Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: the Giants’ backs are up against the wall, if they don’t win, all is lost and . . . Madison Bumgarner is pitching for them. No one wants to be down 0-2 in a five game series, but if humanity needed to win a one-game playoff against the Martians, there is no one Earth would want on that hill more than Madison Bumgarner.
Bumgarner is working on 23 consecutive scoreless innings in do-or-die games for the Giants. Against the Cubs he’s 8-2 with a 2.25 earned run average in 12 starts, including two wins this year with a 1.32 ERA and 16 strikeouts in 13 2/3 innings.
Not that the Cubs are countering with chopped liver. They have Jake Arrieta, the reigning Cy Young Award winner. Arrieta (18-8, 3.10 ERA) is 4-2 with a 1.82 ERA in six career starts against San Francisco, including the splitting of two games against the Giants this year. One of those was to Bumgarner and he pitched well overall regardless. Bumgarner is gonna get his.
If he doesn’t get his tonight, the Giants’ run of even year World Series victories will come to an end. It’s, once again, all on MadBum’s shoulders.