In a dazzling performance not seen in generations, Madison Bumgarner did the unthinkable Wednesday night in Kansas City, pitching five innings of shutout relief on two days rest to lead the San Francisco Giants to their third World Series title in five years.
In a 3-2 win over the Royals, Bumgarner completed a postseason in which he pitched more innings than any pitcher in baseball history. His status heading into the game was the subject of constant speculation, with some pundits arguing he should be available out of the bullpen and others urging manager Bruce Bochy not to abuse the 25-year-old lefty by putting him in.
As it turned out, he did a whole lot more than just pitch.
Bumgarner entered the game in the bottom of the fifth with his team clinging to a 3-2 lead. In a setting in which even one scoreless inning would have been impressive, he pitched five of them, initially being awarded the win before the official scorer opted to give the win to Jeremy Affeldt and a save to Bumgarner.
Check out the box score here and a highlight reel in the video above, and read on for a recap.
Madison Bumgarner Got Salvador Perez to Pop Out to End It
With two outs in the ninth, Alex Gordon hit a single and reached third base on an error by centerfielder Gregor Blanco, giving catcher Salvador Perez a chance to tie it with a hit or even win it with a home run.
But Perez, whose 12th-inning single gave the Royals a thrilling win over the Oakland A’s in the Wild Card game and kickstarted Kansas City’s amazing run to the World Series, hit a pop-up that third baseman Pablo Sandoval caught in foul territory to end it.
Both Teams Exchanged Runs in the 2nd Inning
Each team scored two runs in the second inning. The Giants, after a Pablo Sandoval HBP and two singles, scored on two consecutive sacrifice flies. The Royals retaliated in the bottom of the inning, however, as a long Alex Gordon double drove Billy Butler home. Gordon scored on a sac fly and the game was tied.
The Umpires Reviewed and Overturned a Call in the 3rd Inning
With Lorenzo Cain on first, Eric Hosmer hit a ground ball that, after a fantastic diving stop by Giants 2B Joe Panik, resulted in a fielder’s choice at first glance. But manager Bruce Bochy challenged the call and, after reviews seemed to show that Hosmer was actually out at first, the call was overturned and ruled a double play.
The Giants Reclaimed the Lead in the 4th
Both starting pitchers were on short leashes tonight. After a couple of hits and a fly out resulted in first and third, Jeremy Guthrie was taken out of the game after just 3 1/3 innings. He was replaced by one of the Royals bullpen aces, Kelvin Herrera, but Herrera quickly gave up an RBI single to Michael Morse that put the Giants back on top. The Giants would not relinquish this lead.