It feels like it’s been forever since Madison Bumgarner played for the San Francisco Giants, even if the Giants have only played 38 games in the post-Bumgarner era. The franchise icon has only appeared in four games with the Arizona Diamondbacks, yet the teary 2019 finale feels years ago.
And he’ll return on Saturday.
Bumgarner has been on the Injured List with back issues, and hasn’t pitched since Aug. 9. He missed the Diamondbacks first trip to Oracle Park, as well as the Chase Field series the two teams played last weekend.
But after a few simulation starts, the 2014 World Series MVP is ready to make his return to the mound on Saturday, when the Diamondbacks will be taking the field at the most gorgeous park in baseball. He’ll try and improve on a rough start to his new tenure, as he’s gone 0-3 with a 9.35 ERA.
Torey Lovullo says Madison Bumgarner will make his return from the injured list on Saturday in San Francisco. It will be his first start against his old team.— Nick Piecoro (@nickpiecoro) September 2, 2020
This certainly isn’t how the reunion was supposed to go. Bumgarner was supposed to return to San Francisco and receive a minute-long standing ovation from a packed house. He was supposed to have a few battles with his decade-long battery mate and best friend, Buster Posey. He was supposed to hug some teammates, blow some snotrockets, and maybe even tip his cap to a wild Bruce Bochy who appeared in the stands.
But no. There will be no fans. There will be no Posey or Bochy. There will be no hugs with teammates. And if there are snotrockets, the cameras will likely cut away before we’re blatantly confronted with a violation of the health and safety protocol.
Bumgarner often shied away from the sentimental stuff, so maybe that will suit him. But it doesn’t feel right. And it won’t really fell like he returned until 2021, when (hopefully) all of those things can happen.
It’s still must-see TV though. So grab your remote, your beer, and your kleenex.