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Madison Bumgarner's historically outstanding command

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No one has been better than Madison Bumgarner at limiting walks and striking fools out at such a young age.

Even he's surprised.
Even he's surprised.
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Madison Bumgarner is a talented, young pitcher. This is McCovey Chronicles' Investigative Division, signing off. Thanks for reading.

But if you want statistical proof that he's a talented, young pitcher, the official MLB Stat of the Day has you covered:

Is this impressive? This is impressive. Especially when you take a gander at the full list:

Rank Player SO/W SO Age GS IP ERA FIP ERA+
1 Madison Bumgarner 4.09 1044 19-25 170 1098 3.09 3.15 115
2 Walter Johnson 3.5 1461 19-25 230 2070.1 1.6 1.91 176
3 Bert Blyleven 3.19 1546 19-25 249 1909 2.8 2.64 132
4 Dwight Gooden 3.1 1391 19-25 209 1523.2 2.82 2.52 125
5 Clayton Kershaw 3.07 1206 20-25 182 1180 2.6 2.88 146
6 Felix Hernandez 2.98 1264 19-25 205 1388.1 3.24 3.38 128
7 Frank Tanana 2.97 1120 19-25 187 1411.1 2.93 3.12 122
8 Denny McLain 2.6 1098 19-25 205 1501.2 3.04 3.44 113
9 Don Drysdale 2.52 1236 19-25 220 1629.2 3.21 3.26 126
10 Larry Dierker 2.47 1080 17-25 222 1624 3.17 3.01 108
11 Christy Mathewson 2.43 1198 20-25 231 1960 2.15 2.37 138
12 Fernando Valenzuela 2.36 1274 19-25 200 1554.2 2.94 2.86 119
13 Catfish Hunter 2.12 1062 19-25 226 1586.1 3.42 3.62 96
14 Joe Coleman 2.03 1019 18-25 200 1416.1 3.3 3.26 101
15 Sam McDowell 2.02 1384 18-25 187 1305 2.96 2.83 115
16 Bob Feller 1.51 1233 17-22 175 1448.1 3.18 3.45 136
17 Hal Newhouser 1.49 1120 18-25 200 1609 2.72 2.92 141


Say, I've heard of that guy! And that guy, too! All of them! Every last pitcher with more than 1000 strikeouts before turning 26 is a famous dude. When it comes to strikeouts and walks, no one has been better than Bumgarner.

It's time for the obvious disclaimer! We're in the Strikeout Era. Back in Walter Johnson's day, most players were Jose Altuve's size (not hyperbole), and they were trying to hit like Norichika Aoki without the power. Contact was the goal; strikeouts were shameful. For Johnson to do what he did back then was amazing. Bumgarner's mark is absolutely a function of his era, and don't you forget it.

That written, forget about the context for a minute. Think about what it means for someone who strikes out four batters for each one he walks. That's four celebrations, four fist-pumps, and four grab-some-pine-meats for every unwelcome walk. The raw numbers are a perfect way to explain why it's just so enjoyable to watch the guy. He can overpower hitters, and he rarely makes you fall asleep with three-ball count after three-ball count.

I grew up with prospects like William VanLandingham and Shawn Estes, pitchers with obvious stuff that would make you squeal, "If only he could find the plaaaaaate." Bumgarner came up and found the plate immediately and never stopped. If he has a fault, it's that he's around the plate too much. He's the anti-Giants pitching prospect of all time, and that's why it's so much fun to watch him.

It's more of a curiosity than a meaningful record, sure. But it's a heckuva curiosity. For every walk Madison Bumgarner gets, he strikes out four hitters. Keep an eye on this kid. He could be something.