The turnaround for this San Francisco Giants 2019 ballclub has been one for the ages. With the team virtually on the ropes and rapidly heading down the drain before the season turned to summer, the phrase “it’s not how you start, but how you finish” will be the team’s motto at the end of the season. The never-say-die, gritty San Francisco Giants built an attitude of a will to win unlike anything seen before. That same charismatic sense this team has continued to poise itself on is led by one man and one man only: Madison Bumgarner.
How the San Francisco Giants team looked in early April and May is not how the team looks late in the season during the August and September months thanks to Madison Bumgarner. Although he is posting a 3.6 ERA for the month of August, the Giants look to resurge with the season on the line.
When beloved manager Bruce Bochy’s last season was seemingly coming to a dead-end halt, the team looked flat and uninteresting. With the Major League Baseball 2019 trade deadline ending soon after the 2019 All-Star break in Cleveland, star left-handed slinger and starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner was set to be dealt to a potential playoff-caliber ballclub. The behemoths of the sport, such as the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers were set to bid away and dump house on their farm systems just to acquire Madison Bumgarner for a potential World Series title run this year.
These rumors ultimately fell through the wayside and MadBum once again survived the potential trade deadline, continuing to toe that rubber every fifth day for manager Bruce Bochy until season’s end in the Fall Classic.
Although the Giants have stalled out slightly this month, so far going a combined record of 9-12 this August, this little bump in the road will only enhance the drama and suspense coming down the wire. Bumgarner will take control of this pitching staff and propel this young but talented roster into that coveted No. 2 playoff spot.
Bumgarner will regain his World Series poise and should forever remain a San Francisco Giant. This city is where his legendary “old-school,” no nonsense level of play has made a name for itself and sent a message to the rest of the National League. MadBum is like a football coach out there on the mound, always emotional and never afraid to point, yell at or even stare down opposing batters at the plate.
This franchise turned this country boy from the small town of Hickory, North Carolina, into a Bay Area hero and a sheer first ballot hall of fame in the shiny halls of Cooperstown.
Bumgarner is the quintessential figure for the city of San Francisco. Although hailing from the deep south, MadBum for the last decade has given his heart and soul to the orange and black. He will certainly have a statue outside of Oracle Park once he decides to hang it up — hopefully, and mercifully, in a Giants uniform.
Bumgarner continues to be a leader among men, from the long-tenured veteran Giant players such as Buster Posey and Pablo “The Panda” Sandoval, to the brand-new, fresh-faced rookie phenoms like Michael Andrew Yastrzemski. He can galvanize any level of a professional ballplayer.
The Giants would be essentially tanking the rest of the year if they traded away Bumgarner, with the message sent to the loyal San Francisco fan base at that point being “game over.” With the revitalization from MadBum staying put, the Giants seemed to step up to the plate with the fiery, fighting attitude of Bumgarner living up to his expectations as a three-time World Series champion, two-time Silver Slugger Award winner and a four-time National-League All-Star selection.
With many of the Giants upcoming games being against sub-par teams such as the Marlins, Pirates and Rockies, the Giants will sweep two of these three series, Bumgarner will have a career game going the distance and will strike out 13 en route to a 2019 playoff berth. Give them a chance to scratch and claw their way back from the NL West grave with MadBum as the winning pitcher in the wildcard.