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Madison Bumgarner

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Madison Bumgarner
Madison Bumgarner with the San Francisco Giants
San Francisco Giants – No. 40
Born: (1989-08-01) August 1, 1989 (age 30)
Hickory, North Carolina
Bats: Right Throws: Left
MLB debut
September 8, 2009 for the San Francisco Giants
Career statistics
(through May 26, 2015)
Win–loss record 73–51
Earned run average 3.05
Strikeouts 951
  1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year–present)
Career highlights and awards

MLB records

  • 0.25 career World Series ERA (Minimum 25 innings)
  • 2 career grand slams by a pitcher (tied)
  • 2 grand slams by a pitcher, single season – tied (2014)

Madison Kyle Bumgarner (born August 1, 1989), commonly known by his nickname, "MadBum",[1][2] is an American professional baseball pitcher with the San Francisco Giants of Major League Baseball (MLB). He has pitched for the Giants since 2009.

Bumgarner was born in Hickory, North Carolina, and attended South Caldwell High School in Hudson, where he helped his baseball team win the 2007 4A State Championship. He was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the first round (tenth overall) in the 2007 MLB Draft out of high school. In his first year playing professionally, 2008, he won the South Atlantic League pitching triple crown. He made his major league debut in 2009 with the Giants. In 2010, he began the season in the minor leagues but was called up midway through the season and wound up becoming the youngest left-handed pitcher to throw eight scoreless innings in a World Series as the Giants won the 2010 World Series, their first since 1954.

In 2014, Bumgarner set a career high number of wins with 18 and won his third World Series as a Giant.[3] Following one of the most dominant postseason and World Series pitching performances in modern MLB history, he was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2014 World Series, the 2014 Babe Ruth Award winner, the 2014 Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year, and the 2014 Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year.

Early life

Bumgarner was born August 1, 1989, in Hickory, North Carolina, and grew up in an area ten miles away nicknamed "Bumtown" because of the abundance of people with the surname Bumgarner who have lived there over the years after their ancestors had arrived from Germany.[4][5]

Bumgarner's parents chose the name "Madison" for their son when they were stumped and searched through books. His father Kevin leafed through The Charlotte Observer and came across a headline stating the sheriff of Madison County was in trouble, at which point he decided he liked the name. His mother found that the name meant 'the son of a great warrior,' which she took to mean a son of Jesus Christ.

He grew up in a log house that his father, Kevin, built, sleeping in a loft at nights. Bumgarner's first word was "ball", and by the age of four, he was already playing in a youth baseball league. His father had to sign a waiver because the league was for five-to-eight-year olds. His parents, Kevin and Debbie, divorced while Bumgarner was in high school.[4]

Much like fellow Major League pitcher Brett Cecil, throwing a ball is the only thing Bumgarner does left-handed.[6]

Bumgarner attended South Caldwell High School in Hudson, North Carolina, where he was known as "Maddie" to his friends and was a member of the Spartans baseball team.[7] In his junior season, he had a 12–2 record, an 0.99 earned run average (ERA), and 120 strikeouts in 84 innings pitched as he led his team to a runner-up in the 2006 4A State Championship. Next season, he went 11–2 with a 1.05 ERA and 143 strikeouts in 86 innings while this time helping his team win the 2007 4A State Championship.[8] He batted .424 with 11 home runs and 38 runs batted in.[7] He was named Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the playoffs and the Gatorade North Carolina Player of the Year, garnering the nickname "The Carolina Peach". In 2013, the North Carolina High School Athletic Association included him on its "100 To Remember" male athletes list, which included Michael Jordan, Carl Eller, and Jim Beatty.[9] Bumgarner attracted so much attention from scouts and agents in high school that his father built a wall around the bullpen at his high school field to keep them from distracting him as he warmed up for games.[4] He committed to attend the University of North Carolina on a college baseball scholarship.[8]

