Every button the man pushed worked. The next one he pushes will be to open the door to the Hall of Fame, in Cooperstown.
The San Francisco Giants won their third World Series in five years under ex-Padres manager Bruce Bochy. How could you not feel good for a career lifer; a journeyman catcher, who had to fight to stay in the major leagues, and who will now likely be standing on the steps in Cooperstown some day.
The World Series, with all its glory, history, and bling, is only a seven game series, a small sample size. Has there ever been a more dominant presence than what we saw this last week than 25-year old Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner?.
3-World Series victories, two as a starter, and then last night’s masterpiece, five shutout innings, 68-pitches worth, on two days rest.
In the era of pitch counts, protecting arms, big salaries, this was old fashion hardball. Give me the ball and get out of my way. When they recorded the final out, Bumgarner had rung up 270-innings on the mound, a spectacular statistic, considering the value of arms, the price club’s pay for those arms, the breakdown factor and all. But he has another ring.
And Bumgarner has captured the hearts of baseball fans, with a (5-0) career record in the World Series, and an ERA of 0.25 and an opponents batting average in the Fall Classic of (.195).
There have been great ones before, Koufax, Whitey Ford, and the likes, but this is a historical accomplishment.
Bochy pushed all the right buttons, from going to Jeremy Affeldt out of the bullpen in the second, to his ace out of the pen in the 5th. Putting a glove in leftfield to make a critical play, to staying with a young 2nd baseman thru thick and thin in the pennant race.
It takes a ‘team’ to make this happen, and never so more last night. Yes the story was Bumgarner, but it was also Pablo Sandoval’s 3 hits and (.429) average in the Classic; it was Hunter Pence adding 2-more hits and finishing with a (.444) batting average. It was Joe Panik helping turn two double plays, and Juan Perez critical catch on a slicing fly ball, to stop a rally.
All hands on deck was the phrase in that Giants clubhouse last night in pregame. All showed up, and when the name was called, the button pushed, you saw the end result.
Bochy, the leader, Bumgarner the ace, the lineup with bat and glove, making it happen.
A Giant accomplishment by the San Francisco Giants, again.