Programming note: For the most comprehensive World Series coverage, watch "SportsNet Central: October Quest" today at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area and immediately after Game 3 on Comcast SportsNet Plus
SAN FRANCISCO -- Madison Bumgarner has logged 256 innings this season. He has never started on short rest in his career.
But the Giants are leaving open the ever-so-slight possibility of Bumgarner starting Game 4 in place of Ryan Vogelsong.
“Well, sure, we talked about it,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “I mean, we discuss everything, our options. That would be an option. As I said, we have really ridden this guy pretty good. Doesn't mean he won’t do it or can’t do it.”
Bumgarner told Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal that he didn’t throw a side session so he could leave open the short rest option. Pitching Bumgarner in Game 4 would allow the Giants to turn back to their ace left-hander again on three days of rest to start a potential Game 7.
It’d be an easy call to turn to Bumgarner if Game 4 is rained out and moved back a day. But despite showers in Saturday’s forecast, the Giants anticipate being able to play.
A loss in Game 3 might give the Giants greater urgency, too. But they’d still need a starter for Game 5, even if they moved up Bumgarner -- who already has thrown 38 2/3 innings in five postseason starts.
“I mean, it's a little different in today's game with the Wild Card and then you have two teams to go through,” Bochy said. “It is something that Dave Righetti and I have discussed, but right now Vogelsong's our starter.”
Even if Bumgarner starts as planned in Game 5, he still would be available out of the bullpen on two days of rest for a winner-take-all Game 7. Bumgarner already has appeared in relief on two days of rest once, in 2010, when he tossed two shutout innings out of the bullpen at Philadelphia in Game 6 of the NLCS.