Professional career

Draft and minor leagues

The San Francisco Giants selected Bumgarner in the first round (10th overall) of the 2007 MLB Draft. Going into the draft, Baseball America had ranked him as the 14th best prospect overall. He was the first high school pitcher to be selected by the Giants on their first pick since Matt Cain in 2002, and the first left-handed pitcher selected in the first round by the organization since Noah Lowry in 2001.[8]

Bumgarner pitched for the Augusta Greenjackets, the Giants' Low-A South Atlantic League affiliate, in 2008. The Giants sought for him to alter the angle of his head during his delivery, but after Bumgarner struggled over his first three starts in Augusta, he reverted to the way he had thrown in high school. With Augusta, he worked on the changeup, the slider, and "the ability to pitch inside." When asked if it was tough to work on off-speed pitches in a league in which most of the hitters can be fooled with the fastball, Bumgarner replied, "The minors are all about player development. I needed to work on other pitches and have the confidence to throw them."[10] He won the South Atlantic League pitchers' Triple Crown, tying for the league lead in wins (15, tied with Levi Maxwell), leading the league in earned run average (1.46), and leading the league in strikeouts (164).[11] He began the 2009 season with the Giants' High-A affiliate, the San Jose Giants of the California League. After five starts, in which he went 3–1 with a 1.48 ERA and 23 strikeouts, he was called up to the Giants AA affiliate, the Connecticut Defenders of the Eastern League. On July 22, he hit a grand slam against Eric Niesen and picked up the victory in a 9–3 triumph over the Binghamton Mets.[12] In 20 games (19 starts) with them, he went 9–1 with a 1.93 ERA and 69 strikeouts.[13]

In 2008, Baseball America ranked him the third-best prospect in the Giants organization.[14] Before the start of the 2009 season, the magazine ranked Bumgarner as the ninth-best prospect in baseball.[15] Entering 2010, he dropped to the 14th-best prospect in baseball on the magazine's list, as some writers were concerned about a drop in Bumgarner's velocity. Jason Grey of ESPN wrote that the drop was "puzzling."[16][17]

San Francisco Giants (2009-present)


Bumgarner was called up to the majors on September 8, 2009, to make his first major league start and debut in place of Tim Lincecum, who was scratched with back spasms. At the age of 20, he became the second youngest pitcher ever to start a game for the Giants since the franchise moved west in 1958. He was older only than Mike McCormick, who played as a 19-year-old for San Francisco but had made his debut with the Giants two years earlier when the team was still in New York.[18][19] Bumgarner made four appearances with the Giants in 2009, posting an ERA of 1.80, striking out 10 batters, and pitching 10 innings without recording a decision.[7]

Bumgarner attended the Giants' spring training before the 2010 season, competing for the position of fifth starter. However, out of shape after attending his half-sister's funeral, he struggled and was sent down to the AAA Fresno Grizzlies, partly due to a drop in his velocity.[16][20] In 14 starts with Fresno, he went 7–1 with a 3.16 ERA and 59 strikeouts.[13] On June 26, 2010, Bumgarner was called up again to join the club, facing the Boston Red Sox the next day. He replaced Joe Martinez, who had made one start in place of an injured Todd Wellemeyer, in the rotation.[21] On July 6, 2010, against the Milwaukee Brewers in Milwaukee, Bumgarner earned his first major league victory, 6–1, going eight innings without yielding a run.[22] Bumgarner pitched well enough that when Wellemeyer returned from the disabled list in August, Giants' manager Bruce Bochy chose to use him in the bullpen and leave Bumgarner in the rotation.[23]

In five September starts during the Giants' successful run to the National League West Division championship, Bumgarner posted an ERA of 1.13.[24] At the end of September, Bumgarner earned his first win at home, making him 7–6 on the season.

