Tim Hudson: Madison Bumgarner ‘goes out there and sticks it right up your butt’
San Francisco Giants ace Madison Bumgarner had a playoff pitching performance for the ages, going the distance on 109 pitches while striking out 10 and giving up only four hits in an 8-0 shutout of the neutered Pittsburgh Pirates in Wednesday’s National League Wild Card game.
But it was cool calm Bumgarner displayed before the game that may have had something to do with the dominant performance by not only him but his teammates as well.
Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan reports that Bumgarner, as the Giants warmed up and got loose Wednesday afternoon at PNC Park, strolled around the ball field exuding Zen-like confidence. What’s more, Bumgarner reportedly told the members of the Pirates bullpen to not bother loosening up because he intended to take the ball on the mound in the first inning and never relinquish it.
Yep, he apparently guaranteed he was going all nine innings, if not the shutout.
Before Bumgarner is criticized for being overly cocky by outsiders, though, it seems that kind of self-assured display of confidence is simply how Bumgarner rolls. According to his teammates, this is standard operating procedure for the team’s ace and winner of 18 games in the regular season.
“He just wanted to let us know,” Giants relief pitcher Jeremy Affeldt said. “He was being courteous.”
Bumgarner’s colleague in the Giants starting rotation, Tim Hudson, who has been around a fair share of top-tier pitchers in his storied 16-year career, was far more crudely colorful when praising the left-hander.
“He don’t come with a lot of flair,” Hudson said. “But he goes out there and sticks it right up your butt.”
Okay then. That’s one way of putting it.
Bumgarner, meanwhile, went with a more low-key approach, at least when describing his phenomenal performance on the mound, a game in which 79 of his 109 pitches were strikes and he struck out at least one batter in every inning except the seventh.
“You get two strikes on somebody, you’re not trying to paint something,” he said, via MLB.com. “You just want to bounce it. The fact that we were getting ahead with the fastball early made it harder for them to lay off of it.”
Once everything was said and done and the Giants had punched their ticket for a National League Divisional Series showdown with the Washington Nationals, beginning Friday, Bumgarner finally allowed himself to let loose a bit in the celebratory and raucous clubhouse by shotgunning four beers … at once.
“Stone Cold” Madison Bumgarner. pic.twitter.com/E0YYH91EAF
— Sean Gentille (@seangentille) October 2, 2014
Impressive. Even when Bumgarner does something like shotgunning a handful of beers at the same time there’s an understated, artful and composed self-confidence to it. If that’s even possible when 48 ounces of beer is pouring down on a person’s face.
(photo credit: Jason Miller/Getty Images)