher of the Month for August. He went 4–1 with a 1.57 ERA, threw three complete games, and had 56 strikeouts against just three walks.[45]

On September 12 at AT&T Park, in a 9–0 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers Bumgarner struck out former teammate Juan Uribe for his 207th strikeout of the season, breaking Ray Sadecki's mark and setting a new San Francisco Giants single season strikeout record by a left-handed pitcher.

Bumgarner set a career-high in wins with 18, posting an 18–10 record, a 2.98 ERA, and 219 strikeouts for the 2014 MLB regular season. Bumgarner finished in fourth place for the National League Cy Young Award voting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America, behind Clayton Kershaw, future rotation mate Johnny Cueto, and Adam Wainwright.

On October 1 at PNC Park, in an 8-0 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates in the National League Wild Card Game, Bumgarner pitched his first career postseason complete-game shutout and first of the 2014 postseason, a four-hit shutout, allowing the Giants to advance to the NLDS against the Washington Nationals. He joins Sandy Koufax from the 1965 World Series and Justin Verlander from the 2012 American League Division Series as the only postseason pitchers to pitch a shutout and strikeout ten or more batters in a winner-take-all game.

On October 11 at Busch Stadium, in a 3-0 win over the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series, by tossing 7 23 shutout innings, Bumgarner set a new Major League postseason record with 26 23 consecutive postseason scoreless innings on the road, breaking the ninety-year-old record held by fellow Giant, Art Nehf. For his performance, he was named NLCS MVP.[46]

On October 21 at Kauffman Stadium, in a 7-1 win over the American League–champion Kansas City Royals in Game 1 of the World Series, Bumgarner pitched seven innings of one-run ball. His major league postseason record of 32 23 consecutive scoreless innings on the road ended when he gave up a solo home run to Salvador Pérez in the seventh inning; it was the first run he had allowed on the road since Game 4 of the 2010 NLCS.

On October 26 at AT&T Park, in a 5-0 win over the Royals in Game 5 of the World Series, Bumgarner pitched his second career postseason complete-game shutout, another four-hit shutout on the 2014 postseason, becoming the second pitcher in franchise history with two shutouts in a single postseason after Christy Mathewson's three shutouts in the 1905 World Series and the first San Francisco Giants pitcher to toss a complete-game shutout in a World Series game since Jack Sanford in Game 2 of the 1962 World Series, according to Fox. In addition, according to Fox Sports, Bumgarner is the fourth left-handed pitcher with at least two shutouts in a single postseason, joining Whitey Ford, Sandy Koufax, and former teammate Randy Johnson. He set all-time MLB records for lowest World Series ERA (0.29) among pitchers of at least twenty-five innings pitched and three starts, and was the first pitcher in World Series history to pitch a shutout with at least eight strikeouts and no walks.[47]

On October 29, in Game 7 of the World Series, on two days rest, Bumgarner pitched five scoreless innings in relief, preserving a one run lead as the Giants won their third title in five seasons. This effort drew media comparisons to Barry Bonds, in terms of unusual statistical performance.[48] He was named the 2014 World Series MVP, finishing the Series with a 2–0 record, 1 save, and a 0.43 ERA.[49] In three pitching appearances, Bumgarner gave up one run in 21 innings. Some analysts have posited that Bumgarner's entire 2014 postseason record—in which the 25-year-old threw a record-breaking 52 23 innings[50]—was the most dominant postseason pitching performance ever.[51] Following the postseason, he won the Babe Ruth Award as the postseason MVP and was named Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year and Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year.[52][53][54]

2015[edit]

In a 4–0 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on May 21, Bumgarner paired up and beat Clayton Kershaw for the third time that season, becoming the first pitcher to hit a home run off of Kershaw.[55] The home run made Kershaw the second Cy Young Award winner to surrender a home run to Bumgarner after Zack Greinke. He became the first reigning World Series MVP to homer off the defending League MVP.[56]

