The Arizona Diamondbacks decided to cut ties with 15-year veteran Madison Bumgarner, ending a disastrous tenure. However, it was not all negative. The former SF Giants lefty achieved one milestone with the Diamondbacks that he never did with San Francisco - throw a no-hitter
The weird achievement Madison Bumgarner reached with the Diamondbacks but never in a SF Giants uniform
I mean, he sort of threw a no-hitter, right? The question is, does it count? With the Giants, Bumgarner accomplished just about everything under the sun. He won three World Series rings, earned four All-Star nods, and took home the 2014 World Series MVP, which led to the birth of technology and stuff. If Bumgarner ever visits San Francisco, I have a feeling that he eats for free wherever he goes.
Of course, the good times came to an end when he signed a five-year, $85 million deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks after the 2019 season. It was a much-deserved payday for someone who had been one of the more dominant pitchers of the 2010's.
That deal turned out to be a disaster as he tallied a 5.23 ERA, 5.18 FIP, 1.37 WHIP, 6.8 K/9, and a 2.38 SO/W ratio in a Diamondbacks uniform. Arizona decided to cut ties just weeks into the fourth year of the deal. Hopefully, he lands somewhere and regains his old form, but we make the case that a reunion with the Giants would not be a good idea.
It was not all bad for Bumgarner in Arizona. There was one positive early in his Diamondbacks tenure. Of course, it was surrounded by the total weirdness of the 2020 and 2021 seasons. The COVID-19 pandemic shortened the 2020 season to just 60 games.
There were some rules that were implemented to ensure that baseball was able to get through the season such as 7-inning doubleheaders. That rule carried over into the following season, which brings us to April 25, 2021.
The Diamondbacks had a double-header against the Atlanta Braves. Arizona recorded a convincing 5-0 win against the Braves in the first game of the day. Zac Gallen allowed just one hit through seven scoreless innings to register a complete game shutout.
The Braves just were not seeing the ball well that day as the faced off against Bumgarner in the second game. The tall lefty glided through a lineup that featured Ronald Acuña Jr., Freddie Freeman, and Ozzie Albies.
Bumgarner threw 73 of 98 pitches for strikes and did not allow a hit. For a moment, it looked like vintage Bumgarner. The Diamondbacks won that game by a score of 7-0, but it only went seven innings due to the lingering COVID-19 rules for double-headers. Bumgarner got credit for the complete game shutout, but there is a weird asterisk surrounding this game.
He had no control over the length of the game. Could he have gone the distance? We will never know, but he did not allow a hit during a game that was only seven innings based on the rules. One way or the other, it is listed as a no-hitter. The argument could be made that it does or does not count, but that is a slippery slope of history during that era.
In my opinion, it counts because it was a no-hitter. That is how it appears in the history books. Whether someone wants to apply an asterisk, that is a matter of opinion. The no-hitter itself is not.
Surprisingly, with all that Bumgarner accomplished in a Giants uniform, he never threw a no-hitter. He got very close on multiple occasions as he allowed just one hit four times in his career. It felt like it was going to happen at some point with the Giants, but never did.
Matt Cain threw a Perfect Game in 2012. Tim Lincecum threw multiple no-hitters. Bumgarner never etched his name in that part of Giants history. I am sure it will not keep him up at night given that he accomplished just about everything else on a baseball field.
The 2020 and 2021 seasons were a odd time for some baseball records, which led to some weird milestones. For Bumgarner, he was unhittable during an April game against the Braves in 2021, which clinched a milestone that he surprisingly never achieved with the Giants.