With less than a week left in the season, this isn't exactly news … but it's what qualifies for news with a week left in the season, so here goes. Marco Scutaro and Madison Bumgarner are done for 2013. Nice seasons, fellas. Now hit the hypersleep chamber and come back in March.
Scutaro is having outpatient surgery on his mallet finger, which has a slight touch of permanent deformation, but only if you squint. At first doctors were thinking they could amputate the finger and have it regenerate, but that's more of a Raul Ibanez thing. Scutaro should come back at full strength, which is kind of an ambiguous statement considering he'll be 38. I'm optimistic, though.
But he just posted the second-highest OBP of his career, you know. So I'm still crossing my fingers for one more good year. If the Giants can get just one more two- or three-win season from him, the deal will be a smashing success. I'm also crossing my fingers because the idea of "mallet fingers" makes me check every five seconds to see if my fingers are okay.
The Bumgarner shutdown is a little more interesting because there's nothing wrong with him. The Giants are a) being cautious and b) giving Barry Zito a hilariously touching chance at one last home start. Bumgarner will forever be stuck on 199 strikeouts for the season. The Giants are giving Bumgarner the Tuffy Rhodes treatment because they don't want anyone to mess with Jonathan Sanchez's left-hander-in-AT&T-Park strikeouts record. Understandable.
But in a season of grey clouds stacked upon grey clouds like a fluffy game of Jenga, here's at least one more silver lining: There isn't an extra month of pitching this year. Think about it, would you want the Giants to get all the way to the seventh game of the World Series just to lose if it meant an additional month of pitching for Bumgarner and Matt Cain, and an additional month of squatting for Buster Posey?
The point stands, though. Bumgarner's thrown an extra 35 innings over the last three years that weenie Kershaw didn't have to throw, and I'm kind of glad the Giants are at least giving him one start off. Rest up and keep that slutter slinger warm, Madison.
We'll have more on the Barry Zito sendoff later today because it's hilarious enough to warrant its own post. But you came here for the news, and the news is that the rest of the 2013 season will be Scutaro and Bumgarner free. And suddenly I'm melancholy that this stupid season is close to ending. Dammit, baseball.