Monday, November 1, 2010
World Series Game 4: Bumgarner shutout - 3 down, 1 to go
Lose this 4th game, and the Giants would have surrendered a 2-0 lead and all the momentum they had built up to this point. It would have been a whole new best of 3 series. Game 3's loss was not devastating as they only lost in a 4-2 match that merely represented the resistance that you'd expect in a World Series. But losing Game 4 would have meant having to beat an angry Cliff Lee in order to avoid playing 2 elimination games.
But win this game and the Giants put a 3-1 stranglehold on the Rangers, forcing them to win 3 games in a row, including two in SF, to win it all. This was the key game. And the key player in this game would be Madison Bumgarner. This 21 year old threw 8 shutout innings giving up only 3 hits and 2 walks. How did he do this? According to ESPN research, Bumgarner threw 21 first pitch strikes to the total 27 batters he faced. He was ahead 0-1 to 20 of those hitters. Awesome. Its a whole lot easier to get outs when you're not pitching from behind the count.
Though SF didn't win this time with an overwhelming offense, they manufactured runs through both long balls (HRs from Huff and Posey) and consistent bats (Torres and Renteria had 3 hits each).
Amazingly, the Rangers were only shut out FIVE TIMES in the 162 game regular season. The Giants have shut them out TWICE in 3 games. Amazing.
One win away, holding my breath.