After claiming two wins in his first two starts, San Francisco Giants lefty ace Madison Bumgarner entered Thursday night’s Game 7 against the Kansas City Royals in the fifth inning and continued to tear through the World Series.
Entering in relief, Bumgarner fired off five scoreless innings, surrendering only two hits and striking out four batters while propelling the Giants to their third World Series in the last five years.
The 25-year-old set a new postseason record with 52 2/3 innings pitched throughout the postseason. He totaled a 4-1 record and let up six total runs with 41 strikeouts and six walks in six starts. In his three World Series appearances, Bumgarner put up an incredible 0.25 ERA.
Let’s take a look at a few of facts about baseball’s newest pitching sensation.
Bumgarner Named MVP
Hailing from North Carolina, Bumgarner was the first pitcher to win the World Series MVP since Cole Hamels for the Phillies in 2008. Like Hamels, Bumgarner is also the first pitcher to win both the World Series MVP and take home the same honor for the National League Championship Series in the same year.
Putting His Team On His Back
Madison Bumgarner named World Series MVP after dominating performance. Bumgarner's ERA in 2014 series: 0.43 All other Giants starters: 9.92
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 30, 2014
Smart Front Office
The Giants didn’t try to outspend their opponents, starting the season with the seventh-highest payroll in the Majors. Instead they’ve built a huge chunk of their team through the draft. Bumgarner was taken No. 10 overall in the first round of the 2007 draft. The Giants have him under contract until at least 2018. He also made only $3.75 million in base salary during the 2014 season.
What's scary for the rest of the Majors is the Giants could be even better. Bumgarner headlines a staff that missed fellow starter Matt Cain, who underwent season-ending elbow surgery in August.
Bumgarner has a 3.06 career ERA since being called up to the Majors in 2009. In the past four seasons, he has a pitched over 200 innings, and has recorded double-digits wins.
He had been pegged as a rising star for several years. While in high school, Bumgarner was drawing so much attention that a fence had to be installed to keep crowds and scouts away while he warmed up.