Top 10 moments of MadBum's career

April 26th, 2023

will forever be synonymous with the Giants’ championship era, as he established himself as one of the greatest postseason pitchers in baseball history during the club’s three World Series runs in the early 2010s.

Bumgarner spent the first 11 years of his career in San Francisco, going 119-92 with a 3.13 ERA while earning four All-Star nods and two Silver Slugger Awards. The fiery left-hander later decamped for the desert, signing a five-year, $85 million deal with the D-backs in December 2019. His tenure in Arizona, unfortunately, was far less charmed -- he posted a 15-32 record with a 5.23 ERA in 69 starts before being released in April 2023, just over three years into his contract.

Here are the top 10 moments of Bumgarner’s career:

1) World Series hero
Oct. 29, 2014

Bumgarner carried the Giants over the finish line in the 2014 World Series, logging a 0.43 ERA over 21 innings against the Royals and converting a five-inning save in Game 7 to close out San Francisco’s third title in five seasons. Bumgarner’s historic performance made him the obvious choice for World Series MVP, marking the first time the prize had been awarded to a Giants pitcher.

Bumgarner further cemented his legend on Opening Day in 2015, when he rode a police horse around the AT&T Park warning track to help raise the Giants’ championship banner.

2) Wild Card dominance
Oct. 1, 2014

There was no pitcher the Giants would rather turn to with their season on the line than Bumgarner. He was masterful in the do-or-die Wild Card Game against the Pirates in 2014, tossing a four-hit shutout to propel the Giants to an 8-0 win at PNC Park and spark the beginning of another championship run.

3) A sign of things to come
Oct. 31, 2010

It didn’t take long for Bumgarner to show that he could thrive on the biggest of stages. He rose to the occasion in his World Series debut in 2010, firing eight scoreless innings against the Rangers to lead the Giants to a 4-0 victory in Game 4 at Arlington. The following night, the Giants clinched their first World Series title in 56 years.

4) A memorable debut
Sept. 8, 2009

Selected with the 10th overall pick of the 2007 Draft out of South Caldwell High School in Hudson, N.C., Bumgarner broke into the Majors as a September callup in 2009. A 20-year-old Bumgarner made a strong first impression, giving up two runs over 5 1/3 innings to come away with a no-decision in a 4-3 loss to the Padres at AT&T Park.

5) Tangles with the Dodgers

Bumgarner often fanned the flames of the Giants-Dodgers rivalry through his long-standing feud with Yasiel Puig, which resulted in a few heated confrontations over the years. Their beef started on May 9, 2014, when Puig flipped his bat after taking Bumgarner deep in the Giants’ 3-1 win at Dodger Stadium. Four months later, Bumgarner hit Puig with a pitch, causing the benches to empty in Los Angeles.

They clashed again in 2016 after Puig attempted to beat out a grounder that was fielded by Bumgarner. After the out was recorded, Bumgarner and Puig exchanged stares, with Bumgarner appearing to say, “Don’t look at me.” Another melee ensued, and the Dodgers later poked fun at the incident by printing T-shirts with the slogan on it.

Bumgarner also had a memorable run-in with Max Muncy, who irked the lefty by admiring his first-inning blast into McCovey Cove in 2019. Bumgarner yelled at Muncy to stop watching and start running, prompting an all-time retort from Muncy.

“If you don't want me to watch the ball, you can get it out of the ocean,” Muncy shot back.

6) A grand time
April 11, 2014

Bumgarner did it all for the Giants in a 6-5 win over the Rockies at AT&T Park, tossing six scoreless innings and crushing his first career grand slam -- a fourth-inning shot off Jorge De La Rosa. Three months later, Bumgarner and Buster Posey made history by becoming the first battery mates in Major League history to hit grand slams in the same game. They accomplished the feat in consecutive innings as the Giants beat the D-backs, 8-4, at AT&T Park.

7) Powering up
April 2, 2017

Bumgarner also became the first pitcher in Major League history to homer twice in a season opener when he slugged a pair of 112-mph shots against the D-backs' Zack Greinke and Andrew Chafin at Chase Field. Still, his exploits at the plate and on the mound -- he struck out 11 while giving up three runs over seven innings -- were squandered after new closer Mark Melancon blew a one-run lead in the bottom of the ninth, saddling the Giants with a 6-5 loss.

8) ‘Freak’ accidents

Bumgarner was named to four consecutive All-Star teams from 2013-16, but his streak came to an end when he landed on the injured list after hurting his left shoulder and ribs in a dirt-bike accident in Colorado in April 2017. He missed nearly three months and finished the season 4-9 with a 3.32 ERA over 17 starts.

"I'm not exactly sure what happened. It was a surprise to me, too," Bumgarner told reporters. "I wish I had some kind of cool story for you that it was some kind of crazy wreck, but it really wasn't anything spectacular, just super unfortunate. I was actually being pretty safe the whole time; it was just a freak deal. It happened right at the end. That's really it. Like I said, I wish I had some kind of good story to tell everybody, but I don't."

Bumgarner suffered another serious injury the following year, when a comebacker off the bat of the Royals’ Whit Merrifield fractured his pitching hand during his final Cactus League start of the spring. Bumgarner missed the first two months of the 2018 campaign, going 6-7 with a 3.26 ERA after returning from the IL.

9) Rodeo star
February 2020

A couple of months after he left San Francisco to sign with the D-backs, The Athletic published a report revealing that Bumgarner often participated in team-roping rodeo competitions under the alias Mason Saunders. Mason is a shortened version of Madison, while Saunders is the maiden name of Bumgarner’s wife, Ali.

“Oh boy,” Bumgarner told The Athletic. “This is ruining my alias.”

10) The seven-inning ‘no-hitter’
April 25, 2021

Bumgarner delivered a brilliant performance against the Braves, tossing seven no-hit innings to help the D-backs sweep a doubleheader at Chase Field. Still, Bumgarner wasn’t officially credited with a no-no due to Major League rules regarding shortened games for doubleheaders, which were implemented after the pandemic resulted in a truncated season in 2020.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, MLB’s official statistician, neither a team nor an individual pitcher will be credited with an official no-hitter in a scheduled seven-inning game of a doubleheader -- unless that game goes to extras. Per Elias, any game of fewer than nine innings in which a pitcher or pitchers do not allow a hit should be considered a “notable achievement.”

Bumgarner, for his part, still viewed the gem as one of the highlights of his career.

"I think it's got to be up there, for sure," Bumgarner said. "I'm pretty proud of it."