Six crazy stats about Madison Bumgarner's postseason dominance

Pitching in the postseason seems to suit San Francisco Giants ace Madison Bumgarner. The 27-year-old lefty proved that much once again Wednesday night, tossing a complete-game shutout against the New York Mets in the NL wild-card game to send the Giants to the NLDS.

At this point, Bumgarner’s dominance in the postseason is pretty much a given. When the calendar turns to October, there’s no current pitcher you would rather have on the mound. And given Bumgarner’s age, he might have plenty of opportunities to add to his impressive stats and go down as the greatest postseason pitcher of all-time.

A quick glance at Bumgarner’s Baseball-Reference page reveals some pretty insane numbers. In 15 total postseason games, Bumgarner has compiled an incredible 1.94 ERA over 97 1/3 innings. He’s already won three World Series rings and has a microscopic 0.25 ERA in five World Series games.

But merely spouting off his career stat line in October doesn’t fully do Bumgarner justice. When talking about Bumgarner’s incredible postseason dominance, you have to mention the numerous times he’s come up big during elimination games, or the fact that he came out of the bullpen during the 2014 World Series run.

What about his ability to consistently go deep against the best competition in the game? When Bumgarner starts in the postseason, relievers can take the night off. He’ll throw 200 pitches to secure a Giants win.

Madison Bumgarner once again dominated in a postseason start. (Getty Images/Michael Reaves)
Madison Bumgarner once again dominated in a postseason start. (Getty Images/Michael Reaves)

With that in mind, we thought it would be a good idea to look at six of the craziest stats that sum up Bumgarner’s dominance in the postseason.

Before we take a look at how Bumgarner stacks up against the all-time greats, let’s examine how much better Bumgarner has been compared to his peers. Is there any doubt Bumgarner is the best postseason pitcher of his generation? It’s tough to make the case for anyone else. And as the above stat highlights, Bumgarner’s biggest strength in October isn’t just the fact that he pitches well, it’s that he consistently goes deep into games against elite offenses.

Now, what happens if we take that exact same stat and apply it to pitchers from every era.

That’s right. Bumgarner is the best of the bunch. He’s already among the all-time greats when it comes to postseason performance.

Going seven-plus innings is impressive, but throwing multiple complete-game shutouts is something else entirely.

Yep. Three of Bumgarner’s 13 postseason starts have resulted in a complete-game shutout. That already puts him one behind Christy Mathewson for the most all-time. Mathewson may have compiled his four shutouts in just 11 postseason starts, but he also played in an are where pitchers routinely threw 300 innings per season. Even that was considered low among starters.

Considering reliever usage in the current era, you could make the case Bumgarner’s rate is actually more impressive. It’s much more rare for pitchers to pick up complete-game shutouts today.

As if dominating on the biggest stage wasn’t enough, Bumgarner seems to save his best for when the Giants’ season is on the line.

When the Giants’ backs are against the wall, Bumgarner single-handedly carries the team to the next game. He’s at his absolute best when the team needs him the most.

Oh, and in case you needed to see his numbers in those games. Well:

Bumgarner’s reward for Wednesday’s win is a trip to Chicago to take on the consensus best team in baseball in the NLDS. The Cubs offense is considered among the best in the game this season, and many measures rate the team as elite in all facets of the game. Knowing that, it’s likely the Giants will enter the series as the underdog.

But before you start to question whether even-year magic exists, consider Bumgarner’s penchant for excellence in the postseason and then marvel at this stat:

Sure, the Cubs might be the best team in baseball, but in order to advance they are going to have to get past one of the greatest postseason pitchers of all-time who is currently on one hell of a run.

Though Bumgarner won’t pitch until Game 3 of that series, we wouldn’t be surprised if he was somehow also available for a possible Game 5. If it comes to that, you can’t really bet against him, can you?

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik