Is San Francisco Giants ace Madison Bumgarner a legitimate Cy Young candidate?

Madison Bumgarner now looks down on Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum in San Francisco’s rotation.

Whiffing 11 batters over seven brilliant innings, Giants ace Madison Bumgarner led San Francisco to a 4-1 win against the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday night in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Yielding only two earned runs or fewer in nine consecutive starts, the 24-year-old Bumgarner (11-6, 2.69 ERA) is a primary reason San Francisco hasn’t become one of baseball’s laughingstocks.

With Barry Zito, Ryan Vogelsong, Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum taking turns sodomizing the canine, the underachieving Giants (49-59) sit 10 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West.

Although the 6-foot-5, 225 pound native North Carolinian throws a fastball that barely reaches 93 mph, Bumgarner compensates for his relative lack of velocity with great command and a release point that’s difficult for hitters to locate.

A stellar postseason performer, “Mad Bum” should begin concentrating on personal achievements.

Selected 10th overall in 2007, Bumgarner is now 47-36 with a 3.09 ERA since debuting with San Francisco on September 8, 2009.

Despite being an unlikely candidate, the deceptive lefty will compete with Jeff Locke, Clayton Kershaw, Matt Harvey, Adam Wainwright and Patrick Corbin for the Cy Young Award this autumn.

A true artist on the hill, the extremely athletic Madison Bumgarner has emerged as a Giant in “The Paris of the West.”

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