Madison Bumgarner: Noah Syndergaard ‘has probably the best stuff’ in baseball
Wednesday night’s National League Wild Card Game between the San Francisco Giants and the New York Mets may very well be a pitcher’s duel, and Madison Bumgarner knows it.
Bumgarner, who will be taking the hill for the Giants opposite Mets righty Noah Syndergaard, had high praise for his 24-year-old adversary in an interview with Chris Haft of MLB.com.
“He has probably the best stuff for a starter in all of baseball,” Bumgarner said of Syndergaard. “But no matter who you’re going up against, I gotta find a way to get that lineup out. That’s really it. It comes down to that one game. All the work we put in comes down to that.”
With an arsenal that includes a fastball that regularly tops 100 mph, a sinker that averages 97 mph, and a slider that can touch a ludicrous 94 mph, the numbers certainly back up Bumgarner’s claim. Using that nasty stuff, Syndergaard pitched his way to a 14-9 record this season with a 2.60 ERA and 218 strikeouts, despite having a bone spur in his elbow for much of the year.
Where Bumgarner holds the easy advantage however is in playoff experience. Though Syndergaard was strong in his first taste of postseason action in 2015, Bumgarner is entering his fourth career postseason with three World Series titles, one World Series MVP, a six-beer celebration, and a 2.14 ERA with seven wins in 12 lifetime playoff starts already under his belt. The 27-year-old October legend will hope that his track record of postseason dominance is enough to outweigh the raw talent of his younger counterpart Thor. Let’s just hope Syndergaard doesn’t look at Bumgarner the wrong way on Wednesday.
*Stats courtesy of FanGraphs*