The Los Angeles Dodgers went into their final series of the 2019 regular season with an outside possibility of surpassing the Houston Astros for home-field advantage through the World Series and a chance to make franchise history.
But in the grand scheme of things, the three games with the San Francisco Giants carry little significance for the Dodgers. That also applies to their longtime National League West rival who has already improved on last season’s 73 wins but is still buried in the division.
Much of the ending of Farhan Zaidi’s first year as Giants president of baseball operations has centered around manager Bruce Bochy‘s retirement and Madison Bumgarner‘s free agency. A pillar in Giants franchise history, Bumgarner’s season has come to an end.
Bochy announced the Giants made a decision to scratch the left-hander from Sunday’s start, according to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle:
“He’s been out there every start. He’s pitched enough,” Bochy said. “This game is not going to determine anything. He has a lot of baseball left. I’d like to take care of him, so he’s not going to pitch. I’d just as soon he help me manage on the bench.”
Bumgarner finishes the season 9-9 with a 3.90 ERA, 3.91 FIP and 1.13 WHIP in 34 starts. He was winless in four starts against the Dodgers, going 0-3 with a 3.18 ERA. The last two of those outings were memorable in ways Bumgarner perhaps wished to avoid.
He instigated a verbal altercation with Max Muncy after allowing a home run that landed in McCovey’s Cove. Bumgarner felt Muncy admired his drive for too long, and shouted at him to run the bases. That of course spawned Muncy’s ‘go get it out of the ocean’ response.
When Bumgarner faced the Dodgers less than two weeks later, he was chased in the fourth inning after allowing a season-high six runs on 10 hits.
With his season now over, it’s plausible the 30-year-old has also reached the end of an illustrious career with the Giants. Bumgarner is due to become a free agent this winter, and San Francisco’s interest in re-signing him is unclear.
Bumgarner, who owns a no-trade list, reportedly was shopped ahead of the July 31 deadline.