San Francisco Giants ace Madison Bumgarner has established himself as one of the greatest pitchers in the history of the postseason. That fact made it all the more ironic that fellow ace Jake Arrieta hit a three-run home run in Game 3 of the NLDS off MadBum.
Both Arrieta and Bumgarner are known for their hitting prowess in the ninth slot in the batting order in addition to being two of the best pitchers in the league. Arrieta has two home runs in each of his last two seasons. For his part, Bumgarner has 14 career home runs and was even used as a pinch hitter earlier in the series. However, it was Arrieta who one-upped his fellow ace in the top of the 2nd inning to give the Cubs an early 3-0 lead in San Francisco.
I think the Cubs dugout (especially Anthony Rizzo) was just a little bit excited about seeing their pitcher help his own cause against Mighty MadBum.
Thankfully at least fans watching at home didn’t miss Arrieta’s blast like we saw in Game 2 when Cubs pitcher Travis Wood homered.
Arrieta may be a great hitting pitcher, but it’s a shock to see anyone do that to Bumgarner. When people throw out his name in the conversation of “best postseason pitcher ever” it’s not crazy recency bias or hyperbole – it’s based in fact. In his last four postseason starts coming into tonight’s game, Bumgarner allowed just one earned run in his last 30 postseason innings! That just so happened to include a complete game shutout last week against the Mets and his heroics in the 2014 World Series.
Dare we say… maybe it is the Cubs’ year after all?