Giants sign LHP Madison Bumgarner through 2017

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A year later, he became the fifth-youngest pitcher to start a World Series game and fourth-youngest to win one at just 21 years and 91 days old when San Francisco beat Texas for the city’s first championship.

“It’s hard to believe he’s 22 years old,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “To have two-fifths of our rotation tied up (long term), that’s always a good thing. We always talk about special talent throwing a baseball, but his makeup is off the charts.”

Bumgarner is on his way to making San Francisco special.

The 6-foot-5, 235-pounder finished 11th in the NL last year with a 3.21 ERA and reached the 200-inning mark for the first time in his career. Bumgarner struck out 191 and walked 46 last season.

His 8.40 strikeouts per nine innings in 2011 also was the third-best ratio among all NL left-handed pitchers behind Los Angeles’ Clayton Kershaw (9.57) and Philadelphia’s Cliff Lee (9.21) _ both previous Cy Young Award winners.

Bumgarner is 1-1 with a 3.21 ERA in his first two starts this year. Fittingly, his next outing comes against Philadelphia on Tuesday night opposite right-hander Joe Blanton, a member of what many consider to be baseball’s best rotation, which includes Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels.

“Who knows how good we can be?” Bumgarner said. “I think we can be just as good, if not better.”


AP Sports Writer Ron Blum in New York contributed to this story.


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