On June 23 at AT&T Park against the San Diego Padres, Bumgarner struck out a career-high fourteen batters, tying Atlee Hammaker's franchise record for most strikeouts in a single game by a left-handed pitcher.[57] On June 28, in a 6–3 win over the Colorado Rockies at AT&T Park, Bumgarner had two hits, one a solo home run, scored twice, and struck out Brandon Barnes for his one-thousandth career strikeout. He is also the third left-handed pitcher in the San Francisco Era and the third youngest in franchise history to reach the milestone. Only Amos Rusie (21) and Christy Mathewson (25) were younger.[58]

On July 14 at the 2015 MLB All-Star Game held at Great American Ball Park against the American League, Bumgarner appeared in his first career Major League Baseball All-Star Game, pitching a scoreless fourth inning for the National League with batterymate Buster Posey.[59]

On August 11 at AT&T Park, Bumgarner pitched a complete game 3–1 victory over the Houston Astros where he struck out twelve and walked none. During the outing, he struck out a career-high seven straight batters to tie a San Francisco record with Juan Marichal and Jonathan Sánchez.[60] On August 16, he tied his career-high by striking out fourteen batters, including striking out that year's National League MVP Bryce Harper a career-high three times, hit a home run, and pitched a complete game shutout against the Washington Nationals.[61] He became the first Giants left-handed pitcher to record multiple fourteen-strikeout games in a single season and career, and joined Juan Marichal as the only Giants pitchers in the San Francisco Era to strike out ten or more batters, hit a home run, and record a shutout in the same game.[62] Bumgarner was honored for the first time in his career with National League Player of the Week honors.[63]

Bumgarner logged his first career pinch hit in the seventh inning on August 18 at Busch Stadium in a 2–0 win over the St. Louis Cardinals. He became the first Giants pitcher to record a hit in a pitch-hitting appearance since Kirk Rueter did so on August 17, 2004 against the Montreal Expos.[64] On August 21 at PNC Park, in a 6–4 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates, Bumgarner hit his fifth homer and won his fifteenth game of the season, the first to do so since Carlos Zambrano in 2006, and the sixth pitcher since 1970 according to SportsCenter.[65][66][67] On August 28 at AT&T Park, in a 9–1 win over the Chicago Cubs, Bumgarner struck out twelve batters through six innings, logging his third straight game with twelve or more strikeouts.[68] This marks the first occurrence a Giants pitcher has struck out twelve or more batters in at least three games in a single calendar month since John Montefusco in August 1975.[69]

On September 1 at Dodger Stadium, Bumgarner paired up against Zack Greinke, both of whom batted eighth in the starting lineup. It marked the first time in the same Giants-Dodgers game that both pitchers batted eighth.[70] He also became the first left-handed pitcher in the live-ball era to hit five home runs and strikeout two hundred batters in a single season.[71] On September 12 at AT&T Park, in an 8–0 win over the San Diego Padres, Bumgarner pitched his third career complete game one-hit shutout, including a career-high 723 perfect innings to start the game.[72]

On September 24 at Petco Park, Bumgarner struck out his 220th batter of the season, breaking his own San Francisco Giants single season strikeout record by a left-handed pitcher.

Bumgarner tied a career-high in wins with eighteen, posting an 18–9 record, a 2.93 ERA, and also set career-highs with a .667 win percentage, 218.1 innings pitched and 234 strikeouts for the 2015 MLB regular season. According to CSN Bay Area, his 234 strikeouts are the most by a Giants left-handed pitcher since Rube Marquard struck out 237 batters in the 1911 season. He was named the winner of the 2015 National League Silver Slugger Award at pitcher.[73] Bumgarner finished in sixth place for the National League Cy Young Award voting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America.[citation needed]

2016[edit]

On April 9, 2016 at AT&T Park, Bumgarner matched up with Clayton Kershaw less than a year after hitting his first home run off of Kershaw, and Bumgarner hit another one into the left-field seats in nearly exactly the same spot. Since the 2014 season, Bumgarner, Troy Tulowitzki, and Daniel Murphy are the only three players to have homered off of Kershaw multiple times. Over Kershaw's last twenty-seven starts, Kershaw has allowed two of his eleven home runs to Bumgarner.[74]

From April 20th to June 20th, Bumgarner made twelve consecutive starts allowing two earned runs or fewer, which tied Fred Anderson for the third longest streak in Giants history since 1913.

