San Francisco Giants lefty Madison Bumgarner allowed just four hits in an 8-0 shutout win over the Pittsburgh Pirates in the National League Wild Card game on Oct. 1. The Giants will move on to face the Washington Nationals in the NLDS.
Madison Bumgarner and the San Francisco Giants shut out the Pittsburgh Pirates, 8-0, in the National League Wild Card matchup on Oct. 1.
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Bumgarner allowed just four hits while Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford belted a grand slam in the top of the fourth inning to put San Francisco ahead for good, per MLB.com's Chris Haft:
"Brandon Crawford entrenched himself in the Giants' extensive slugging lore, while Madison Bumgarner reaffirmed his budding stardom. Together, they propelled San Francisco farther into the postseason by collaborating on Wednesday night's 8-0 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates in the National League Wild Card Game.
"Crawford delivered a fourth-inning grand slam that stunned Pirates starter Edinson Volquez and a PNC Park throng. By contrast, nothing fazed Bumgarner, who silenced the Pirates with a four-hit complete game.
"Bumgarner threw only the 10th postseason shutout of at least nine innings with 10 or more strikeouts and no more than one walk issued in the last 100 years.
"'We couldn't have had a better guy out on the mound,' Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. 'It worked out just right for us at the end of the season where we could save him. If we go down, he's a guy we want on the mound. But he's as tough a competitor as I've ever had. He's got the stuff to go with it.'
"The Giants are proving that they simply don't lose showdown games such as this one. As Casey Stengel said, you can look it up. They not only captured their eighth consecutive postseason game, but they also lengthened their winning streak in elimination games to seven.
"San Francisco advanced to a Division Series matchup against the Washington Nationals beginning Friday in the nation's capital. Under the series' best-of-five format, the Giants are guaranteed at least one home date at AT&T Park -- Game 3 on Monday.
"The Giants' immediate future appeared vague until the fourth inning, when they loaded the bases with nobody out on singles by Pablo Sandoval and Hunter Pence and a walk to Brandon Belt. A pivotal event in the sequence was a close 2-2 pitch that Volquez threw to Belt, who took the borderline delivery for ball three.
"Up came Crawford, who lofted Vazquez's 1-2 pitch into the right-field stands. Crawford's first postseason homer placed him in the pantheon of Giants who have hit memorable postseason grand slams, including Chuck Hiller, who hit the first World Series slam in NL history in 1962; Will Clark, who rocked the (Chicago) Cubs' Greg Maddux in the opener in the 1989 NL Championship Seriesl and Buster Posey, whose big hit hastened the Giants' triumph in the clincher of the 2012 Division Series at Cincinnati.
"'Those three guys ahead of me, getting on with nobody out was huge, kind of set up that whole inning, set up that at-bat,' Crawford said. 'I felt pretty comfortable coming into that at-bat. You get a little confidence when those first three guys get on.
"'With (Bumgarner) on the mound, I only really wanted to get one. Fortunately, I got enough of it to give him four.'
"Belt drove in three runs with an RBI single in the sixth inning and a two-run single in the seventh. He and Crawford ahd plenty of help, as Joe Panik went 3-for-5 and Posey added two hits, including an eighth-inning RBI single.
"The rest was up to Bumgarner, who displayed the form that enabled him to compile an 18-10 record this season. The left-hander maintained his characteristic precision, issuing only one walk while striking out 10. He threw 109 pitches, including 79 for strikes. Pittsburgh, which ranked fourth in the league in scoring, moved only three runners into scoring position against Bumgarner, who improved his postseason record to 4-2."
ESPN's Jayson Stark chimed in on Bumgarner's masterpiece on the mound in his Oct. 2 blog:
"Well, just as we all expected, a dominant left-hander from the San Francisco Bay Area headed for the mound in a humungous postseason game this week and wouldn't let his team go home.
"Except it wasn't Jon Lester, ladies and gentlemen. It was Madison K. Bumgarner, of that other team in the Bay Area, those San Francisco Giants. Maybe Billy Beane should have traded for him.
"There would be no wild and wacky 9-8 games in Pittsburgh on Wednesday night. How could there be? Madison Bumgarner was pitching.
"He ended the magical season of the Pittsburgh Pirates with an 8-0, four-hit, 10-whiff, complete-game shutout in the National League wild-card game. And now, in your all-time ranks of pitchers who have spun a shutout, with double-digit strikeouts, in a winner-take-all postseason baseball game, the list looks like this:
"Sandy Koufax in 1965.
"Justin Verlander in 2012.
"Madison Bumgarner on an unforgettable Wednesday night in Pittsburgh.
"How about that?
"So when Bumgarner's Giants teammates hear other people gushing about the greatness of Clayton Kershaw and Adam Wainwright and Johnny Cueto, etc., you know exactly what they are thinking.
"'This guy,' Brandon Belt said of his team's ace, late on this Wednesday night, 'is right there with all those guys. And he's 25 years old.'
"Yeah, Madison Bumgarner is 25 (all right), but he's already constructed a reputation as a bona fide, shutdown, October game-changer. Wednesday night was the seventh postseason start of Bumgarner's career. He's allowed zero runs in three of them, and the Giants have won five of them. That'll work."
The Giants will next take on the Washington Nationals in the National League Division Series (NLDS). Game 1 is set for Friday, Oct. 3 at 3:07 p.m. ET at Washington.
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