Madison Bumgarner pitched a shutout in the World Series, then came out the next game and threw more shutout innings. Baseball writers will be calling him Jesus all summer; running their fingers through his hair, taking selfies with him, suddenly remembering anecdotes with him in them.
But here's a question nobody's asking: If Madison Bumgarner is so good, why does he suck?
People are impressed because he threw 50 post season innings, the most ever? And when I refuse to leave my job, people are like "Run screaming to HR all you want, there is nothing in your contract allowing you to construct a small, earthy dwelling beneath your desk, connected to key areas of the office by a crude series of garbage-filled tunnels."
Chugging five and six beers? It's called alcoholism, buddy. And you're not even doing it right. Suddenly that relief appearance isn't such an anomaly. It's called "drunk strength," people, and it's a pretty common phenomenon. Remember when you downed a .40 and could suddenly fight four cops? Great role modeling, Bumgarner. You're the worst public figure in this World Series, other than Eric Hosmer sliding into first.
On top of that, Bumgarner isn't even that good of a pitcher. He couldn't even beat the Lakewood BlueClaws, a Single A baseball team.
The BlueClaws beat Bumgarner and Augusta 3-2, giving Bumgarner one of just three losses in a 15-3, 1.46 ERA season! pic.twitter.com/amx2gaIFba— Lakewood BlueClaws (@BlueClaws) October 30, 2014
Yeah, that's right, Madison. Your terrible secret is out.
Oh, I'm sure all your excuses are ready: "I was only 18!" "I was also a Single A player at the time!" "I went 15-3 with a 1.46 ERA that season! I had 164 SO and only 21 BB! (What? That is absurd)"
So let's fast forward, then, a few years. Why, just weeks ago, the Giants were playing the Nationals in the NLDS. The Giants were a win away from pissing everybody off, the position in which they spend every other October. 22 innings of scoreless baseball you'd thrown, until the seventh inning of Game 3, when you suddenly forgot how to play defense:
Throwing to third on a sac bunt that you fielded between the mound and the first base line? What are you, drunk? Probably, I guess.
"We probably should have taken the out of first. I made a mistake telling him to throw to third," catcher Buster Posey said. "It happens."
That's very sweet of Posey, leaping on your unpinned grenade like a true team leader. You earned that life debt, Bumgarner. YOU WILL GIVE THAT FIRSTBORN TO POSEY, WHETHER HE WANTS IT OR NOT.
Speaking of Posey, Bumgarner famously hit a grand slam in the same game as his catcher this past July, the second of Bumgarner's career. Let me ask you something: what kind of pitcher can hit multiple grand slams, one of them landing 15 rows deep? That's right, the kind of pitcher eating a Thanksgiving turkey full of PEDs in the locker room.
And what about in late April, when the flawless Bumgarner was raising everyone's eyebrows, including his manager's?
The left-hander failed to pitch into the sixth inning just three times in 2013 but already has matched that total through his first six starts.
"I think it's fair to say he made a few more mistakes than we're accustomed to," Bochy said.
Mistakes?! Mistakes?! Madison Bumgarner doesn't make mistakes. Madison Bumgarner throws the baseball and other people fail to hit. Anything less is a tarnish to his princely legacy.
WHERE IS YOUR MESSIAH NOW, SAN FRANCISCO?!
Now I'm sure we've got a winter coming in which writers focus on all the positives of Bumgarner's career and how amazing he was in the World Series and how little any of the negatives really mean in the end. But know this, Bumgarner: We're on to you.