On June 30, in a 12-6 win over the Oakland Athletics at Oakland Alameda Coliseum, Bumgarner was started at pitcher hitting for himself in an American League ballpark, the first time this was intentionally done in the Majors since 1976, according to SportsCenter, and only the fifth time since the creation of the designated hitter rule in 1973. He went 1 for 4, opening the third inning with a double and starting a six-run rally.[75]

On July 10 at AT&T Park, in a 4-0 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks, Bumgarner pitched his fourth career complete game one-hit shutout and third career game by striking out fourteen batters, tying his career-high and extending his record, including striking out a career-high nine batters via his curveball. Bumgarner's four career one-hitters are the most by a Giants pitcher in the last one hundred years, not bettered since Christy Mathewson's six career one-hitters. Bumgarner struck out eleven batters through five innings, also a career-high. He also carried a no-hitter through 7 13 innings until it was broken up by Jake Lamb. Bumgarner tied Christy Mathewson for second all-time in franchise history in double-digit strikeout games.[76][77] According to SportsCenter, Bumgarner is the fourth pitcher in the last three seasons to carry at least three no-hit bids into the seventh inning or further. The others are Jake Arrieta with four, and Max Scherzer and Marco Estrada who have three apiece. According to Fox Sports at the All-Star break, Bumgarner's 1.94 ERA was the lowest by any Giants pitcher since 1983.[citation needed]

On July 31 at AT&T Park, in a 3-1 win over the Washington Nationals and in support of fellow rotation mate Matt Cain's one hundredth career win, Bumgarner pinch-hit for him after Cain threw five no-hit innings on ninety-three pitches. Bumgarner would hit an opposite-field leadoff double off the bricks, becoming the first Giants pitcher to record a pinch-hit double in a pitch-hitting appearance since Ray Sadecki did so in 1967, according to CSN Bay Area. The Giants inserted pinch-runner and another fellow rotation mate Jeff Samardzija, who would score later in the inning, marking the first occurrence in a San Francisco Giants game that a pinch-hitting pitcher reached base, was substituted for by a pinch-running pitcher, and scored a run.[78][79][80]

On August 18 at AT&T Park, in a 10-7 win over the New York Mets, Bumgarner became the second pitcher in the modern era after Hal Jeffcoat of the 1957 Cincinnati Redlegs to allow a grand slam and then hit a go-ahead home run in the same inning, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Bumgarner surrendered a grand slam to future teammate Justin Ruggiano in the top of the fourth inning and proceeded to hit a two-run home run off of Jacob deGrom in the bottom of the fourth inning.

On August 23 at Dodger Stadium, Bumgarner struck out Los Angeles Dodgers batter Rob Segedin for his two hundredth strikeout of the season, becoming the first left-handed pitcher in Giants franchise history to accomplish the feat for three straight seasons, and tying Christy Mathewson for second all-time behind Amos Rusie, Juan Marichal, and Tim Lincecum's four.[81][82][83]

On September 3 at Wrigley Field, in a 3-2 win over the Chicago Cubs, Bumgarner won his second game of the season facing the eventual World Series Champion Chicago Cubs and out-dueled their defending Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta, who much like Bumgarner is also a candidate again for the award this season. Bumgarner struck out ten batters and walked nobody, notching his thirtieth career double-digit strikeout game, surpassing Christy Mathewson's twenty-nine for second place in Giants franchise history behind only former rotation mate Tim Lincecum's thirty-six.[84][85][86]

On September 20 at Dodger Stadium, Bumgarner struck out ten Los Angeles Dodgers batters and walked nobody, extending his franchise record and in the process struck out his two-hundredth and thirty-fifth batter of the season, which broke his own San Francisco Giants single-season strikeout record by a left-handed pitcher for the third consecutive year.[87] In addition to striking out his 240th batter of the season, he broke a Giants all-time franchise record for strikeouts in a single season by a left-handed pitcher that lasted 118 years. The former record holder Cy Seymour struck out 239 batters in 1898, leading the National League for the second consecutive year, and Bumgarner finished the night with 241 for the season.[88] In his next start on September 24 at Petco Park against the San Diego Padres, by striking out Jon Jay for his 245th batter of the season, Bumgarner broke the previous record. He also registered his ninth career multi-hit game, including a career-high two doubles.[citation needed]

