When your team is up 2-1 in the World Series, Game 4 isn't normally a MUST WIN. But tonight's game was pretty much a must win. After last night's game, the Giants really don't want to go to a Game 7, and tonight's win makes that less likely. Cliff Lee is pitching tomorrow, and despite getting knocked around by the Giants' offense in Game 1, he is a dominant pitcher. The odds aren't great that the Giants can beat him a second time in a row, this time in Texas. Tonight they were also facing the most mediocre starting pitcher they will see in the World Series, Tommy Hunter, and needed to capitalize. And capitalize is what the offense did, although the hero of the night was very obviously Madison Bumgarner.
Holy hell, Bumgarner is the most popular guy in San Francisco right now and he deserves it. 8 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. For a 21 year old rookie. Did you see that stat line? Zero runs. Three hits allowed. All this against a fairly potent Texas Rangers lineup. Although, that fairly potent lineup has been shutout twice in this World Series and scored more than 4 runs just once. It just goes to show that a team with great pitching like the Giants should never be counted out. Great pitching usually tops great hitting. It's the reason all Giants fans knew the Giants had a very good shot at winning this thing. It's the reason Giants fans were baffled that the vast majority of experts picked the Rangers to win and a couple even said the Rangers were a much better team. It's the reason the Giants are 1 win away from winning the World Series. Wow, yes I did just type that sentence. Alright, now back to Bumgarner. I don't really even know what to say. The Rangers got one runner past 1st base tonight and it was only because of an error. The three hits given up were 2 groundball singles and a soft flyball to RF. The sexy stat going around tonight is that Bumgarner is the 2nd youngest pitcher to ever throw 8 shutout innings in a World Series game. He was just on. There was a certain point, maybe the 6th inning, when I just felt like he wasn't going to give anything up. He was great. Beautiful. Fascinating. Dominant. Delicious. Use any adjective you want. I'll use one last one. Tonight, Madison Bumgarner was amazing.
The offense got started with Aubrey Huff's 2-run homer in the third inning, which was a great sight to see. Huff hasn't exactly been slumping, but that was his first home run since September 25th. Andres Torres added an unnecessary insurance run with his RBI double in the 7th and Buster Posey scored the 4th run by hitting a home run straight away to center field. It was a pretty bizarre homer too. When he hit it, I looked down at my computer because I thought it was a simple flyout, but it kept carrying all the way out. Seemed like his first homer in a while too. I'm probably very wrong, though.
As you might expect, the Giants are in a great position, up 3-1. My gut tells me the Rangers won't lose for a second time with Cliff Lee on the mound tomorrow, especially in Texas, but the Giants are countering with Tim Lincecum. That game is very winnable. And if they can't win tomorrow, Matt Cain starts in Game 6. Cain hasn't allowed an earned run this postseason, so I'd be pretty freakin' confident with him on the mound. The Giants are 1 win away. One win away from winning the World Series. I don't even know how I'd celebrate if it were to happen. This all so surreal. Sometimes it doesn't even feel like the Giants are in the World Series. Sometimes it just seems like the Giants are playing normal baseball and playing really, really well. It hasn't quite hit me, but I hope it does soon because this is awesome. One. More. Game.