High praise from Roger Angell: Bumgarner’s performance best he ever saw in Series

Madison Bumgarner’s performance wowed Roger Angell. And that’s saying something since the 94-year-old Hall of Famer has seen it all.

Angell captures Bumgarner’s historical postseason as only he can in the New Yorker:

I don’t know what it felt like watching (Christy) Mathewson pitch, but watching Bumgarner is like feeling an expertly administered epidural nip in between a couple of vertebrae and deliver bliss: it’s a gliding, almost eventless slide through the innings, with accumulating fly-ball outs and low-count K’s marking the passing scenery. It’s twilight sleep; an Ambien catnap; an evening voyage on a Watteau barge. Bumgarner is composed out there, his expression mournful, almost apologetic, even while delivering his wide-wing, slinging stuff. Sorry, guys: this is how it goes. Over soon.


And the great Angell had a rather atypical ending to his piece:

I don’t know how to bring this up, but attention must be paid, as Mrs. Willy Loman used to say. In the last line of my pre-World Series post here, I startled myself with a prediction: the Giants, because of their bullpen, would win this in seven. Yes, exactly so—and who now wants to step up with a wayd-a-minnit objection, claiming that Madison Bumgarner, though he actually emerged from there—we saw him—did not exactly represent the Giants’ bullpen last night? Eat my shorts.

Yes, Angell actually wrote “eat my shorts.”

Also on the recommended reading list, Michael Powell’s story in the New York Times on watching the games with Bumgarner’s father in the back country of North Carolina.


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