Good morning, McCoven!
We all knew going into Sunday’s game that there was a possibility that it could be Madison Bumgarner’s final game as a Giant. The team had moved up his start in Boston in order to line it up so that he could pitch the last game of the season (bumping Massachusetts native Tyler Beede in the process). However, they ultimately decided to not have him pitch the game. The explanation for this implied that it was Bumgarner’s decision to spend the game with Bochy in the dugout.
They hinted that Bumgarner might see an at-bat, and of course, that is exactly what happened. I don’t think they could have scripted it any better than to have it be against his old friend and foe, Clayton Kershaw. It almost seemed like it was scripted, with Kershaw throwing nothing but fastballs, seemingly trying to give Bumgarner the best opportunity to have a special moment.
Of course, we all know who won the at-bat, but Kershaw and Dodgers catcher Will Smith did allow Bumgarner to have a special moment before the at-bat. While Bumgarner received a huge ovation, Kershaw stepped off the mound and Smith used a mound visit to give the lefty more time to soak it in.
When asked about it after the game, Kershaw expressed these thoughts to NBC Sports Bay Area’s Dalton Johnson:
“I think once we saw he wasn’t pitching today, there would be some way to let the fans appreciate what he had done here,” Kershaw said. ”It’s a good way to do it. Get him in there against a lefty he’s hit a few homers against. It was a fun moment.
”He meant so much to this organization. Obviously he’s gonna keep playing -- most likely it’s not gonna be here, so it’s a great way to honor that.”
I think that outlook is now shared by a lot of Giants fans who had formerly been optimistic about Bumgarner returning to the team next year. It’s possible that he just wanted to tip his cap to the fans, just in case, since there is no guarantee in free agency. But the look on his face as he did so felt a little too much like goodbye.
Where do you think Bumgarner will be playing next season?