Madison Bumgarner: Super-Excellent

In the past couple years, I’ve written thousands upon thousands of words in appreciation and admiration of the accomplishments of Madison Bumgarner. He’s good. Unfortunately, I’ve just about run out of ways to say that. I suppose I could dig through a thesaurus and pick out every word I haven’t yet exhausted.

Bumgarner’s having a shipshape season. What a super-excellent start that was. 

I’m not all that good with words though, as you can see. Frankly, the numbers tell a better story than I could:

  • Madison Bumgarner had a 2.67 FIP last season.
  • Madison Bumgarner struck out 12, and allowed zero walks in 7.2 innings tonight.
  • When Madison Bumgarner walked four opposing hitters in his last outing — which isn’t an absurdly high walk total, that was the first time he had allowed that many walks in a start since April of 2011.

I could go on and on. I want to. I probably will, eventually. But for the time being, I’m sure I’ve made my point.

The most important stat, something I’ve stressed again and again throughout the existence of this blog, is this one:

  • He’s 22 years old.

He’s done some great things. But in that context, “great” just doesn’t do him justice.

Tonight’s game was classic Bumgarner. Pinpoint control, weak groundouts, decent right-handed hitters swinging and missing at that slider over and over again. And as if his pitching wasn’t enough, Bumgarner belted a home run off Bud Norris in the third inning of tonight’s game. A home run at AT&T Park. That’s something that none of the Giants’ hitters could manage to do over the last month. Only one to go before Bumgarner ties James Loney!

As a National League pitcher, Bumgarner will be getting at-bats for a long time. And though nobody really pays much attention to what pitchers do with the bat, it kind of matters — especially over a long period of time. That Bumgarner has established himself as an above-average hitter is icing on the cake. It’s a modest impact — maybe an extra 10% of value at most — but it all adds up.

Basically, what I’m trying to get at here is that Bumgarner is good.

And the best part? That magnificent contract. Man, what a steal that is. If you’re ever feeling low, mull over those contract details — that’ll surely cheer you up. It’s truly a sight to behold. Roughly $70M to hang onto Bumgarner until he hits 30. I mean, wow.

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