Despite a ten-day layoff, Bumgarner became the youngest pitcher in Giants' franchise history to pitch in and win a postseason game, which he did against the Braves in the NLDS-clinching game on October 11.[24][25] In addition to his clinching performance in the NLDS, he pitched two shutout innings in relief in the NLCS clinching game versus the Philadelphia Phillies.[26]

On October 31, Bumgarner pitched eight shutout innings in Game 4 of the 2010 World Series, becoming the fourth-youngest pitcher to start and win a World Series game, as well as the youngest to make a scoreless start of six innings or more.[27] This win gave the Giants a 3–1 lead in the series, en route to the Giants winning their first World Series championship in 56 years.[28] After the season, he was named a starting pitcher on Baseball America's 2010 All-Rookie Team.[29]


File:Madison Bumgarner on June 21, 2011.jpg
Bumgarner pitching on June 21, 2011

After his start May 13, 2011, Bumgarner was 0–5 with a 4.58 ERA in his first seven starts of the season. He struggled in his first two games of the season, but soon after regained his post-season form. However, he was the victim of poor run support and bad luck.[30] Despite pitching at least six innings and giving up more than one earned run only once in his five starts from April 27 through May 19, it wasn't until the 19th that he got his first win, collecting an ERA of 3.71 for the season at that point. By June 9, Bumgarner had a 1.93 ERA over his last nine starts, yet had two wins and five losses to show for it. In seven of his eight losses at that point, the Giants either only scored once or scored no times at all.[31] On September 5, Bumgarner struck out a career high 13 batters while yielding two earned runs, seven hits and one walk over 8.1 innings while earning the win against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. It was his second consecutive double digit strikeout game, having struck out 11 batters in his previous start against the Chicago Cubs.[32] With his win September 16, Bumgarner had won five consecutive starts; he finished the season 13–13 with a 3.21 ERA, 204 innings pitched, and 191 strikeouts.[31] Worth noting, however, is that Bumgarner was 12–1 for the games in which his teammates scored three or more runs for him.[7]

In April 2012, Bumgarner agreed to a six-year contract worth $35.56 million through the 2017 season, with additional $12 million options for 2018 and 2019.[33] Bumgarner began the 2012 season by going 5–1 with a 2.31 ERA.[34] With his win over the Brewers on May 5, he became the first Giant since Jason Schmidt to win 14 games in a 20-game span.[35] His ERA then rose to 2.85 after he lost three consecutive games, with his record moving to 5–4.[34]

After May 14, the Giants went 16 home games without a home run until Bumgarner hit the first of his career into left field on June 12, against Houston Astros pitcher Bud Norris. Bumgarner, with his home run and 12 strikeouts, became the most recent Giant to hit a home run and throw 10+ strikeouts since Mike Krukow, who was announcing the game.[36] On June 28, Bumgarner pitched nine shutout innings against the Cincinnati Reds to earn his first complete game and shutout. With this victory, the Giants franchise established a new San Francisco record for consecutive scoreless innings, a total of 36.[37] In 2012, Bumgarner won a career-high 16 games (with only seven losses) while posting a 3.37 ERA and striking out 191 in 208 13 innings.[7]

After struggling earlier in the playoffs with an 11.25 ERA,[38] Bumgarner pitched seven scoreless innings and struck out eight in Game 2 of the 2012 World Series on October 25. Bumgarner became the first pitcher to begin his World Series career with 15 scoreless innings since Bruce Hurst did so in 1986.[39] Hall of Famer Christy Mathewson in 1905 was the last Giant before Bumgarner to have scoreless outings in his first two career World Series starts.[39]

The 2013 season saw Bumgarner set career bests for ERA (2.77), walks plus hits per inning pitched (WHIP) (1.03) and strikeouts (199) in 31 starts, finishing with a 13–9 record. Bumgarner's WHIP was the lowest for a Giants' left-hander since Carl Hubbell's in 1933. Bumgarner was also selected by Giants manager Bruce Bochy and the manager of the National League team, to pitch in the All Star game for the first time. However, Bumgarner didn't pitch in the game. He took pride in pitching 200+ innings for the third consecutive season (201.1) and improving at holding runners on base, conceding 8 stolen bases in 2013 compared with 27 in 2012.[40] Bumgarner was rested for what would have been his final start of the season, following a great seven-inning, one-run, 10-strikeout win over the New York Mets. Bochy said he wanted to give Bumgarner a break and also allow Barry Zito a final home start.[41]


