By Jesse Wood
Oct. 30, 2014. After last night’s performance in Game 7 of the 2014 World Series, Madison Bumgarner, a native of Caldwell County and ace pitcher for the San Francisco Giants, is officially one of – if not – the greatest pitchers in the history of the World Series.
After winning Game 1 and throwing a shutout in Game 5 against the Kansas City Royals, Bumgarner threw five scoreless innings to earn the save in Game 7. Remarkably, this was only after two days rest.
With Bumgarner’s play, the Kansas City Royals would have likely won the World Series.
“How it ended today pretty much summed up the Giants in the World Series,” said teammate Jeremy Affeldt after the game to an ESPN columnists. “That guy carried us. He flat-out carried us.”
In this World Series, he pitched through 21 innings, allowing nine hits and one walk, and striking out 17 batters. In the two wins and last night’s save, his ERA was a sparkling 0.43 in the 2014 World Series.
According to ESPN Stats and Information, Bumgarner is one of six pitchers ever to have an ERA under 0.50 in two wins and more than 20 innings pitched – and that doesn’t count for the save. Four of the other five are in the Hall of Fame: Sandy Koufax (1965), Carl Hubbell (1933), Waite Hoyt (1921) and Christy Mathewson (1905).
“His five-inning save was four outs longer than any save in World Series history. And his two wins, a shutout and a save — in the same World Series — represented a feat never accomplished by any other pitcher since saves became an official statistic more than four decades ago. Not by Johnson. Not by Schilling. Not by Maddux. Not by Morris. Just him,” according to an ESPN article.
Bumgarner has already contributed to the San Francisco Giants winning the World Series in 2010 and 2012, where he threw 15 scoreless innings and earned two victories.
Combine his stats from those three World Series and he has a 0.25 ERA in 36 innings, which ranks tops in World Series history for those who have pitched more than 25 innings.
What’s even more remarkable is that when the lights are the brightest, Bumgarner is at his best. His career ERA in the regular season is a decent 3.06, while his post-season ERA is excellent at 2.14. But that 0.25 ERA in the World Series is flat-out ridiculous.
In this postseason, Bumgarner had an ERA of 1.01 in 52.2 innings. That is also the best of any pitcher who has thrown 40 or more innings in a single postseason – you could go on and on with more stats and records that point to Bumgarner’s accomplishment in the postseason and World Series.
Nicknamed “Mad Bum,” he was the 10th overall pick in the first round of the 2007 Major League Baseball draft. He attended South Caldwell High School in Hudson.
He was born in Hickory, which is where he lives with his wife on a farm in the offseason.