Any questions fans might have had about who would get the ball March 31 when the San Francisco Giants open the 2014 season in Phoenix against the Arizona Diamondbacks have been answered.
Bruce Bochy names Madison Bumgarner as the 2014 Opening Day starter. #SFGiants
— San Francisco Giants (@SFGiants) February 25, 2014
Bumgarner, 24, was named to his first All-Star Game in 2013 and in a season where the rest of the rotation disappointed, the lefty stepped into the void and had the best season of his career. He posted career bests with a 2.77 ERA and 1.033 WHIP, going 13-9 in 31 starts and 201.1 innings and striking out a career-high 199 batters.
Bumgarner was the 10th overall selection by the Giants in 2007 out of South Caldwell High School in Hudson, N.C., and traveled a fast track to the majors, making his debut in September 2009 at the age of 20.
He made it to the bigs to stay in 2010, when he was 7-6 with a 3.00 ERA and 1.306 WHIP in 18 starts and 111 innings before making three starts and a relief appearance during the Giants’ run to the World Series title, including an eight-inning, three-hit masterpiece against the Rangers in Game 4 of the World Series.
He followed that up with a solid 2011 campaign, going 13-13 with a 3.21 ERA and 1.212 WHIP in 33 starts and posted a career-high 16 wins in 2012 while posting a 3.37 ERA and 1.114 WHIP.
The Giants wasted no time locking up their emerging ace, agreeing to a six-year, $35.56 million contract in April 2012 that includes team options for 2018 and 2019.