Following his outstanding 2013 season, on February 25, Bumgarner was named the Giants' Opening Day starter for the first time in his career.[42] On April 11, Bumgarner hit his first career grand slam and registered a career-high five RBIs against the Colorado Rockies' Jorge De La Rosa, the third home run of Bumgarner's major league career.[43] Bumgarner was named NL Pitcher of the Month for May after going 5–0 in six starts, with 48 strikeouts and a 2.08 ERA.[44]

On July 13, in an 8–4 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks at AT&T Park, Bumgarner and batterymate Buster Posey each hit grand slam home runs, marking the first ever occurrence in MLB history that batterymates each hit grand slams in the same game.[45] Bumgarner also tied the all-time MLB records for grand slams in a career and in a single season by a pitcher with two. Tony Cloninger had been the last pitcher to hit two grand slams in one season, doing so in one game on July 3, 1966.[citation needed]

On August 26, Bumgarner pitched a complete game one-hit shutout in a 3–0 win over the Colorado Rockies. Bumgarner pitched seven perfect innings until Justin Morneau reached out on a 1–2 pitch that went down deep right field for a double. In the process, he set a franchise-record sixth career game with 10 or more strikeouts and no walks. Bumgarner beat Jorge De La Rosa at AT&T Park for the second time that season.[citation needed] Bumgarner was named the NL Pitcher of the Month for August. He went 4–1 with a 1.57 ERA, threw three complete games, and had 56 strikeouts against just three walks.[46] For the 2014 MLB regular season, Bumgarner set career-highs in wins and strikeouts. He went 18–10, posting a 2.98 ERA, and set a San Francisco Giants single season strikeout record by a left-handed pitcher with 219.[citation needed]

On October 1, Bumgarner pitched a 4-hit shutout in the NL Wild Card game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park, allowing the Giants to advance to the NLDS against the Washington Nationals.[citation needed] On October 11, in Game 1 of the NLCS, by tossing 7 23 shutout innings against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium, Bumgarner set a new, all-time MLB pitching record for postseason consecutive scoreless innings on the road, with 26 23. In doing so he broke the 90-year-old record held by fellow Giant, Art Nehf. For his performance, he was named NLCS MVP.[47]

On October 21, in Game 1 of the 2014 World Series, Bumgarner pitched seven innings of one-run ball. Although his streak of scoreless innings ended at 21 23 when he gave up a home run to Salvador Pérez in the 7th inning, he earned his third career win in World Series competition as his team defeated the host Kansas City Royals 7–1 in Kauffman Stadium. Describing Bumgarner, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said, "This is a big stage, a loud crowd. But he just keeps that maniacal focus. He's as good as anybody I've seen at it."[48]

Bumgarner threw a four-hit, complete-game shutout in Game 5 on October 26. He set all-time MLB records for lowest World Series ERA (0.29) among pitchers of at least 25 innings pitched, and was the first pitcher in Series history to pitch a shutout with no walks and at least eight strikeouts.[49]

On October 29, in Game 7, on two days rest, Bumgarner pitched five scoreless innings in relief in the final game of the World Series. He was named the 2014 World Series MVP, finishing the Series with a 2–0 record, 1 save, and a 0.43 ERA.[50] In three pitching appearances, Bumgarner gave up one run in 21 innings. Some analysts have posited that Bumgarner's entire 2014 postseason record—in which the 25-year-old threw a record-breaking 52 23 innings[51]—was the most dominant postseason pitching performance ever.[52] Following the postseason, he won the Babe Ruth Award as the postseason MVP and was named Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year and Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year.


