The SF Giants are set to face an old friend on the hill in Saturday’s contest against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Specifically, a legendary southpaw who is one of the greatest World Series pitchers of all time, Madison Bumgarner.
It was announced yesterday that Bumgarner would be reinstated from the IL after dealing with a back injury, which is just in time to face his old team.
There are going to be many things that are weird about Saturday’s game. Somehow, the fact that Bumgarner will be wearing a non-Giant uniform while pitching at Oracle Park will eclipse the weirdness of there being no fans in the stadium.
We all know that Bumgarner is synonymous with San Francisco, and he was a huge factor in all three of their World Series titles:
To see him face his former team will be interesting, to say the least.
It is a shame that he will be robbed of that much-deserved standing ovation that would have greeted him upon his return to Oracle Park under normal circumstances. Nonetheless, he will suit up against his old team, likely with a chip on his shoulder.
This is due in part to the fact that he has performed so poorly this season after signing a five-year, $85 million contract in the offseason. So far, he has struggled to the tune of a 9.35 ERA in four starts with an 0-3 record.
These struggles could be due to his back injury, and if he is truly healed up then perhaps we will see the Bumgarner of old on the mound on Saturday. It is the perfect place for him to come back from an injury because it is a place he has looked so dominant at for so long.
However, several SF Giants hitters, especially Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford who were teammates with Bum for so long will be itching at the chance to face their old pal. Sadly, with the current emphasis on matchups, I would not be at all surprised if we saw Wilmer Flores playing first and Daniel Robertson playing shortstop.
Nonetheless, it will be interesting to watch Bumgarner pitch against the SF Giants on Saturday and will allow us to reminisce once more on all of the great things he did as a member of the Giants.