And this got me thinking. If Bumgarner has figured this thing out, meaning he realized what he let himself regress into last year and has corrected it, he may be the best starter on this staff. At 23 years old that is a very scary proposition for opposing batters for years to come.
In combing the ESPN "experts" predictions for awards I obviously was looking for Giants, and noticed only a few, mostly Buster Posey for MVP again. But then, lo and behold I found one lone writer predicting that Madison Bumgarner would win the NL Cy Young award this year. I know it's premature after one game, but the thought that there's another potential Cy Young award candidate on this team not named Matt Cain makes me very happy.
Bumgarner's mechanics were already much better than they were this time last year. His arm action which always seems to resemble a spinning top, has a little more over the top motion to it so he has more control of where his pitches go. One comment was how effortless the ball seems to come out of his hands and yet he reached speeds of 92-93 mph last night. For a team with Tim Lincecum and Barry Zito both throwing in the 89 mph area, 93 looks plenty fast.
On the stat sheet it looks like there's no way, Bum hasn't had a season with under a 3 ERA, never been a huge strikeout guy (191 in both full seasons). What he has done, is improve upon every season, WHIP has gone down each season, BAA has gone down as well. He had 2 complete games last year and judging from what I saw yesterday, he will have more this year. I'm not saying he will win the Cy Young this year. In fact I am saying he probably wont, but he will be in the conversation and I think that already speaks volumes for what he's become in just 3 short years in the bigs.
Bumgarner has improved every year and he's only getting better, and yet hasn't really gotten much attention since he's been under the shadow of either Tim Lincecum or Matt Cain. How exactly does the media forget about a guy who has won 2 World Series games allowing zero runs in both and is only 23 years old? Madison has become our quiet superstar with his aw shucks demeanor, he's had us fooled that he's just a simple farm boy when he's turned into a gunslinger right under our noses.
Boy am I happy the Giants have Joaquin Arias. Filling in for an ailing Brandon Belt at first base, Arias went 2 for 5 with a run scored and RBI and handled the sometimes undervalued defensive responsibilities at first base. Arias has now proven he can play every position in the infield. We might as well try him out in the outfield and behind the dish to get it all covered. Joaquin Arias, meet Bugs Bunny.
Tim Lincecum start today. This used to be "HAPPY TIM LINCECUM DAY!" yeah no more of that. Now we just hope we get through today unscathed much like the Monday after New Years. Timmy had a 10.56 ERA in spring, but that's okay right? He said he felt "good" after each start. Please be good Timmy... please...
Laws of the Day
Sergio Romo's last appearance as you well know was to close out Game 4 of the World Series. He did so with a fastball for a strike looking to Miguel Cabrera. Last night he did the same with a twist. Slider for a called strike three to Mark Ellis. Romo said later that he didn't shake Posey this time.