On September 30 at AT&T Park, in a 9-3 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers, Bumgarner won his one hundredth career game, becoming the twenty-fourth pitcher in franchise history to reach the mark. At age 27 years and 60 days, he became the third youngest pitcher in franchise history, the youngest left-handed pitcher, and the youngest in the San Francisco Era to reach the milestone. He broke Juan Marichal's San Francisco milestone when Marichal was 27 years, 288 days old in 1965. Only Hal Schumacher (24 years and 234 days in 1938) and Christy Mathewson (24 years and 262 days in 1905) were younger. He became the seventh pitcher in the San Francisco Era to reach the milestone and the third Giant to win his one hundredth career game on the 2016 season, joining fellow rotation mates Johnny Cueto and Matt Cain.[89][90][91][92][93] Bumgarner finished in fourth place for the National League Cy Young Award voting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America, behind Max Scherzer, Jon Lester, and Kyle Hendricks. He finished sixteenth in the National League Most Valuable Player Award voting and was second among pitchers in voting.

On October 5 at Citi Field, in a 3-0 win over the defending National League Champion New York Mets in the NL Wild Card Game, Bumgarner pitched his third career postseason complete game four-hit shutout to give him the most career complete game shutouts in the history of the Wild Card Era with two. In other words, he set the Major League record for most career complete game shutout wins in winner-take-all-games, the first and only pitcher to have more than one. Bumgarner's third career postseason shutout ties him for second all-time behind Christy Mathewson's four. He also tied Tom Glavine's Major League record with six career scoreless postseason starts and lowered his Major League career postseason road record to a microscopic 0.50 ERA.[94]

2017[edit]

On April 2 at Chase Field, against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Bumgarner made his fourth consecutive Opening Day start, joining Juan Marichal and Tim Lincecum as the only three pitchers to make at least four consecutive Opening Day starts in the San Francisco Era and the first left-handed pitcher to do so. In the top of the fifth, Bumgarner hit his second career home run off of Zack Greinke, which was the first home run by a National League player in the 2017 season and also tied Hal Schumacher's franchise record for career home runs hit by a pitcher. He became the fourth Giants pitcher to hit a home run on Opening Day, joining Mickey Welch (May 1, 1884), Larry Benton (April 18, 1929), and Johnny Antonelli (April 17, 1956). According to SportsCenter, with his home run off of Greinke, Bumgarner joined Carlos González and Joey Votto as the third player and the first pitcher to hit multiple home runs off of both Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke. The ball had an exit velocity of 112.5 miles per hour, the hardest hit by a pitcher in the Statcast Era.[95] After throwing five and a third perfect innings to start the ballgame, he hit another home run, surpassing Hal Schumacher to become the franchise career home run leader by a pitcher. His first career multi-home run game made him the first pitcher in Major League history to hit at least two home runs on Opening Day.[96] He became the fifth most recent Giant to hit two or more home runs on Opening Day, joining Bob Elliott in 1952, Willie Mays in 1964, Matt Williams in 1994, and Barry Bonds in 2002, according to NBC Sports Bay Area.

According to SportsCenter on August 23, with a minimum of forty starts, Bumgarner's 2.77 earned run average is the fifth best in the Majors since September 1, 2015.

On September 22 at Dodger Stadium, in a 2-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers, Bumgarner won his 104th career game, which tied Mike McCormick for second place among left-handed pitchers on the Giants all-time career win list in the San Francisco Era. He also tied McCormick and rotation mate Matt Cain for fifth place in the San Francisco Era.

