Heading into the middle part of the season the San Francisco Giants are looking for someone like Madison Bumgarner to grab the reins and capture the NL West.
With a division rival in the Padres rolling into town, Madison Bumgarner looked to be that guy.
It seems like eons ago when Madison Bumgarner had his incredible postseason run and thrust himself into the spotlight among the elite pitchers in the league.
After battling injuries in both last season and the beginning of this season, Bum had yet to seem like his elite self. That was until throwing an absolute gem and carrying the Giants to a 2-0 win over the Padres.
Bumgarner was elite in every sense of the word on Thursday night. He was able to consistently locate on the outside corner — albeit with help from Buster Posey.
But he also looked to have his best off-speed pitches working. With Bum able to work his curveball off of his hard slider, he was nearly unhittable.
As is expected, Bumgarner made his presence felt with the bat as well. A deep sacrifice fly to left field drove in one of the three San Francisco Giants runs.
It also showed that although he doesn’t have a hit on the season, Madison still knows his way around a bat.
Although Giants are only 76 games into the season, this game felt important. With a rotation that has struggled and no true feeling of direction, a leader was needed.
Madison Bumgarner showed that he is that leader. Eight innings of shutout work was exactly the type of spark the Giants have been looking for.
The bar has now been set and the rest of the San Francisco Giants rotation has to step their game up. It is time for this team to rally behind its big, bearded leader and take control of their season.