On May 21, in a 4-0 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers, Bumgarner paired up against Clayton Kershaw for the third time this season. In the third inning, he hit a solo home run to left field, becoming the first pitcher to homer off of Kershaw.[53] The homer made Kershaw the second Cy Young Award winner to surrender a home run to Bumgarner after Zach Greinke. He became the first reigning World Series MVP to homer off the defending League MVP.[54]

Pitching style

Bumgarner's repertoire consists of four pitches. He features a four-seam fastball in the Script error: No such module "convert". range that tops off at 95 mph, a cutter around Script error: No such module "convert"., a curveball that ranges from Script error: No such module "convert"., and a change-up that sits at Script error: No such module "convert".. The fastball and cutter are his main pitches; through 2013, he has thrown the fastball 43.68% of the time and the cutter 33.84% of the time.[55] Madison has a unique pitching style. As he throws, it appears he is throwing toward first base.

Career highlights

On December 8, 2014, Sports Illustrated named Madison Bumgarner Sportsman of the Year.[56]

On December 31, 2014, the Associated Press named Madison Bumgarner the Male Athlete of the Year regarding his phenomenal 2014 postseason performance and overall success as an MLB left-handed pitcher.


Award / Honor Time(s) Date(s)
MLB NLCS MVP[57] 1 2014
MLB World Series MVP[58] 1 2014
Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year[59] 1 2014
Silver Slugger[60] 1 2014


Bumgarner's parents are Kevin and Debbie, who divorced when Madison was in high school.

Bumgarner married Ali Saunders on February 14, 2010, in a private ceremony in which he wore jeans. During the offseason, they live on a farm in North Carolina that is about thirty minutes from where he grew up in the old furniture manufacturing area of the state, and during the season in a condo in San Francisco.[4][61] Bumgarner has been a Baptist since his childhood.[4][62] Andrew Baggarly, a reporter who covers the Giants, wrote of Bumgarner, "While I wouldn't describe him as outgoing, he struck me as being smart, well spoken and polite. He is deeply Christian and seems to be very grounded."[10] Bumgarner had a half-sister, Dena, who died in 2010 reportedly from accidentally overdosing on pain medication following hospitalization[63] from cancer.[4] Bumgarner has a stepsister and two older half-brothers.[10][64][65] His father, Kevin, built the log house the younger Bumgarner grew up in, and works nights at a food distribution company.[4] His mother is an accountant for PepsiCo.[10]

Baseball records and accomplishments


  • MLB record for most starts in a single post-season – 6 in 2014 (tied for the record with Chris Carpenter, 2011 and Curt Schilling, 2001) [66]
  • MLB record for most innings pitched in a single post-season – 52 2/3rds in 2014 [67]
  • MLB record for lowest career world series ERA (minimum 20 innings of work) – 0.25 [67][68]
  • MLB record for fewest hits allowed in a single World Series by any pitcher with at least 20 innings of work – 9 in 21 innings in 2014 [67]
  • MLB record for most shutout innings in relief in a World Series game 7 – 5 (tie with Joe Page) [67]
  • MLB record for longest save in a World Series – 5 innings in Game 7 in 2014 [67]
  • MLB record for longest save in a winner-take-all game – 5 innings in Game 7 in 2014 [67]
  • MLB record for most World Series wins through age 25 – 4 [67]
  • First MLB pitcher in a single World Series to earn at least two wins, throw a shutout and earn a save – in 2014 [67]
  • First MLB pitcher in a World Series to pitch a shutout with no walks and at least eight strikeouts – game 5 in 2014 [67]
  • His 0.43 ERA in the 2014 World Series was the lowest in a single World Series (minimum 15 innings) since Sandy Koufax posted a 0.38 ERA in the 1965 World Series [67]
  • Second-most strikeouts in a single World Series while walking no more than one batter – 17 in 2014. Christy Mathewson of the New York Giants struck out 18 in 1905 [67]
  • First pitcher to throw at least four scoreless innings in a World Series Game 7 (2014) on two days' rest since Sandy Koufax's shutout for the Dodgers in 1965 [67]
  • In the 2014 post-season, he threw more than double the innings of any other pitcher [67]


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Further reading

  • Baggarly, Andrew. A Band of Misfits: Tales of the 2010 San Francisco Giants. Chicago: Triumph Books. ISBN 978-1-60078-598-6. 

External links

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