Madison Bumgarner is pitching like no other has ever done before in World Series play. Let that sink in for a moment – I’m talking about names such as Bob Gibson, Sandy Koufax, Whitey Ford – Bumgarner leads them all. The 25-year-old threw another gem last night as he dominated the Royals for a complete game four-hit shutout and 5-0 win, putting the Giants one victory away from being only the 2nd National League team to win three World Series in five years – a feat the St Louis Cardinals achieved in ‘42, ‘44 and ‘46.
Bumgarner threw 84 strikes in his 117 total pitches on his way to the first World Series shutout since 2003, when the Marlin’s Josh Beckett threw a Game 6 goose egg at the Yankees. The Royals only managed to get one base runner to 2nd base against the lefty, and Bumgarner also became the first pitcher in World Series history to pitch a shutout while striking out eight and giving up no walks.
“That guy’s phenomenal,” Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas said. “When you think he’s going to throw something, he throws the opposite – we’re not happy with what we did tonight, but hey, you got to tip your cap.”
Bumgarner has made four World Series starts in his career, won all of them, and now has a 0.29 ERA, giving up 12 hits and one run in 31 innings against three teams.
“I’m just happy we won,” Bumgarner said. “That was a big game for us, being tied 2-2. Going back to Kansas City with two games, it’s a whole lot better that we have to win one now instead of having to win two.”
Bumgarner raised his innings total for this postseason to 47 2/3, the most all-time by a left-hander and second only to Curt Schilling’s 48 1/3 for Arizona in 2001. Bumgarner also established a franchise record by making his seventh postseason start in a row in which he lasted at least seven innings and allowed three runs or fewer.
A look at the lowest ERA in World Series history – minimum 25 innings pitched:
Madison Bumgarner 0.29
Jack Billingham 0.36
Harry Brechen 0.83
Babe Ruth 0.87
Now the Giants travel back to KC for Game 6 on Tuesday and if necessary Game 7 Wednesday, where they’ll most likely throw Jake Peavy and Tim Hudson against the Royals. After last night’s gem, Kansas City must be feeling thrilled to be facing anyone one else but Bumgarner.