Mad Bum

I was blessed to be able to watch Madison Bumgarner's season debut in person and his second outing on TV.  I missed his third outing today entirely.

Mad Bum has an exceptional fastball.  Not an exceptionally fast one (he was consistently between 91 and 93 in the game I saw live, exceeding 94 only once or twice), but one that seems very hard to hit, perhaps due to his three-quarters delivery.

In that start, he didn't use his secondary pitches as much as I would have liked (since those are the pitches he needs to refine), but against the Dodgers late in spring training, he threw an awesome curve to strike out Juan Pierrre and a fine change up to fan Manny Ramirez on three pitches.  Bumgarner allowed just one hit while striking out four in that three-inning outing.

What is perhaps most impressive about Mad Bum is the way he pounds the strike zone for a southpaw power pitcher.  He has walked only two batters in 16 innings, and those two were consecutive.  Last season he walked a total of 21.

Although Barry Zito might have disproved me today with seven shutout innings, I think Mad Bum could pitch as well as Barry RIGHT NOW, even though Madison is still just 19 and will remain so through two-thirds of the season.

IMO if Madison Bumgarner remains healthy, he will go on to a fabulous career.