Now, before you yell at us, “BUMGARNER, YOU DIPSHIT!!” Just take a moment to ponder this:
It may sound crazy, and I’m not actually a proponent of this strategy, but I can see the logic in it…a little bit.
If the point of making the playoffs is to win the World Series, then you need to give your team the best chance to win each series. And, this is where it gets fuzzy. Some argue that Bochy should save Bumgarner for two starts in an NLDS by NOT starting him in the wild card one-game playoff. Insanity?
Well, if you throw Bum for the wild card game, and you win, you will only have Bum for one game on the NLDS. Does the thought of having Peavy throw 2 games in the NLDS sound ok? Maybe. By the same token, if you throw Peavy in the wild card game, and you win, Bum would start games 1 and 5.
Although this sounds like a plausible strategy, and Peavy has been incredibly hot down the stretch, being one of the best trades at the deadline, he has given up 24 earned runs in 23 career playoff innings, including a disastrous 2013 postseason with the Red Sox, despite the fact they won it all.
To further complicate this question, the Giants may be faced with the prospect of playing in Pittsburgh, where the Pirates are a striking 51-30, and under .500 on the road. However, to combat that, Bumgarner is 11-4 with a 2.22 ERA on the road this year (7-6, 4.03 ERA at home). So perhaps if he starts, those forces cancel each other out?
So, Giants fans, do you push in all your chips in the wild card game, or do you gamble by saving him for a potential 2-start NLDS? List your comments below!
Let’s hope the Giants can stave off Kershaw and the Doyers from clinching tonight, but to be honest, it looks bleak. However, it doesn’t mean the Giants can’t back into the playoffs and make it all the way. The beginning of the playoff journey is just getting there, and as we all know, the Giants had their back against the wall for 6 elimination games in 2012 and won every single one of them en route to their second trophy in three years.
Anything is possible, keep the faith.