After one of his worst starts in recent memory, San Francisco Giants veteran Madison Bumgarner had something to prove against the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday.
San Francisco Giants ace Madison Bumgarner took the mound against the rival Los Angeles Dodgers for perhaps the final time in a Giants uniform on June 20.
The results were ugly.
It took him 97 pitches to record 11 outs, and he exited with the following stat line:
- 3.2 IP, 10 H, 6 ER, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 3 K
That performance was not exactly a boon to his trade stock, but his most recent start against the Colorado Rockies all but made up for it.
With an inflated 4.28 ERA, Bumgarner took the mound on Tuesday night looking to rebound.
He did exactly that, striking out four of the first six batters he saw, and rolling along until he allowed a solo home run to the red-hot Ian Desmond. The only other run of the night for the Rockies came on a two-out pop up that could have been ruled an error when Alex Dickerson lost sight of the ball in the lights.
In the end, Bumgarner had turned in another quality start, finishing the game with the following stat line:
- 6.0 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 11 K
There are a few things to take away from that outing.
First, Bumgarner is simply too consistent to string together multiple bad starts. Coming off of his worst start of 2019, there was no doubt in my mind that he was going to have a good game on Tuesday, and he did just that.
The second thing we have learned is that giving up the long ball continues to be his biggest problem. The long ball to Desmond was his 17 home run allowed in 17 starts, which coincides with the fact that he is being hit harder than ever before. The average exit velocity off of Bumgarner’s pitches is 89.4 mph, which is higher than the league average at 87.4 mph.
A bonus for National League teams looking to swing a trade is that Bumgarner is still one of the most feared pitchers to see stepping up to the plate. He went 1-for-2 with an RBI on Tuesday night, continuing to help make up for the runs that he gives up while on the mound.
In an interview with ESPN’s Rick Sutcliffe before the game, Bumgarner attributed his recent woes to the fact that it is hard not playing for a contender and in games that matter:
“I’ve had a lot of people ask and I wish I could give an answer but it’s different,” Bumgarner said. “It’s the same game but it is different, and I try to treat it the same but I couldn’t tell you.”
That’s not a surprising response. He’s a competitor. He has played in meaningful games all his life, from winning a state championship in high school to winning three World Series titles with the Giants. This shows contending teams that they may get a revitalized Bumgarner if they choose to make him a part of their rotation.
With his strong start on Tuesday against the Rockies, he also proved to contenders that he is capable of shutting down one of the best offensive teams in baseball.
It’s only a matter of time before the San Francisco Giants trade Madison Bumgarner. His most recent performance has scrubbed his possible suitor’s minds clean of that poor start against the Dodgers. If he can continue to record quality starts, his trade value will continue to climb.