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SF Giants Survived Madison Bumgarner’s Absence: What’s Next?

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 08: Madison Bumgarner #40 of the San Francisco Giants watches the action during a game against Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on May 8, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies defeated the Giants 4-2. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 08: Madison Bumgarner #40 of the San Francisco Giants watches the action during a game against Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on May 8, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies defeated the Giants 4-2. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
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SF Giants fans collectively held their breathe when they found out that Madison Bumgarner was leaving the game after taking a come-backer off his pitching hand. Of course later that day it was found out that his hand was broken and it would necessitate multiple months off. Now, they’ve survived that loss.

Today is the day SF Giants fans have been waiting for: Madison Bumgarner’s return. The prevailing thought amongst the fanbase and pundits alike, was that if they stayed in contention, and hovering around .500, they’d have a chance to contend for the postseason. Well, they’ve miraculously done just that.

After dropping two straight to open the series against the Rockies last week, they ended up five games out. With the danger of going 6 games out before the weekend, they fought hard and got a win in Colorado. Then that success carried over.

They’ve had to endure more than just MadBum’s injury, as Jeff Samardzija, Joe Panik, Johnny Cueto, Mark Melancon, Brandon Belt, Mac Williamson, Hunter Pence, and Alen Hanson all have spent time on the DL in recent weeks.

They’ve endured slumps from their stud players, and a stretch of horrible pitching performances in the recent weeks. Yet, when Madison Bumgarner takes the mound tonight, they’ll be at .500. No better, no worse than when they started the season. That’s because, despite the mess at times, they’ve ended up with some amazing and surprising performances from unexpected folks. Gorkys Hernandez has six homers, Alen Hanson has replaced Kelby as the super utility man, the bullpen has largely been very good, and Mac Williamson has been the best power hitter the Giants outfield has produced in a while.

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They’ll only be 1.5 games out of first place in the now, incredibly tight NL West. The last place Padres are only three games behind the Giants within the division. It’s going to be a tight summer, with little room for mistakes. Now is the real challenge.

The Giants have an important stretch right now. They will finish off the divisional series against the Diamondbacks and then head straight to Washington D.C. to take on the Nationals. After that, they’ll take on the Marlins and Dodgers. It’s necessary to take care of these series before they take on the Dodgers. Hopefully they can ride their hot hand on the way to a divisional lead.

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