This post will feature a two-pronged attack: 1) Madison Bumgarner is good at pitching baseballs and 2) Brandon Belt is starting to hit a little bit and that’s awesome
Every time I watch Bumgarner pitch, I think to myself “This guy is good. This guy is really, really good.” And then I’ll watch a few more innings, watch Bumgarner bury his slider in on hitters, watch him nip corners with a 92 mile per hour heater, watch him blow a couple of snot rockets, and then I’ll think “Holy crap this guy is great.” Listen, I know you know how good Bumgarner is. I know you know that his combination of age and success is extraordinarily rare. And I know you know that we’re so lucky to have him.
And yet, when I watch him pitch, I feel like Leonard Shelby. Each time is the first time. And I think that’s the mark of an excellent pitcher. Maybe I should just go ahead and crudely tattoo ‘Bumgarner is awesome! #1!!!’ on my inner thigh and get on with things. Throwing a complete game against the fourth best offense in the NL – a day after that same offense dropped 14 runs on you – well, that’s just something Madison Bumgarner does.
Madison Bugmarner: Excellent Pitcher.
Even though Henry Schulman would probably like me to throw out the stats from Belt’s latest hot streak – that’s just how you do analysis, folks – it’s worth mentioning that so far in August Belt has been on fire, batting a triple-slash (AVG/OBP/SLG) of .472/.525/.667. Maybe the best thing about Belt’s August is that he’s struck out just two times in 40 plate appearances. There are a couple of warning signs with Belt’s season – his BABIP looks abnormally high – but, I think, in young players you look for the signs that they’ve made some sort of adjustment. And Belt, by my all my straw hattery, looks like he’s driving the ball more lately. He missed two home runs last night by a sum total of four feet, maybe.
Also, welcome to AT&T Park.