It took the Royals about an hour to put away Game 6 last night, leaving us all plenty of time to start thinking about how each team plans to set itself up in Game 7. One question looms larger than all the others: How much is Madison Bumgarner going to pitch?
Bruce Bochy isn't going to do anything too crazy, as he's already named Tim Hudson his Game 7 starter, but he made it clear that Bumgarner will be available to come out of the bullpen tonight:
"There's a lot of managers out there, and I understand that, but (Bumgarner) just pitched," Bochy said. "He's going to be on two days' rest. He just threw a complete game. Our confidence is in Huddy. You know, this guy is human. I mean, you can't push him that much. He'll be available if we need him, but to start him, I think that's asking a lot. I have a good pitcher going for us, who has done a great job for us. That's the reason. So, when they tweet you, just tell them that."
It's not surprising that Bochy felt it necessary to clarify that Bumgarner is indeed human, as we've spent all postseason hearing about how he is a tireless machine who has no patience for pitch counts. He's already pitched 47.2 dominant postseason innings, which, thanks to his participation in the wild-card play-in game, puts him just an inning shy of breaking Curt Schilling's all-time record for innings pitched in a single postseason.
Bumgarner should be available for at least two innings, but things could get hairy if shit hits the fan. The Giants' usual long men, Yusmeiro Petit and Jean Machi, were uninspiring in relief of a disastrous Jake Peavy last night, and Bochy might be hesitant to turn to them again if things blow up in Tim Hudson's face early on. That's the scenario in which we just might see Bumgarner come in and pull a Pedro Martinez.
As for how Bumgarner feels about potentially entering Game 7:
Yeah, he seems ready to go.