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Is Madison Bumgarner back to being MadBum?

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PHOENIX, ARIZONA - AUGUST 13: Starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner #40 of the Arizona Diamondbacks throws against the San Diego Padres during the third inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on August 13, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - AUGUST 13: Starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner #40 of the Arizona Diamondbacks throws against the San Diego Padres during the third inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on August 13, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
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Madison Bumgarner looks to be the MadBum from SanFran

Madison Bumgarner starts tonight for the Diamondbacks in Pittsburgh. This will be his second start of the year against the Pirates. So, I thought that maybe it was time to dive into MadBum’s season and see if the MadBum we have been seeing lately is the real MadBum.

Madison Bumgarner has been a different pitcher since his April 18th start versus the Nationals. In that game, he went 5 innings of one-run ball and 5 K’s to only 1 walk. Then, he pitched his No-Hitter (in my books, it’s a complete game No-Hitter) over 7 innings against the Atlanta Braves on April 25th. After that start, it was reported that the Dbacks had stopped trying to force a bunch of analytics on MadBum and instead told him to just pitch.

He went on a tear after that as from April 18th to May 11th, He dominated his opponents. Over that 5-start span, he was 4-0 with a 0.90 ERA, 12 hits allowed, 2 walks, and 34 K’s in 30 innings. That’s really good. In fact that’s a far cry from his 2020 numbers where he had a 6.48 ERA, 47 hits given up, 13 walks, 30 K’s, and only 41.2 innings pitched across 9 games. MadBum either matched or exceeded his numbers in 2020 (minus innings) across that 5-game span.

After those 5 games, MadBum came crashing back down to Earth. Everyone knew it was coming but maybe not to the degree it did. From May 17th to June 2nd, over 4 starts, he struggled a lot. It was like he was back in 2020.

His stat-line across those 4 games was 0-3, 10.13 ERA, 18 ERs, 8 walks, and 13 K’s. It was truly a tale-of-two halves. Sorta. Was this the real MadBum? Was the earlier starts just a mirage?

Well, it turns out that after that June 2nd start, Madison Bumgarner finally revealed to the Dbacks that he had been pitching through a shoulder injury. He was placed on the IL and that was the last we saw from Bumgarner until July 16th.

When he made his first start back that day, nerves were high. Was he still going to struggle or was he going to revert back to that starter earlier in the season. Turns out that the latter has proven to be the case.

From July 16th until August 19th, Madison Bumgarner has been dominant. He has not thrown less than 5 innings in any of those starts. In fact, he’s pitched into the 7th six out of the seven starts he made during that time period. He’s been GOOD.

His stat-line during these starts has been 4-2, 38.2 innings, 10 ER’s, 5 walks, 31 K’s, and a 1.93 ERA.He’s pitching similar to how he did in those 5 starts earlier this year. Madison’s fulfilling his duties to be the Ace of the team.

Madison came back soon after the All-Star break. Since that time, he’s one of the best pitchers in all of the MLB. Yes, the entire MLB.

He hasn’t given up more than 2 earned runs in any start. You could say that this is one of the best stretches he’s ever pitched in his long and amazing career. It speaks to just how good he has been.

Madison Bumgarner is finally healthy and pitching with a renewed spirit. Whether it is truly because the Dbacks stopped trying to make him into something he isn’t or he has figured out how to pitch with his new team and abilities being 32 years old, I don’t know.

What I do know is that MadBum is here to stay. He’s the Ace of the team and the leader. He’s under contract for big money for three more years. Madison’s the Cowboy ring leader for the Diamondbacks and he’s pitching like it. I trust that this version or something close to what he is doing will be here to stay. He will go through slumps as does anyone. However, he’s always been a very good pitcher and there’s no reason to think that he will just suddenly stop.

His FIP (great determinant of how a pitcher is doing) matches his ERA exactly at 4.06. He’s walking batters at one of the lowest rates of his career. His hits allowed rate is among the lowest in his career as well.

I trust the Cowboy to keep this up and I hope you do too. I’m glad Madison is with us and we don’t have to keep losing to him like we did when he was with the Giants.

If you want to see Madison Bumgarner pitch again, he’s pitching Tuesday Night against the

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