The San Francisco Giants lost Game 1 of the NLCS Sunday at the hands of perennial postseason heroes Carlos Beltran and David Freese. The Cardinals' pair each hit two-run home runs off of struggling Giants starter Madison Bumgarner, forcing the right-hander out with a 6-0 deficit after just 3⅔ innings. The Giants' offense clawed its way back to make the final score the much closer 6-4, but in the end Bumgarner dug the team too big of an early hole.
Now six games in to the 2012 postseason, the Giants have yet to have a starting pitcher make it through the sixth inning. For blogger Grant Brisbee of McCovey Chronicles, Game 1 was an indication that it may be time to shut down the very tired-looking Bumgarner:
Making over-the-top, black-and-white proclamations about a player's short-term value is a good way to look stupid in retrospect... Baseball is too bizarre and unpredictable. Opinions aren't a bad thing, but they need to be tempered with some semblance of reality.
But I can't help this one, even if I know it sounds horribly reactionary and misguided. Here goes.
I'd be okay with shutting Madison Bumgarner down for the rest of the year.
In the seasons before the 2010 World Series, I was oddly obsessed with the "What would you give up?" series of questions as it related to the Giants winning a championship...
Here's something I'm not willing to give up for a 2012 World Series: Bumgarner's health. And this Bumgarner we've watched for the last two months is a tired, tired man.
The Giants will send right-hander Ryan Vogelsong to the mound for Game 2 Monday night against Chris Carpenter to try to get the team back on track.
Game 2 is set to begin at 8 p.m. ET. The game will be broadcast on FOX.