Originally written on Seed Spitters  |  Last updated 3/23/12

It has been decided! Stephen Strasburg will start opening day for the Washington Nationals!

Be careful driving out there as I’m sure the streets are littered with streamers and empty plastic cups.

I just assume there’s been Mardi Gras style partying since the media has been treating this news as something more than a ESPN ticker update. But since Stephen Strasburg is such a young phenom everything he does will get magnified attention.

Must be nice. I wish the Giants had a young pitcher with tons of promise. Maybe one who’s coming off a season in which he pitched 204 innings with a 3.21 ERA and a 8.4 K/9 ratio

How easily we forget about the brilliance that is Madison Bumgarner.

This post isn’t a slight against Strasburg. By all accounts he’s going to be great. In his 13 starts he has posted amazing numbers that are most likely signs of a promising future. But having pitched only 93 major league innings, Strasburg is still largely an unproven product.

Alternatively, Bumgarner is coming off a full season in which he consistently dominated opponents aside from one game that is undoubtedly going to go down as his worst career start.

In 2010 Bumgarner came up in late June to help fuel the Giants’ postseason run. In 18 starts he pitched less than five innings only twice and gave up more than four runs only four times, finishing with a 3.00 ERA. In the postseason Bumgarner shined even brighter. He started three games and pitched another two innings in relief and posted a 2-0 record, 2.18 ERA and 18 strike outs.

Oh, and he did it all at the age of 21, which might be the most amazing thing about his career so far.

He pitches so smoothly and with such ease that it’s hard to remember he’s still so young. If Strasburg comes in this year, starts 33 games with a 3.30 ERA it will be a tremendous success.

Bumgarner already did it – two years younger.

He doesn’t throw in the upper nineties and he didn’t get any of the attention Strasburg got heading into the draft, but Bumgarner (22) is showing that he is every bit deserving of the attention and accolades being thrown at other young pitches such as Strasburg (23), David Price (26) and even Aroldis Chapman (24).

Sure, he’s getting some love from the fantasy baseball crowd but no one is honing in on what makes Bumgarner truly special.

The most impressive part of his success isn’t just that he’s doing it at such a young age, but also how he’s managed to do it at such a young age.

While Strasburg, Price, and Chapman all have superior stuff with which to overpower hitters, Bumgarner takes his merely great stuff and outpitches hitters.

Bumgarner is the type of pitcher that could pitch at a very high level into his mid- or even late-thirties. He’s smart, has plus control, and have I mentioned that he’s young?

I don’t wish that Strasburg and the other fellas don’t have fantastic careers (I kinda wish they don’t have fantastic careers). But I do wish that more people take notice of what a rare breed Bumgarner is.

Bumgarner (21-22) in 2011: 204.2 innings, a 3.21 ERA.

For comparison:

During the 2009 season David Price (23-24)  pitched 128.1 innings with a 4.42 ERA.

When Roy Halladay was 22 he pitched 149.1 innings with a 3.92 ERA

Roger Clemens only pitched 98.1 innings with a 3.29 ERA when he was 22-23.

Curt Schilling pitched 8.2 innings for a 6.23 ERA innings when he was 22.

When Pedro Martinez was 22 he pitched 144.2 innings with a 3.42 ERA.

So clearly Madison Bumgarner is going to have better careers than all of these pitchers.

Maybe not. But he is well ahead of the curve. One that Giants fans should be able to follow for years. And maybe by the time MadBum reaches his 30s he’ll get some run support by the finally-promoted Brandon Belt.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Kobe Bryant: ‘I Was An Idiot When I Was A Kid’

Anthony Davis wants gold medal more than NBA MVP

Report: Ronda Rousey’s last fight topped 900,000 PPV buys

Rose issues statement denying sexual assault allegations

Giants’ rookie Tomlinson blasts a grand slam for first MLB home run

Coughlin treats training camp-weary Giants to ‘spa day’

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Wilson: Comments about miracle water ‘perceived wrong’

Ryan Mallett missed Texans practice after oversleeping

Report: Barry Bonds loses collusion case

Martavis Bryant reportedly failed multiple marijuana tests

Mortensen: Krafts called me to apologize amid Deflategate drama

Packers smart to sit Aaron Rodgers for rest of preseason

Robert Griffin III is hilariously injury prone in Madden 16

How much did Felix Hernandez solve?

Winners and losers from the sports world: August edition

Is it safe to say Justin Verlander is officially back?

Melvin Upton Jr. channels Willie Mays with catch

John Elway talks up Colin Kaepernick: ‘I’ve always liked Colin’

Enrique Hernandez falls down trying to hit Aroldis Chapman pitch

How the Chicago Cubs are swinging

WATCH: McElwain surprises six players with scholarships

LeBron James gives shout out to writer recovering from surgery

Frank Gore calls Andrew Luck ‘football God’

Eddie Royal joins the list of injured Bears receivers

Terry Stotts, Damian Lillard and the shapeless Trail Blazers

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

August's winners and losers in sports

How the Chicago Cubs are swinging

Report: Barry Bonds loses collusion case

Packers smart to sit Rodgers for rest of preseason

Towns is perfect for today's NBA

The Opening Drive: Utah alum Jordan Gross is fed up with the HarBros

Five greatest NBAers without a ring

Exactly how bad is the NL East?

Five potential college football Week 1 shockers

Top 10 storylines for Week 3 of the NFL preseason

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker