The San Francisco Chronicle has confirmed that left handed phenom Madison Bumgarner will start in place of the injured Tim Lincecum.
Bochy said he told Bumgarner he was starting about 25 minutes ago. "You look at our situation and he's our best option," Bochy said. "He had a good year. The kid came up on a fast track. He's our best choice to go out there. He was our best starter in the minor-leagues."
Bumgarner was selected #10 overall in the 2007 draft and has been thoroughly dominant in his two seasons in the minors. Since being called up to AAA Connecticut early this summer, Bumgarner has logged 107 impressive innings, compiling a 1.93 ERA and 1.02 WHIP, with batters hitting just .209 against him. If there's anything about which to nitpick, it's his 69:30 strikeout-to-walk ratio since jumping up a level, which isn't stellar, but then you remember what the scouts have been saying this summer...
Bumgarner has true ace potential. Using a slingy, three-quarters delivery, his fastball sits effortlessly at 92-94 mph and consistently touches 95-96, a velocity that most feel will become more commonplace as his body matures. Beyond just cooking with gas, Bumgarner's command of the pitch ranks at the top of the charts, as he works both sides of the plate and paints the corners with pinpoint precision. Under the tutelage of Augusta pitching coach Ross Grimsley, he transformed his once-slurvy breaking ball into a true power slider with excellent depth and tilt that gives him a second out pitch. He understands his craft well and displays a mound presence that is well beyond his years.
...and, yeah. We'll be watching tonight.