SAN FRANCISCO -- The Madison Bumgarner who pitched Game 2 of the Division Series last weekend for the Giants is two years older than the one who marched confidently through the 2010 postseason, and two years wiser after a pair of strong full seasons in the Majors.The results of last Sunday's outing, however, belied that progress. The Division Series start against the Reds last Sunday didn't show the best the big lefty has to offer, as he allowed four runs in just 4 1/3 innings to absorb his first career postseason loss.
To be fair, a 2010 postseason in which he won three games and allowed five earned runs in 20 2/3 innings was a tough act to follow. Regardless of the distant or recent past, the Giants say they have every reason to believe the 23-year-old is on track to set a positive tone in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series against the Cardinals and right-hander Lance Lynn, kicking off at 5 p.m. PT Sunday on FOX.Buster Posey, the Giants catcher who knows a thing or two about coming up big, feels good about having Bumgarner in position to put the Giants on the right track.
Tale of the Tape: Game 1
|2012 regular season|
|Overall: 29 GS, 18-7, 3.78 ERA, 64 BB, 180 K||Overall: 32 GS, 16-11, 3.37 ERA, 49 BB, 191 K|
|Key stat: After making three relief appearances this postseason, Lynn will make his first career playoff start in Game 1.||Key stat: Bumgarner was 10-3 with a 2.38 ERA at home in the regular season.|
|At AT&T Park|
| 2012: 15 GS, 10-3, 2.38 ERA
Career: 41 GS, 19-12, 3.08 ERA
|Against this opponent|
|2012: 1 GS, 0-1, 6.00 ERA
Career: 2 GS, 0-2, 7.15 ERA
|2012: 2 GS, 0-2, 4.73 ERA
Career: 4 GS, 2-2, 3.62 ERA
|Loves to face: Marco Scutaro, 1-for-6
Hates to face: Angel Pagan, 2-for-4, 1 BB
|Loves to face: Allen Craig, 3-for-13, 2 K
Hates to face: Jon Jay, 4-for-6, 2 2B
|Why he'll win: In the 2011 NLCS, Lynn went 1-0 and allowed zero runs over 5 1/3 innings.||Why he'll win: Bumgarner is 2-1 with a 3.24 ERA over four postseason starts.|
|Pitcher beware: Lynn has a 7.36 over 3 2/3 innings in this postseason.||Pitcher beware: Bumgarner lasted only 4 1/3 innings in his Game 2 start of the NLDS, allowing four runs on seven hits in a 9-0 loss to the Reds.|
|Bottom line: Lynn has a chance for redemption after allowing a walkoff home run to Jayson Werth in Game 4 of the NLDS.||Bottom line: Bumgarner can add to this impressive postseason resume with his first career NLCS win.|
John Schlegel is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.