For Pete's Sake

No hard feelings: Royals fans (mostly) admire Madison Bumgarner, who will pitch again at The K

Royals' Whit Merrifield faced Madison Bumgarner as an 11 year old

Madison Bumgarner answered questions about the 2014 World Series and facing the Royals' Whit Merrifield in youth and high school baseball on Tuesday, April 18, 2017.
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Madison Bumgarner answered questions about the 2014 World Series and facing the Royals' Whit Merrifield in youth and high school baseball on Tuesday, April 18, 2017.

He’s baaaaaaack.

Madison Bumgarner and the San Francisco Giants will open a two-game series against the Royals at Kauffman Stadium starting Tuesday. It’ll be the first time the Giants will play at Kauffman Stadium since the 2014 World Series.

You can make the case that Bumgarner stood between the Royals and consecutive World Series titles. In 2014, he allowed just one run over 21 innings, while collecting 17 strikeouts. The Royals had nine hits in Bumgarner’s three outings, and his five-inning save in Game 7 was particularly difficult for fans to watch.

Part of that reason was Joe Buck’s praise for Bumgarner, who was the World Series MVP.

Bumgarner is scheduled to start on Wednesday night when the teams complete a two-game series. I asked Royals fans for their thoughts and here are some of the things that people emailed to me:

“He’s an amazing pitcher. Can’t wait to see him pitch at the K in person. Happy interleague play occasionally allows us such opportunities.”

| Leigh Myers

“Ohhhhh boy, the nightmares and flashbacks are starting back up.”

| Ryan Edwards

“It’s not October, so it shouldn’t be that big a deal. It’s a marquee matchup just because of his success. I don’t know of any fan that actually holds anything aside from frustration/jealousy against Bumgarner. He isn’t a villain in our story per se (such as his teammate Jeff Samardzija or Brett Lawrie). He did nothing flashy or showy other than dominate us when no other starting pitcher on his team could. We also beat him at the K earlier in 2014. Maybe I’m too fickle, like some of the players, when I use the cliche that I hope we beat him because after tonight, he’ll be pitching the most important game of the year for the Royals, the next one.”

| Stephen Coleman

“I think (Omar) Infante got a hit off him right off the bat and the confidence was flowing. Well that was gone and the only thing I remember hoping was that (Bruce) Bochy would pull him for the closer in the 9th. He didn’t and I was witness to maybe the gutsiest sports moment I had ever seen maybe second to Jordan putting up 30+ in the finals with the flu. Though we lost that night being at game 7 of the series in KC will always have a special place in my memory and I along with 40,000+ witnessed greatness.”

| Michael Bech

“I can only reflect off of game seven of the World Series. It appeared that the machine came in and just rendered the Royals Null and void. I can’t wait to get a second crack at him even if it’s not in the World Series.”

| Pete Zolkiewski

“I was at both Game 6 and 7 in 2014 against the Giants and I’ll be at the game Wednesday night as well. I am excited to see him pitch in person again as he’s one of the greatest pitchers of this generation and is responsible for one of the most legendary pitching performances the postseason has ever seen. I won’t be rooting for him to shut down the Royals again but when you get a chance to see a superstar in person, you welcome it.”

| Jordan McLaughlin

On Twitter, the responses were a nice mix of anger, sarcasm, indifference and homerism. Here is a sample:

Pete Grathoff: 816-234-4330, @pgrathoff