SAN FRANCISCO -- Madison Bumgarner spends more time on the field before games than any other Giant, constantly running, throwing bullpen sessions, and tinkering with his mechanics and pitch grips during long flat-ground games of catch.
But his routine Monday was a bit different. Bumgarner played catch, then had bullpen catcher Taira Uematsu hit him grounders and a few fly balls as he stood in left-center. It almost looked like someone caught up in a nostalgic moment, except, well, Bumgarner doesn't really do nostalgia.
Asked after his last start if he had thought about the possibility that he was coming to the end of his run at Oracle Park, Bumgarner quickly shook his head.
"No, I'm trying to win games for the Giants and we're trying to get into the postseason," he said. "And we're making a push. We're coming."
Bumgarner will try to keep the charge going Tuesday night when he matches up with Yu Darvish and the Cubs, but there's no avoiding the potential that this is his final start at Oracle Park as a Giant. The team will go on the road Friday, and while nobody outside of Farhan Zaidi's office really knows how this will all end up, there's certainly some possibility that Bumgarner will be elsewhere when the Giants return home in August.
If this is the final one, it'll end a hell of a run at the ballpark. Bumgarner's 2.74 ERA at Oracle Park is the lowest of any Giants pitcher who has started at least 10 games there. With his final out last Thursday against the Mets, Bumgarner passed Tim Lincecum on the innings list. Only Matt Cain (1,111 2/3) has thrown more innings at Oracle Park than Bumgarner (869 2/3). Cain and Lincecum are the only pitchers who have started more games at Third and King, although Bumgarner's 134th home start tonight will put him just one behind Lincecum.
Bumgarner is 57-40 at Oracle Park, just two wins behind Lincecum and three behind Cain, the all-time leader. With 881 strikeouts, he needs 10 to catch Lincecum and 12 to catch Cain. Bumgarner already holds the ballpark record with five shutouts.
There's one more stat Bumgarner is likely proud of. Don't tell him you can't hit the ball out at home. His 11 career homers at Oracle Park are easily the most of any pitcher and actually rank 29th in the park's history. Bumgarner has as many homers at Oracle Park as notorious Giants-killer Nolan Arenado and former teammate Denard Span.