What a night we all have in store for us as Giants fans. Madison Bumgarner will take the bump at Oracle Park in a Diamondbacks jersey. This will be Madbum’s first career start against the Giants in the place that he called home for 11 years.
Madbum has really been awful this year and will carry his 9.35 ERA and 0-3 record into tonight’s start. Madbum has never been a power pitcher. His success on the mound is credited to the deception in his delivery. Unfortunately for Bumgarner, what we’ve seen this year has been a serious decrease in velocity. He has been throwing almost exclusively Cutters and 4seamers with his 4seam topping out at 88mph and his cutter hovering around 83mph. The deception in Bums release doesn’t mean squat if that’s all he’s bringing to the table.
Big league hitters will be all over an 88mph fastball, and if your cutter only travels at 83mph, that cut doesn’t matter; you’re getting raked. Bumgarner was put on the ten-day IL after his last start against San Diego. The beating he took was gruesome, and his struggles and decreased velocity were blamed on his injury. Well, tonight, he’s back off IL, and we’ll find out if Bum was really hurt or if he’s really lost his velocity. If Madbum’s velocity is truly gone…. I don’t want to say that he’s finished, but he will be in serious trouble and will need to learn a new way to pitch to stay in the big leagues.
I can only imagine what’s going on in Madbum’s head. He knows that Giants fans love him, he knows he’s coming back to the place where he won three World Series Championships, and he is fully aware of his struggles.
This game is something that was taken away from me by Covid. I live in Oregon and make the nine-hour drive to San Francisco every year to watch my Giants play. This is a game that I would not have missed. I remember the moment Bum was signed by the Diamondbacks. I had a lot of mixed emotions, but I couldn’t wait to face him. I knew I would be there when Bum started his walk towards the mound as a Dback.
Unfortunately, that couldn’t happen because of all the crap going on in the world, but could you imagine? Bumgarner is a Giants legend. I’ve got a closet full of his jerseys. That ballpark would have been defining! It would have been a beautiful and emotional experience that I’m sad we all have to miss experiencing in person.
I can say that I genuinely hope he plays well. I hope his velocity is back where it was before, and he looks like the Bumgarner of old.
Don’t get it twisted. I want him to lose this one, but I wish the guy the best. His accomplishments in the postseason are unmatched by anyone. I Still love Bum, but I know how sports fans are. I get that many Giants fans will hate on him for no reason other than that he now wears a different uniform, but we can’t forget what he’s done. The single best baseball game I’ve ever seen was the 2016 NL wildcard game, where he pitched a complete-game shutout against Noah Syndergaard and the Mets. We need to win this game, but come on, guys! Forever Giant! Let’s show the man some love. I say, “Good luck tonight, Bum.”