- Bumgarner drags the Giants to the World Series Championship: Numbers one through eighteen hundred on this list today are MADISON BUMGARNER. That’s really all sports fans will be talking about today. And he’s worth talking about! The San Francisco Giants beat the Kansas City Royals 3-2 in game seven of the World Series last night. The Royals scored both of their runs against the Giants starting pitcher, Tim Hudson. Their manager decided to yank him out of the game in the second inning, a move that’s often a sign of doom for the team making it. Not in this case, because that team had Madison Bumgarner. After Jeremy Affeldt got them through the fourth inning, Bumgarner took over and pitched the final five innings without allowing a single run. That would be a remarkable performance from anyone given the circumstances but what makes it truly remarkable is that Bumgarner had just pitched a complete game three days before. Bumgarner is a starting pitcher, which means he usually only pitches once every five days. Most people who try to come back sooner than that aren’t able to pitch very well or for very long. Each time Bumgarner came out to start the next inning last night, you thought to yourself, “I can’t believe he’s still doing this. Maybe this is the inning he’ll break down.” He never did.
It wasn’t just a dominant physical performance, it was also an impressive psychological feat. As long as Bumgarner kept his mind doubt-free (or at least kept his doubts from showing) you got the sense that the Royals felt completely doomed. They had tried everything against him in his two previous starts during the World Series and nothing had worked. He had all but shut them out for 18 innings before last night. They knew they weren’t beating a healthy, confident Bumgarner. But it was a thin line to walk. At least I had the sense that if Bumgarner had to leave the game, the Royals might have felt like they had slain the monster, and the delicate balance would have turned their way.
Line: Bumgarner, Bumgarner, Bumgarner.
- That’s all we have today. Bumgarner!