SAN FRANCISCO -- As important as this trip to Boston will be for several of his teammates, there's no real significance in Madison Bumgarner being bumped up a day to start at Fenway Park on Thursday. He has no ties to the organization and the Red Sox don't figure to be an offseason suitor. But the decision could lead to a really cool moment in a couple of weeks.
Bumgarner and Tyler Beede will swap rotation spots this week so the staff ace can stay on turn and face the Red Sox. That lines Bumgarner up to start next Tuesday at home and then end his season by starting the final game against the Dodgers on Sunday, September 29. That would be Bruce Bochy's final game as manager, and potentially Bumgarner's final game with the Giants.
The Giants right now are saying they're just committed to Bumgarner making the next two starts and will decide on their final weekend rotation as it gets closer. But it's hard to imagine a scenario where anyone but Bumgarner starts for Bochy's final game.
"I haven't put any thought in that -- we're still a ways away," Bochy said Sunday. "But I think you know what he means to me and what this guy has done for the organization. It's just special. For him to pitch the last game, if that's the case, that would be quite the honor."
The swap did come with one downside. Beede grew up in the Boston area and was hoping to pitch at Fenway Park, but he'll now make his next appearance in Atlanta on Friday.
This is more about two men who have been in San Francisco a long time, and the Giants seem set for an extremely emotional moment. Dozens of Bochy's former players are expected in town that final week, and those who stay through Sunday will likely see him meet Bumgarner on the mound one last time.