Madison Bumgarner, 23 year old owner of two World Series rings, started his 2013 baseball season with a masterful performance. Madison threw 101 pitches in 8 innings against Hyun-Jin Ryu, won 3-0, and the only doubts about the outcome of the game came from the offense. Not that the Giants didn't get their hits, there were 10 of them, but the G's racked up 4 double plays to erase much of their scoring threat. Hyun-Jin Ryu pitched 6 seasons with the Hanwa Eagles of the Korean Professional Baseball Organization. He was the first Korean player to come to US Professional Baseball under the posting system, similar to Japan's. The Eagles accepted over $25 million for the rights to Ryu, who then signed a six year contract for $36 million. He's a loser to the lefty from North Carolina, though as the Giants pick up their first victory of 2013.
How good was Madison? 76 strikes in 101 pitches. 2 hits total. 18 guys retired consecutively between hits. No walks. One 2-ball count on the night and two 3-ball counts. 6 K. Oh, a hit and an rbi. Sergio Romo finished with a 3 up, 3 down ninth.
I'm thinking Madison could well have a break-out year. How, you might ask, much more can a guy who has two World Series rings break out? I'm thinking a serious conversation about a Cy Young award. He has a low-90's fastball but it must be "sneaky-fast." Those long arms and smooth motion probably lull hitters into thinking that it is not as fast as it is. But the main reason he remains impressive is his ability to locate pitches and mix them up and that is what he did tonight. Honorable mention to Joaquin Arias, first Giant rbi of 2013, first game winning rbi and a terrific job at 1st base to fill in for an indisposed Brandon Belt. No errors tonight!