You know, Madison Bumgarner has pretty good timing. Picking Game 4 of the World Series to have your best career start? Yeah, you couldn’t have really timed that much better, Madison.
The calm and cool North Carolinian was absolutely marvelous, shutting down the potent Rangers offense for 8 innings, making Hall Of Fame hitters like Vladimir Guerrero look absolutely ridiculous in the process. Even more impressive was pitching the way he did through the squeeze put on by homeplate umpire Mike Winters. A night after Bill Miller’s zone was only rivaled by the size of Canadia, Winters forced both starters to toss a beach ball through a mailbox, pinching both young workhorses especially in the early innings. The zone seemed to expand (a bit) as the game progressed, but it was clear throughout the evening that both sides weren’t thrilled with the micro strike zone. Unfortunately for the Rangers, Madison Bumgarner was on point and it didn’t appear any strike zone was going to derail the burly rookie.
How special was Bumgarner tonight? Let’s just say Madison became the first rookie pitcher in World Series history to throw eight shutout innings and the youngest pitcher to do so since Jim Palmer in 1966. History, you witnessed it.
Offensively, the Giants were sparked by a two run monster bomb by Aubrey Huff in the top half of the 3rd that staked the G-men to a 2-0 lead. The Texas native (and childhood Ranger fan) started at DH tonight (a fantastic move by Bochy) and hit one of the longer shots I can ever recall to right field in Arlington. It was an absolute no doubter.
In the top half of the 7th, Andres Torres (who might be the Giants hottest hitter in the World Series) hit his second double of the evening, plating Edger Renteria in the process. The Giants got a little more luck from the outfield wall (much like they did in Game 2) as Torres’ double bounced off of the warning track and literally hit the highest possible part of the fence that it could. Another inch or two (at most) and the ball clears the wall for a ground rule double and Renteria possibly doesn’t score that inning. Sometimes, it just goes your way…
The Giants added one more in the 8th thanks to Buster Posey who hit his first homer of the World Series. It seemed everybody in the yard was shocked, even Posey, but none more than Rangers centerfielder Josh Hamilton who appeared to camp under the ball as if it was to be a routine out…..but the ball continued to carry. And carry. And carry. And carry some more, until it lawn darted the grass filled batter’s eye.
Don’t get me wrong – everybody on this team deserves credit for where the Giants are. There isn’t a single guy on this squad that didn’t have a huge moment this year. None. From Aaron Rowand’s fantastic road trip in Florida to Freddy Sanchez’s road trip changing homer in Toronto, every player has contributed to the Giants success. But to see two rookies like Buster Posey and Madison Bumgarner be such intricate cogs to the Giants this season…you never see that. Ever. It’s been a historical year for the Giants, no doubt, but I guess the marketing team had the right idea when they coined the 2010 season as being ‘Magic’.
The Giants are 27 outs away from being World Series Champions. Repeat that. Repeat it again. Believe it. Cherish it. You certainly wont ever forget it….