Monday, October 27, 2014

"A game for the ages"

That's how Ann Killion of the SF Chronicle put Madison Bumgarner's Game 5 shutout.

11 down, one to go

Here we go --

 Madison Bumgarner soaked it all in. He took his time between pitches. He listened to the “MVP, MVP” chants. He looked at the crowd on its feet, roaring into the night on every pitch. He saw the fans bowing down to him the way they used to for Barry Bonds.
“That was fun,” he said. “That was pretty special.”
As special as it can ever be in baseball. Bumgarner pitched a game for the ages, one of the October beauties in the 111-year history of the Fall Classic.
And he put the Giants one win from a World Series title. It would be their third title in five years. The only pitcher in the starting rotation for all three Octobers is Bumgarner.
“His legend just grows,” said Will Clark, the old baseball sage in the corner of the Giants’ clubhouse. “Just absolutely dominant. In the fifth game of the World Series.”
Juan Marichal, the pitcher whose statue stands outside of the ballpark and the one previously known as the Giants’ greatest, added: “When that man is on the mound, I know we’re going to win.”
The numbers that Bumgarner, 25, has compiled in his career are staggering. Sunday’s shutout on 117 pitches was the 13th postseason start of his career. His shutout was the first in the World Series since Josh Beckett in 2003 in Yankee Stadium.
He has pitched 472/3 postseason innings in six starts this October, the most ever by a left-hander in the postseason and the second most ever. He has allowed just one run in four career World Series appearances. His 0.29 ERA is the lowest of pitchers who have thrown at least 25 innings in the World Series. He became the first pitcher to ever throw a shutout with no walks and at least eight strikeouts in World Series history.
All Bumgarner needed was one run from his offense, which he got in the second inning. But the Giants did him a solid and gave him four more in the 5-0 victory.
There was some second-guessing about Bruce Bochy leaving in Bumgarner for the ninth. Bochy could tell that (A) he was watching history and (B) it’s a bad idea to pull a pitcher who is rolling, like Washington’s Matt Williams did back in the Division Series.
“He didn’t have any stressful innings,” Bochy said. “He had great stuff in the eighth. … Sure, I thought about maybe taking him out.


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