KANSAS CITY -- A small group of reporters waited near Madison Bumgarner's locker Tuesday night as he finished dressing following the Giants' Game 6 loss. He buckled his belt, his back to the room, and as he turned, his hair still damp from the shower, he noticed the waiting gaggle.
"You want to talk with me?" he asked. "I didn't play."
Yes, but he probably will Wednesday night, presumably, in the decisive innings of the World Series, in the 2,462nd and final game of the long season. Giants manager Bruce Bochy could not detail after the Game 6 blowout exactly when or how he might use Bumgarner, or for how long, because he doesn't know how well Tim Hudson will fare in his Game 7 start.
But as Hudson throws his first pitch, Bumgarner will almost certainly be in the San Francisco bullpen, and if the phone there rings in the first or second or third inning, the name uttered by pitching coach Dave Righetti will probably be "Bum." The call will be for Bumgarner, 25, who has been transcendent in this postseason. That's why reporters staked out his locker late Tuesday night, looking to flush out the details of how Bumgarner feels, how he will prepare, how he might fare in the biggest game of the season.
Except Bumgarner really isn't a details person. He is more about the task and getting it done.