This time last year, Madison Bumgarner(notes) was on the verge of a memorable ride through the postseason with the San Francisco Giants that would end with the franchise’s first championship in 56 years.
There will be no October baseball for the second-year left-hander or the Giants this season.
Bumgarner makes his final start of 2011 on Tuesday night at AT&T Park where the Giants go for their seventh consecutive victory over the Colorado Rockies.
Called up from Triple-A Fresno in June last season, Bumgarner was a key contributor to the team’s first NL West title in seven seasons and first championship since the New York Giants won it all in 1954.
The left-hander went 2-2 with a 1.18 ERA in his final six regular-season starts before going 2-0 with a 2.18 ERA in four postseason appearances, including a victory at Texas in Game 4 of the World Series.
However, it will be a far different finish this season for Bumgarner (12-13, 3.32 ERA) after the Giants (85-75) were eliminated from the NL wild-card race with Saturday’s 15-2 loss at Arizona.
The left-hander, 2 1-3 innings shy of reaching 200, is trying to bounce back from an 8-2 road loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday when he was tagged for four runs and nine hits in four innings.
Bumgarner had a 1.04 ERA while winning his previous five starts.
“The ball was just up a lot,” he told the Giants’ official website. “I had a hard time getting it down. It seemed like all the strikes were up in the zone and they did a good job of taking the slider away. They fouled it off a lot, fouled off some good pitches, and when they got one to hit they hit it.”
The Rockies (72-88) have not enjoyed that type of success off Bumgarner, who is 1-1 with an 0.90 ERA in three starts against Colorado in 2011.
He’ll face a Rockies team that was held to seven hits in Monday’s 3-1 series-opening loss after recording a franchise-high 25 in Sunday’s 19-3 victory at Houston.
Colorado, losers of 11 of 15 in this West matchup this season, will give the ball to Alex White(notes) (1-0, 3.60) as it tries to prevent the Giants from winning six straight by the Bay for the first time since a season-best 9-0 run May 6-22.
White dropped his second straight start Thursday, giving up five runs in 4 2-3 innings of a 9-6 road loss to the Astros. He also hit two batters and threw a pair of wild pitches.
“Physically, I know I can play this game, and mentally, right now, I know I’m being tested by this game,” White told the Rockies’ official website. “I just know I’ve got to get better.”
White walked three and yielded a season high-tying six runs in a 9-1 home loss to San Francisco on Sept. 16.
Bumgarner went seven innings in that contest, allowing one unearned run and six hits.
The Giants, who had lost four straight heading into this series, are 6-1 at home against the Rockies in 2011.