For the San Francisco Giants’ 23 year old southpaw, 2012 ended less than stellar. In his five September starts, the North Carolina native was blasted for a 5.47 ERA to go along with a 1.63 WHIP and a .307 BAA. Unfortunately, the problems, mechanical or mental, didn’t get any better early in the postseason as in his first two starts, Madison gave up 10 earned runs in just 8 innings of work which lead to the young pitcher falling out of the rotation. Still, when the Giants needed him the most – in the World Series – Bumgarner didn’t disappoint, throwing seven innings of two-hit ball in a crucial Game 2 win.
Despite the September and early October hiccups, 2012 was another solid year for the young Giant as Madison Bumgarner had three months where his ERA was below 3.00 and despite the rough final five starts to the season, still managed to improve his numbers post All-Star break.
Bumgarner was able to drop his hits allowed per start by one, from 8.9 in 2011 to 7.9 in 2012, but struggled to keep the ball in the yard as his homeruns allowed went up by .5 a start – allowing 23 on the year as opposed to 12, in 2011. Many of his other peripherals like strikeouts and walks per start remained similar, giving the Giants another (much needed) consistent arm with Matt Cain and Ryan Vogelsong.
For Madison, 2011 and 2012 were nearly identical seasons and it’s hard not to be excited about a pitcher in his early 20’s putting up the numbers like the Cow Whisperer has. He’s only going to get better with more experience and for Giant fans, the thought is an exciting prospect.
There’s still room for improvement, but given everything, it was another solid season for Bumgarner.
Season Grade: B