Even if Madison Bumgarner hadn’t stepped foot on the Kauffman Stadium field Wednesday night in Game 7 of the World Series, his series would have gone down as one of the greatest in history.
Bumgarner shut the Royals down en route to a 7-1 win in Game 1 in Kansas City, then turned in a masterpiece for the ages in a Game 5 shutout that gave San Francisco a 3-2 series lead heading back to Kansas City.
Those performances were nothing compared to the show he put on Wednesday night: Five innings of scoreless relief out of the bullpen to deliver deliver the Giants their third title in five years.
Let’s take a look at some highlights of Bumgarner’s series.
Game 1: 7 Innings of 3-Hit Ball
Bumgarner got the series off to exactly the start manager Bruce Bochy and Co. had hoped, giving up only one run on three hits in 7 innings as San Francisco cruised to a 7-1 win.
Game 5: First World Series Shutout in 11 Years
In Game 5, Bumgarner became the first pitcher since the Marlins’ Josh Beckett against the Yankees in 2003 to throw a shutout in the World Series. As impressive as his stat line was in Game 1, it was even better in Game 5: 9 innings, no runs on 4 hits, no walks and 8 strikeouts.
Game 7: 5 Innings of Shutout Relief
Bumgarner told Fox’s Ken Rosenthal on the field after his Game 5 masterpiece that he’d be available if needed in Game 7. And in one of the most amazing performances in postseason history, he delivered, entering the game in the fifth inning with San Francisco up 3-2 and pitching scoreless innings in the 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th on two days’ rest, stranding the tying run on third base to close out the Royals.
Bumgarner was initially awarded the win in Game 7. The official scorer later gave the win to Jeremy Affeldt and the save to Bumgarner, giving him these off-the-charts numbers for the series: 2-0 with one save, 31 strikeouts, and a 0.25 ERA.