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Reviewing Madison Bumgarner’s starts against the Mets

Madison Bumgarner has fared well in his six starts against the Mets.

San Francisco Giants v New York Mets Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The Mets will face 27-year-old lefty Madison Bumgarner in the National League Wild Card game at Citi Field on Wednesday night. In his major league career, Bumgarner has faced the Mets six times, and he’s been dominant against them. But of those six starts, four happened a pretty long time ago, at least on a baseball timeline, against some pretty bad Mets lineups.

That’s not to discount Bumgarner’s track record—which is really good—but seems worth pointing out with a rundown of all of his starts against the Mets.

Start #1: April 23, 2012

Bumgarner first faced the Mets early in the 2012 season at Citi Field. Here’s the Mets’ starting lineup from that game.

  1. Ruben Tejada - SS
  2. Daniel Murphy - 2B
  3. David Wright - 3B
  4. Jason Bay - LF
  5. Scott Hairston - RF
  6. Justin Turner - 1B
  7. Kirk Nieuwenhuis - CF
  8. Mike Nickeas - C
  9. Dillon Gee

Wright hit really well in 2012, and Murphy was slight above league average. At the time, even Justin Turner himself probably didn’t think he’d ever break out and become a really good major league hitter. Overall, it was an objectively bad lineup, and Bumgarner unsurprisingly fared really well. He went seven innings and gave up one run on seven hits. He struck out four and issued two walks. All three hits were singles, hit by Nieuwenhuis, Bay, and Turner, with Turner’s scoring the only run the Mets got off Bumgarner.

Start #2: July 30, 2012

Later that season, the Mets visited San Francisco and faced Bumgarner again. Believe it or not, the lineup was worse than it was in the first game:

  1. Ruben Tejada - SS
  2. Andres Torres - CF
  3. David Wright - 3B
  4. Scott Hairston - RF
  5. Ike Davis - 1B
  6. Jason Bay - LF
  7. Ronny Cedeno - 2B
  8. Rob Johnson - C
  9. Jeremy Hefner - P

Bumgarner didn’t fare quite as well, at least in terms of run prevention, in this start. He gave up two runs in six innings, though he struck out nine and walked two along the way. He allowed those runs to score in the top of the fourth inning when Ronny Cedeno doubled in Scott Hairston, who had reached on a ground out, and Jason Bay, who had drawn a walk.

Start #3: September 19, 2013

Back at Citi Field, Bumgarner made his final start of the 2013 season against the Mets. The Mets’ lineup didn’t look so great for that game, either.

  1. Eric Young Jr. - LF
  2. Josh Satin - 1B
  3. Daniel Murphy - 2B
  4. Andrew Brown - RF
  5. Wilmer Flores - 3B
  6. Juan Lagares - CF
  7. Travis d’Arnaud - C
  8. Omar Quintanilla - SS
  9. Jon Niese - P

Bumgarner’s line? Seven innings, one run, four hits, ten strikeouts, three walks. The only blemish for Bumgarner in the game was the combination of a Josh Satin double that led off the fourth, which was immediately followed by a Daniel Murphy single to score him.

Start #4: August 3, 2014

Nearly a year after his last start at Citi Field, the Mets’ lineup was a bit better in this one. But there were still plenty of holes in it.

  1. Curtis Granderson - RF
  2. Ruben Tejada - SS
  3. David Wright - 3B
  4. Eric Campbell - 1B
  5. Chris Young - LF
  6. Juan Lagares - CF
  7. Wilmer Flores - 2B
  8. Anthony Recker - C
  9. Bartolo Colon

This was by far Bumgarner’s best start against the Mets. He threw a shutout, struck out ten, walked one, and gave up just two hits. Flores hit a double in the third inning, and Wright hit a single in the seventh.

Start #5: May 1, 2016

After missing the Mets entirely in 2015, Bumgarner made the first of two starts against them at Citi Field early in the 2016 season. The Mets’ lineup looked quite a bit better on paper.

  1. Juan Lagares - RF
  2. David Wright - 3B
  3. Michael Conforto - LF
  4. Yoenis Cespedes - CF
  5. Neil Walker - 2B
  6. Wilmer Flores - SS
  7. Kevin Plawecki - C
  8. Eric Campbell - 1B
  9. Noah Syndergaard - P

Despite allowing six hits and three walks in six innings, Bumgarner didn’t allow any runs. He struck out seven, which is good, but the Mets had their opportunities against him and failed to score. Here’s the highlight reel of Bumgarner’s start:

Start #6: August 18, 2016

The Mets finally got to Bumgarner in a game they wound up losing. Keeping with the theme, here’s the starting lineup from the game:

  1. Jose Reyes - SS
  2. T.J. Rivera - 2B
  3. Jay Bruce - RF
  4. Wilmer Flores - 1B
  5. Travis d’Arnaud - C
  6. Justin Ruggiano - CF
  7. Kelly Johnson - 3B
  8. Ty Kelly - LF
  9. Jacob deGrom - P

Bumgarner gave up four runs in this start, all of them on one swing in the fourth inning. He gave up a single to T.J. Rivera, struck out Jay Bruce, and walked Wilmer Flores and Travis d’Arnaud to load the bases. Justin Ruggiano, who played a handful of games for the Mets this year between disabled list stints, then hit a grand slam. His season ended because of injury, but here’s the home run anyway.

For the first time against Bumgarner, the Mets were able to take advantage of his mistakes, the biggest of which was the pitch he served up to Ruggiano. Unfortunately for the Mets, Jacob deGrom got rocked in the bottom of the same inning. He gave up five runs, the last two of which scored on a home run hit by Madison Bumgarner.