Madison Bumgarner to start NL Championship Series opener for Giants

Left-hander Madison Bumgarner, a former Augusta GreenJacket, will pitch Game 1 of the NL Championship Series for the San Francisco Giants at home tonight against the St. Louis Cardinals.


The Giants waited out the ending of the wild-card Cardinals’ thrilling comeback at Washington on their team plane in Cincinnati before heading home to the Bay Area.

Bumgarner, a 16-game winner this year, lost Game 2 of the NL Division Series at home to Cincinnati.

Manager Bruce Bochy chose right-hander Ryan Vogelsong as his Game 2 starter for Monday.

CONTROVERSIAL UMP: Sam Holbrook, the umpire who made the controversial infield fly call that enraged the Atlanta Braves and their fans in the NL wild card game, is part of the crew for the AL championship series.

Major League Baseball spokesman Michael Teevan said that before the postseason began, the 12 umpires picked for the wild card games were assigned to work in the opposite league’s LCS.

REDS: The biggest question mark on the team in the off-season involves manager Dusty Baker, who was hospitalized in September for an irregular heartbeat and a mini-stroke. He rejoined the team for the final regular-season series in St. Louis, feeling good and upbeat.

His two-year contract ends after this season. Owner Bob Castellini is fond of Baker and talked last February about giving him an extension.

Baker believes he’s healthy enough to keep managing.

The question is whether the front office is ready to make a commitment to Baker after the Reds lost in the opening round of the playoffs again.