SAN FRANCISCO -- For most of the Giants, the National League playoffs were a magical thrill ride.
For Madison Bumgarner, not so much.
"It sucked a lot to not go out there and pitch the way I wanted to," the left-hander said Wednesday.
Now, with his arm rested and mechanics purportedly tuned up, Bumgarner has a chance for an October do-over. He will start Game 2 of the World Series on Thursday as the Giants hold a 1-0 edge opposite Doug Fister of the Detroit Tigers.
It will mark Bumgarner's first appearance since Game 1 of the NLCS against the St. Louis Cardinals -- a messy 3 2/3 innings that earned him a demotion to the bullpen (where he didn't pitch) for the remainder of the series.
That came on the heels of a ragged NLDS. In all, Bumgarner is 0-2 with 11.25 ERA this postseason. Batters are hitting .385 against him.
So far, so bad.
"That wasn't fun at all," Bumgarner, 23, said of the first two rounds. "But watching everybody fight back and then pick me up -- and everybody picking everybody up -- that's what's special about our team."
On Wednesday, Bumgarner said that he has solved a small mechanical flaw. He had been rotating too far back in his delivery, leaving his mechanics out of whack and his body unusually fatigued after starts.
"I think we got it fixed," Bumgarner said. "There's no way to tell 100 percent until you get out there and get going (at) game speed. But hopefully that's all it was."
His struggles have raised speculation about fatigue. The kid looks tired -- and so does his fastball.
Bumgarner's heater averaged 90.8 mph during the season, according to fangraphs.com. During the postseason, Bumgarner's mark is more 88-89 mph.
Asked about the recent radar gun readings, Bumgarner said: "Regardless of whether the velocity (Thursday) is up or down or whatever, I still have to find a way to make pitches and compete."
The Giants hope that rests means rejuvenation. Bumgarner last started Oct. 14, when he threw only 73 pitches. He gave up six runs, including no-doubt homers to David Freese and Carlos Beltran.
Figuring that the long layoff helped the pitcher mentally and physically, manager Bruce Bochy is giving him another shot.
"The good ones bounce back. They're resilient," Bochy said. "We certainly feel that way about Madison. I don't care how good you are, eventually you're going to deal with adversity.
"But he's a tough kid. We forget he's already done a lot in his career."
In his only other postseason trip in 2010, Bumgarner had one of the most remarkable runs ever by a 21-year-old, going 2-0 with a 2.18 ERA in four games (three starts).
Now the Giants need him to turn back the clock -- even if it's just two years.
"Pitching in the World Series is what you work for all year. It's what you work for your whole life," Bumgarner said. "I'm just happy to be back."