Pitching style[edit]

Bumgarner's repertoire consists of four pitches including a curveball he throws at two different speeds with two different types of movement. 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 cutter around 86 to 90 miles per hour (138 to 145 km/h), a curveball that usually ranges from 75 to 78 miles per hour (121 to 126 km/h) with sharp, mostly downward break, but he occasionally throws a much slower curve with a more exaggerated and horizontal break in the mid-to-high 60 miles per hour range, and a change-up that sits at 82 to 85 miles per hour (132 to 137 km/h). The fastball and cutter are his main pitches; through 2013, he has thrown the fastball 43.68% of the time and the cutter 33.84% of the time.[97] Madison has a unique pitching style. As he throws, it appears he is throwing toward first base.

Career highlights[edit]

On December 8, 2014, Sports Illustrated named Madison Bumgarner Sportsman of the Year.[52]

On December 31, 2014, the Associated Press named Madison Bumgarner the Male Athlete of the Year regarding his 2014 postseason performance and overall success as an MLB left-handed pitcher.[54]

Bumgarner has hit 17 career home runs.[98][99]

Awards[edit]

Award / Honor Time(s) Date(s) Ref(s)
Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year 1 2014 [54]
Babe Ruth Award 1 2014
Major League Baseball World Series champion 3 2010, 2012, 2014
Major League Baseball World Series Most Valuable Player Award 1 2014 [100]
National League All-Star 4 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 [101]
National League Championship Series Most Valuable Player Award 1 2014 [102]
National League Pitcher of the Month Award 2 May & August 2014
National League Silver Slugger Award at pitcher 2 2014, 2015 [103]
Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year 1 2014 [52][53]
Willie Mac Award 1 2014 [104]

Personal life[edit]

Bumgarner's parents are Kevin and Debbie, who divorced when Madison was in high school. His father, Kevin, built the log house the younger Bumgarner grew up in, and works nights at a food distribution company.[4] His mother is an accountant for PepsiCo.[10] Bumgarner has a stepsister and two older half-brothers.[10][105][106] Bumgarner had a half-sister, Dena, who died in 2010 reportedly from accidentally overdosing on pain medication following hospitalization[107] from cancer.[4]

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.[4][108] Bumgarner has been a Baptist since his childhood.[4][109] 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."[10]

Bumgarner has an endorsement deal with Carhartt, and is featured in one of their television commercials.[110] He also has an endorsement deal with Ford.[111]

See also[edit]

Baseball records[edit]

Regular season[edit]

  • MLB record for grand slams by a pitcher in one season – 2 (tied with Tony Cloninger) [112]
  • MLB record for career grand slams by a pitcher – 2 (tied with 6 others) [113]
  • Along with Buster Posey, the only starting pitcher-catcher duo in MLB history to both hit a grand slam in one game [114]
  • First left-handed pitcher in the live-ball era to hit five home runs and strikeout two hundred batters in a single season [71]
  • First MLB pitcher to hit two home runs on opening day
  • Giants franchise record for home runs hit by a pitcher - 17 (as of 09/03/2017)

Post-season[edit]

  • MLB record for most starts in a single post-season – 6 in 2014 (tied for the record with Chris Carpenter, 2011 and Curt Schilling, 2001) [115]
  • MLB record for most innings pitched in a single post-season – 52 2/3rds in 2014 [116]
  • MLB record for lowest career world series ERA (minimum 20 innings of work) – 0.25 [116][117]
  • MLB record for fewest hits allowed in a single World Series by any pitcher with at least 20 innings of work – 9 in 21 innings in 2014 [116]
  • MLB record for most shutout innings in relief in a World Series game 7 – 5 (tie with Joe Page) [116]
  • MLB record for longest save in a World Series – 5 innings in Game 7 in 2014 [116]
  • MLB record for longest save in a winner-take-all game – 5 innings in Game 7 in 2014 [116]
  • MLB record for most World Series games won through age 25 – 4 [116]
  • MLB record for most post-season starts of at least 7 shutout innings - 6 [118]
  • First MLB pitcher in a single World Series to earn at least two wins, throw a shutout and earn a save – in 2014 [116]
  • First MLB pitcher in a World Series to pitch a shutout with no walks and at least eight strikeouts – game 5 in 2014 [116]

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Further reading[edit]

  • Baggarly, Andrew. A Band of Misfits: Tales of the 2010 San Francisco Giants. Chicago: Triumph Books. ISBN 978-1-60078-598-6. 

External links[edit]