Madison Bumgarner’s Dominance By the Numbers


Madison Bumgarner is not just the ace of the San Francisco Giants’ starting pitching staff. He’s become one of the best postseason pitchers in MLB history.

The Giants’ ace is no longer Tim Lincecum or Matt Cain. Both of these pitchers have been the faces of the franchise in the past, but this is now Bumgarner’s team. He is the postseason master and the Giants’ Mr. October.

Bumgarner made his postseason debut in the Giants’ 2010 World Series run. As a young 21 year-old, Bumgarner become the youngest Giants pitcher to ever start and win a postseason game when he beat the Atlanta Braves in the 2010 NLDS.

He then became the fourth-youngest pitcher ever to start and win a World Series game, when he shut out the Texas Rangers in eight innings in 2010. He also became the youngest rookie pitcher in World Series history to throw at least six scoreless innings in a start.

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In 2012, Bumgarner started Game Two of the World Series and struck out eight batters in seven shutout innings. With this game, Bumgarner became the first pitcher since 1986 to start off his World Series career with at least 15 scoreless innings.

Fast forward to 2014, and Bumgarner is now a two-time World Series champion, two-time All-Star, and was recently named the 2014 NLCS MVP.

Bumgarner started Game One of the 2014 World Series and went seven strong innings while allowing one run, three hits, and striking out five. His scoreless innings streak in the World series ended at 21 2/3 innings when Salvador Perez hit a solo home run off of him in the seventh inning.

Bumgarner then started Game Five of the World Series last night, and he continued to solidify himself as one of the best World Series pitchers ever.

Here’s a numerical look at his complete game shutout of the Kansas City Royals last night:

  • 13: Last night was Bumgarner’s 13th postseason start. He’s just 25 years old.
  • 2003: Bumgarner threw the first World Series shutout since Josh Beckett threw one in 2003.
  • 47 2/3: Bumgarner has pitched 47 2/3 innings this postseason (in six starts), which is the most ever by a left-handed pitcher in the postseason and the second-most ever by any pitcher. He also has a 1.13 ERA in those six playoff starts.
  • 1: Bumgarner has allowed just one run in four World Series starts and 31 total innings.
  • 1968: As mentioned before, Bumgarner has made four starts in the World Series, and he’s pitched at least seven innings and given up just one or no runs in all those starts. The last person to do that was Bob Gibson in 1968.
  • 0.29: Bumgarner’s 0.29 ERA is the lowest in World Series history from pitchers with at least 25 innings thrown.
  • 1st: Bumgarner became the first pitcher in World Series history to throw a shutout, walk none, and strike out eight. He also became the first pitcher since 1985 to throw a no-walk shutout in the World Series. He also became the first pitcher to win his first four World Series starts since 1958.

Bumgarner has cemented himself among the greats. Two Giants greats showed their utmost respect for Bumgarner. Ann Killion of the San Francisco Chronicle shares quotes from Will Clark and Juan Marichal:

"“His legend just grows,” said Will Clark, the old baseball sage in the corner of the Giants’ clubhouse. “Just absolutely dominant. In the fifth game of the World Series.”Juan Marichal, the pitcher whose statue stands outside of the ballpark and the one previously known as the Giants’ greatest, added: “When that man is on the mound, I know we’re going to win.”"

Bumgarner’s manager, Bruce Bochy, also had a lot of compliments for his ace, according to Andrew Baggarly of CSN Bay Area.

"“In the history of the game there have been some great efforts, guys that have (thrown) three games and things like that,” Bochy said. “But I haven’t seen a better pitcher over the course of this postseason and it’s been a pretty long one. To do what he’s done is pretty historic, I think."

Bumgarner’s good friend and Giants catcher Buster Posey admired Bumgarner’s focus and character, also reported by Baggarly.

"“All the attention he’s received this postseason, everybody talking about what a weapon he is, he’s still just going out and doing it,” Posey said. “I mean, we’re listening to all of it. It’s on in here. For him to go out and throw a shutout, it just speaks to his character. I don’t know if all (the attention) adds to the fire or if he just blocks it out. I really don’t know which one it is.”"

Bumgarner is the master. His dominance so far in the 2014 postseason has lifted the Giants in their pursuit of another World Series title. His drive and determination symbolize the Giants’ winning formula, and his character is equally impressive.

Is Bumgarner the best pitcher in World Series history? He’s certainly making a case for it.

Is Bumgarner the pitcher that will lead the Giants to their third World Series title in five years? It’s quite possible.