Madison Bumgarner did what Madison Bumgarner does Wednesday night. He dominated the Mets in an elimination game, tossing a complete-game shutout and leading the Giants to a 3-0 victory at Citi Field. Bumgarner now has a 0.79 ERA in his last nine postseason appearances and has the most scoreless postseason starts (six) of all time.
How does he do it?
“Confidence, desire, determination – his concentration is unbelievable,” former MLB All-Star Carlos Baerga said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “This guy believes in himself. You see the same person walking from the bullpen to the bench. The game was over, the same face was there. That concentration (was there). Guys like Randy Johnson, guys like Curt Schilling, guys like Nolan Ryan – that’s (the) kind of attitude this guy has. It’s amazing the show he put on yesterday.”
Bumgarner threw 119 pitches, allowing just four hits and striking out six.
“The first four innings he didn’t even throw a breaking ball,” Baerga said. “He went after everybody. When (Noah) Syndergaard got in trouble, he started throwing breaking ball, breaking ball, breaking ball. Starting in the third inning, Syndergaard already had 50-something pitches. Bumgarner had 28. That’s the kind of different pitcher he is. When you have confidence in your stuff, you can do what he’s been doing. That’s amazing.”
The Giants will face the Cubs in the NLDS. Game 1 is Friday in Chicago at 9 p.m. ET, with Johnny Cueto squaring off against Jon Lester.
“That’s going to be a great series,” Baerga said. “I know the Cubs, what they did this year was amazing. For me, the best team all-around – I’m taking about hitting, I’m talking pitching, I’m talking about closer – is the Cubs. But San Francisco, they (know how to play in the postseason). This team knows how to win. If San Francisco wins one game in Chicago, (the Cubs) have to face Bumgarner in the first game in San Francisco (in Game 3). So the Cubs need to win both games if they want to have a chance.”